Saturday, April 28, 2012

Book Review: Crashing Eden by Michael Sussman

Crashing Eden

Author: Michael Sussman
Paperback: 218 pages
Publisher: Solstice Publishing (paperback: TBA, e-book: May 1, 2012)
Goodreads Link

Note: I received a review copy of this book free from Novel Publicity. The review posted below is based on my personal thoughts while reading the book.

Ratings: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

My thoughts:

Crashing Eden has a good plot and likeable characters. While the story is mainly about the lost paradise, Eden, the author manages to incorporate a family story that grabbed my attention til the last pages of the book. 

Joss Kazdan's brother, Eli, has been the target of bullies whether in school or in their community. Joss, as a big brother, should have been there to protect Eli but he thought it wasn't a big deal until Eli hanged himself in Joss' closet using Joss' belt. The family struggles everyday, Joss' mom continuously blames him for not telling them about it, his father, a best-selling novelist, cannot write anything at all because of his depression, and this leads to Joss wanting to be a full time worthless kid in the family. I loved Joss' little sister, five-year old Callie. Joss loves her sister so much and everytime he wants to end his life, he would always think about Callie and his problems would go away. The characters and situations are believable, I was so absorbed with it but I almost stopped reading Crashing Eden because of the teen suicide, something I'm not really comfortable reading since I became a mommy. 

As for the Eden legend, I like to think that children 6 years old and below have a connection with the lost paradise. The storyline is really nice to read. While I enjoyed reading the Eden story, I was quite disappointed with the ending of this book. I'm trying to find a word that would describe the ending, maybe corny or cheesy? After reading a very serious and interesting storyline, the ending shifted to something like I was reading a children bedtime story. 

Overall, having read Crashing Eden only for hours, I definitely can say that I immensely enjoyed reading this book, without the cheesy ending, I would have rated this five.

About the book:

For one boy and his friends, the path to Paradise comes at a cost—one they may not be prepared to pay. When a biking accident leaves 17-year-old Joss Kazdan with the ability to hear things others can’t, reality as he knows it begins to unravel.

A world of legends exists beyond the ordinary life he’s always known, and he is transported to the same Paradise he’s studying in World Mythology. But the strange gets even stranger when his new friends build a device that delivers people through the gates of the Garden of Eden.

Now Samael, the Creator God, is furious. As Samael rains down his apocalyptic devastation on the ecstasy-seeking teens, Joss and his companions must find a way to appease Samael—or the world will be destroyed forever.

About the author:

Michael Sussman is the author of Crashing Eden, a YA fantasy/paranormal novel, and Otto Grows Down, a children’s picture book featuring illustrations by Scott Magoon. 

Dr. Sussman is a clinical psychologist and has also published two books for mental health professionals. He’s the author of A Curious Calling: Unconscious Motivations for Practicing Psychotherapy and the editor of A Perilous Calling: The Hazards of Psychotherapy Practice.

Dr. Sussman resides in the Boston area with his son, Ollie.

Author's website
Author's page at Solstice Publishing


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