Jess arrives at school to find out that her best friend Eden is missing. She had just seen her the night before when they parted ways so Eden could hang out with her boyfriend, Liam. Ever since Eden’s sister was killed recently, she hadn’t been the same and Jess isn’t sure if her best friend has been harmed, or has harmed herself.
This was a really interesting take on the “missing girl” story. It examined the relationships between siblings, friends and boyfriends as well as offering a perspective on tragedy and survivor’s guilt. While it may seem obvious who or what it pertains to, Eden Summer actually explores those themes in several layers and with different relationships. One particular passage I actually found quite poignant of an observation. In this one scene, a male character gets slapped by a female character – and he calls her on it. I thought it was an interesting commentary to make, that violence is violence. Not just when it’s directed towards one gender over another.
I did find that there was too much eluding to things in the past. It worked as a good narrative drive at times but it felt like there was an excessive amount of hinting at the characters’ histories. To me, those parts of the story felt too obvious in dropping the bread crumbs to link make sense of future events.
This would be a good contemporary young adult read for those who like mysteries and stories about friendship & family. It certainly kept me wondering about what happened to Eden the entire way through.