Elites of Eden: Children of Eden, Book 2

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
Elites of Eden: Children of Eden, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Dystopian mind-control tale grows even more complicated.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Although Elites of Eden itself has little connection to scientific realities, it might serve as a springboard for discussions about propaganda and mind control.

Positive Messages

People should not be discriminated against because of their gender, class, income, or birth order. Loyalty to friends and family prevails in difficult times.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Despite her near-hysterical narration, Yarrow proves to be a highly principled teen, ready to sacrifice herself for her brother and the other "second children." She struggles valiantly against the brainwashing that affects her behavior.


Not as violent as many books in this genre, Elites of Eden does contain some disturbing scenes. "Second children" are rounded up, beaten, and imprisoned. Yarrow endures involuntary eye surgery.


Yarrow loves both Lachlan and Lark, but there's little time for anything more than some flirting and a few chaste embraces.


"Bikking" serves as an all-purpose expletive. "Hell" is used a few times.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Party scenes depict under-age drinking and the use of "synthmesc."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Elites of Eden is the second volume in a dystopian sci-fi series by YouTube sensation Joey Graceffa. Set in a future where only a handful of human survivors exist within a closed community, the novel addresses such issues as bullying, surveillance, and propaganda. Sexual content is minimal (a few chaste embraces), swearing is limited to a few uses of "hell," and teens at a party indulge in drugs and alcohol in one minor scene.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 11-year-old Written byAHigh April 1, 2019

Chaste embrace?

"I pull him suddenly, almost violently, to me, pressing the length of my body against his. His eyes widen, but a second later, he's kissing me back. I... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byJustkuzzz December 14, 2017


This book starts off as kind of confusing but gets really good by around page 80. The ending is kind of weird but leaves you on kind of a cliff hanger. This is... Continue reading

What's the story?

At the start of ELITES OF EDEN, Yarrow enjoys the power she wields as one of the popular girls at the exclusive Oaks boarding school. But when she meets a mysterious lilac-haired stranger named Lark, she begins to remember another life: one in which her mother died, her father left, and her asthmatic brother took her place as the favored first child. As she discovers the extent to which her mind has been controlled by others, Yarrow vows to fight alongside old friends and new allies.

Is it any good?

The clichés of YA dystopian fiction are well known by now, but this middle volume of a breathless sci-fi trilogy employs most of them. In Elites of Eden, no thought goes unexpressed by Yarrow/Rowan as she attempts to understand how she has been brainwashed by her elders. The plot makes crazy leaps in logic, and most of the characters are defined in a single dimension. But younger teens may enjoy the hyped-up storytelling, where almost anything can happen at any time, as the children of Eden choose their own destinies.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Elites of Eden addresses the topic of bullying. Why do some groups of teens feel it necessary to dominate their peers through gossip and innuendo?

  • The book explores the differences between illusion and reality. How do we know what is true? What criteria should be used in making judgments about how the world works?

  • The government in Eden lies to its citizens about their history. Do governments ever lie to their people in real life?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love science fiction

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