Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau | Review

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Trigger Warnings: panic attacks, relapse (alcohol), anxiety, parental abuse, alcoholism, and abuse.

Release Date: June 6th, 2017

Pages: 336

Publisher: HarperTeen

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?


R A M B L E

Dividing Eden wasn’t really a book I was excited to read. That’s strange to write considering I really enjoyed it. But, I started it at the beginning of the year and put it down. My best friend pushed through and loved it but at that time the concept was lost on me. Now, I fell in love with it.

I was a tad turned off by some of the concepts throughout, but that was purely because of my own life experiences. This is mainly the alcoholism that one of the main characters suffer with. Considering the close perspective we get of both twins through their POV’s it was difficult to read at times.

The concept of this book is what really encaptures me though. A pair of siblings fighting for a throne and neither will win at the end? Since this is a series I figure that last part of that will be made further in the series, for now, I am entrapped with it completely. This book really brings forth familial ties, friendship ties and how your choices can lead to your failure.

It’s a bit difficult to talk about this book in my ramble section because I feel saying too much will give away too many things that happen in this book. I was just completely unable to put this book down despite the fact it did take me a few days to read.


P L O T

A challenge between siblings for a throne with strange relationships woven into the story is what Dividing Eden is ultimately about. Carys and Andreus are happy to live their lives with their struggles and let their older brother take over the thrown. That is until their older brother and father are murdered leaving the pair to compete in trials to achieve succession to make sure a rival does not gain the throne. However, at the end of these trials, one of the twins will die.

Interwoven into this is the fact that upon the birth of the twins they were informed that Andreus was cursed, his struggles to breathe through his youth highlighted this. It was decided that this would be hidden in order to protect him. So, who really wants a cursed king on the throne?

Honestly, it was really interesting. My only problem was that it took a while to really work into the plot. We get to know the characters until around 40% where this challenge takes off. It also is as if we’re not exactly meant to root for either of the twins. In their own right, they both felt like some kind of anti-hero who would bring doom to Eden.

I’m very excited to see how Joelle Charbonneau continues the plot in the upcoming books. The ending of this particular one leaves many possibilities to come.


C H A R A C T E R S

#C A R Y S 

Carys really isn’t the ‘typical’ kind of princess either. She isn’t happy to sit around but instead took it upon herself to learn the art of weaponry in order to protect her brother and her kingdom. This gets her in a tad of trouble throughout the course when people wonder why a princess who is meant to have more skill in embroidery has the ability to perfectly kill an assassin.

Carys had to be my favourite of the twins if I had to pick one. I found her struggles and panic to be written well into the narrative. I really enjoyed her perspective and typically groaned when I had to read an Andreus chapter.

Her dedication to her brother was admirable. I have never read a sister who cares more for her siblings than Carys did for Andreus, a character who in my belief really didn’t deserve that dedication.

#A N D R E U S 

Andreus is the definition of a pampered prince. Until the death of his brother, he isn’t really expected to do much. When he is, his sister takes the fall and the beating for him. He is happy to run around the court sleeping his way through the women, including brother’s fiancee.

I definitely hated Andreus. It has been a while since I’ve read a character who was so easily manipulated and, well, terrible. I presume he was meant to be the anti-hero of this book and make us truly try to realise how someone’s personality can change. But, I found him to be a bit daft and want him to die within the trials. The way he treated his sister, especially, pissed me off.

One scenario I need to talk about, I promise this isn’t a big spoiler but if you want to go in knowing nothing skip to my overall section. Andreus is about to screw something up (I can’t remember what) so Carys steps in to make sure she is reprimanded for his actions. She is taken up to a tower and whipped. When she finally goes back to her rooms she expects Andreus to be there to help take care of her, as he always is since it was his fault. This time? He’s not. Where is he? Screwing his dead brother’s fiancee. What a real treat.


O V E R A L L

Overall, despite my hatred for Andreus I really did enjoy this book. It really helped pull me out of the slump I have been facing since reading Zenith by Lindsay Cummings and Sasha Alsberg (review on my blog, it’s a rant). Dividing Eden wasn’t exactly the best book either, so if you do choose to pick this up have low expectations. It was simply a fun and enjoyable read.


Happy reading everyone!

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