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Escaping Eleven

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In Compound Eleven, the hierarchy of the floors is everything. My name is Eve Hamilton, and on my floor, we fight. Which at least is better than the bottom floor, where they toil away in misery. Only the top floor has any ease in this harsh world; they rule from their gilded offices. Because four generations ago, Earth was rendered uninhabitable—the sun too hot, the land too In Compound Eleven, the hierarchy of the floors is everything. My name is Eve Hamilton, and on my floor, we fight. Which at least is better than the bottom floor, where they toil away in misery. Only the top floor has any ease in this harsh world; they rule from their gilded offices. Because four generations ago, Earth was rendered uninhabitable—the sun too hot, the land too barren. Those who remained were forced underground. While not a perfect life down here, I’ve learned to survive as a fighter. Except my latest match is different. Instead of someone from the circuit, my opponent is a mysterious boy from the top floor. And the look in his eyes tells me he’s different…maybe even kind. Right before he kicks my ass. Still, there’s something about him—something that says he could be my salvation...or my undoing. Because I’m no longer content to just survive in Eleven. Today, I'm ready to fight for more than my next meal: I'm fighting for my freedom. And this boy may just be the edge I've been waiting on.


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In Compound Eleven, the hierarchy of the floors is everything. My name is Eve Hamilton, and on my floor, we fight. Which at least is better than the bottom floor, where they toil away in misery. Only the top floor has any ease in this harsh world; they rule from their gilded offices. Because four generations ago, Earth was rendered uninhabitable—the sun too hot, the land too In Compound Eleven, the hierarchy of the floors is everything. My name is Eve Hamilton, and on my floor, we fight. Which at least is better than the bottom floor, where they toil away in misery. Only the top floor has any ease in this harsh world; they rule from their gilded offices. Because four generations ago, Earth was rendered uninhabitable—the sun too hot, the land too barren. Those who remained were forced underground. While not a perfect life down here, I’ve learned to survive as a fighter. Except my latest match is different. Instead of someone from the circuit, my opponent is a mysterious boy from the top floor. And the look in his eyes tells me he’s different…maybe even kind. Right before he kicks my ass. Still, there’s something about him—something that says he could be my salvation...or my undoing. Because I’m no longer content to just survive in Eleven. Today, I'm ready to fight for more than my next meal: I'm fighting for my freedom. And this boy may just be the edge I've been waiting on.

30 review for Escaping Eleven

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Kathryn Wright

    I received this ARC by Netgalley for an honest review. • This book has me feeling a lot of mixed emotions because this was easy and fun to read because I haven’t read books like this in a while. But there were a few things that I didn’t like about it. One of the problems I had was the characters, most of them were not likable and the only character that I loved was the love interest, Wren. But his characterization was a bit to perfect, and the main character, Eve, I don’t think had a lot of momen I received this ARC by Netgalley for an honest review. • This book has me feeling a lot of mixed emotions because this was easy and fun to read because I haven’t read books like this in a while. But there were a few things that I didn’t like about it. One of the problems I had was the characters, most of them were not likable and the only character that I loved was the love interest, Wren. But his characterization was a bit to perfect, and the main character, Eve, I don’t think had a lot of moments where she was likable. I found that with her relationship progression she was very hot and cold about everything. And the side characters I don’t think they were developed enough and I wished we saw more of them. I was also a bit confused with the fighting rings as well, if the fighting is important than I feel that it should have been shown more. Also, the plot was not very strong because not a lot happens until the very end. What this book showed was the progression of the relationship, corrupt government, and explains why Eve has a hard time being open with people. The major reason I still enjoyed this is because Wren and it reminded me a lot of the books that really made me a reader and that was dystopian books like this. I am also very curious about what is to happen in the next book, and I hope that the author makes the following books veer away from similarities to Divergent. It is very different from that trilogy but I’m hoping that this series will end a lot differently because I didn’t like the ending of the Divergent trilogy.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mallory

    This was an interesting book that reminded me a lot of Fallout. I’m not sure it was a unique story but it was interesting and I will be following up to read the second book. The characters weren’t very likeable but they all I’ve in a seriously messed up compound. I’ll say the foreshadowing for the end wa as little too strong and I could see that twist coming long before they got there. The love interest was certainly intriguing but developed a little too quickly to be truly believable. This was This was an interesting book that reminded me a lot of Fallout. I’m not sure it was a unique story but it was interesting and I will be following up to read the second book. The characters weren’t very likeable but they all I’ve in a seriously messed up compound. I’ll say the foreshadowing for the end wa as little too strong and I could see that twist coming long before they got there. The love interest was certainly intriguing but developed a little too quickly to be truly believable. This was a twist on the recent flood of end of the world post-apocolyptic materials that was far too realistic. Station Eleven has existed for 4 generations ever since the sun became too hot and made the surface of the earth inhospitable. The wealthy funded the building of various stations and allowed craftmen and workers to come as long as they understood the wealthy would be in charge.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sheena

    Escaping Eleven was full of Divergent and THG vibes which I liked but at the same time made it feel slightly unoriginal. The book was a bit too long for when nothing much happens half the time. There’s a lot of internal monologue which made it drag on and took me a little longer to read this book. The characters aren’t necessarily likable but they are easily forgettable. I did like that our main character Eve was strong and stubborn but I also felt that she was a bit selfish - which isn’t always Escaping Eleven was full of Divergent and THG vibes which I liked but at the same time made it feel slightly unoriginal. The book was a bit too long for when nothing much happens half the time. There’s a lot of internal monologue which made it drag on and took me a little longer to read this book. The characters aren’t necessarily likable but they are easily forgettable. I did like that our main character Eve was strong and stubborn but I also felt that she was a bit selfish - which isn’t always a bad thing but I didn’t like how she came off. She did have some development and goals so I did like that. I’m not certain if I want to continue this series because it took too long to progress and I felt myself losing interest. I did think it was a bit predictable as well. I did want more information on the hierarchy of power and some more background on how things became the way it did but I’m assuming that might be a part of the next book. I did think the way each floor represented a different social class was interesting but again, I wanted more on it. Another thing is that I thought the love interest Wren was a bit too perfect for someone who went from enemy to lover. I didn’t mind that so much because I still liked him but his whole anger issue didn’t sit with me because it was never discussed. I also thought it was odd he beats her up and then they fall in love. I mean, I know that was the point because they are forced to fight in this society but at the same time something about him was too violent and off putting. I don’t know if I could fall in love with someone after that, especially when they still showed so much anger and violence but then acted like that part of him doesn’t exist at all. It was out of character in my opinion. Maybe something for the next book? Thank you to Entangled Publishing and Netgalley for the advanced copy of this book!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    Review coming soon.

  5. 4 out of 5

    zoe

    I'm sooooooo excited to read this! i can't wait for it to come out! the story sounds sooo interesting!!!!🥺 I'm sooooooo excited to read this! i can't wait for it to come out! the story sounds sooo interesting!!!!🥺

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mallory

    This was an interesting book that reminded me a lot of Fallout. I’m not sure it was a unique story but it was interesting and I will be following up to read the second book. The characters weren’t very likeable but they all I’ve in a seriously messed up compound. I’ll say the foreshadowing for the end wa as little too strong and I could see that twist coming long before they got there. The love interest was certainly intriguing but developed a little too quickly to be truly believable. This was This was an interesting book that reminded me a lot of Fallout. I’m not sure it was a unique story but it was interesting and I will be following up to read the second book. The characters weren’t very likeable but they all I’ve in a seriously messed up compound. I’ll say the foreshadowing for the end wa as little too strong and I could see that twist coming long before they got there. The love interest was certainly intriguing but developed a little too quickly to be truly believable. This was a twist on the recent flood of end of the world post-apocolyptic materials that was far too realistic. Station Eleven has existed for 4 generations ever since the sun became too hot and made the surface of the earth inhospitable. The wealthy funded the building of various stations and allowed craftmen and workers to come as long as they understood the wealthy would be in charge.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Julie - One Book More

    Escaping Eleven is an immersive, action-packed story about one girl’s fight for freedom. In this dystopian world, the earth was too hot to survive, and people were forced to live in underground compounds. Eve, a sixteen-year-old fighter on the cusp of choosing her career, is stifled by the hierarchal rules and restrictions. Eve desires freedom above all else. Haunted by the loss of her younger brother and the unfair and extreme rules of the compound which forced his banishment, Eve is determined Escaping Eleven is an immersive, action-packed story about one girl’s fight for freedom. In this dystopian world, the earth was too hot to survive, and people were forced to live in underground compounds. Eve, a sixteen-year-old fighter on the cusp of choosing her career, is stifled by the hierarchal rules and restrictions. Eve desires freedom above all else. Haunted by the loss of her younger brother and the unfair and extreme rules of the compound which forced his banishment, Eve is determined to escape Compound Eleven. However, can Eve leave her family, friends, a new relationship with a boy named Wren, and all she’s ever known behind? Eve is a well-layered and fascinating protagonist. Strong and vulnerable, certain and unsure, Eve has such depth. Taught from a very young age to be self-reliant, Eve has complicated relationships with her parents. Luckily, she has supportive friends and a new love interest to fill the void of an absentee family. Above all, Eve craves freedom and hopes that is the answer to her unhappiness and discontent. I love that she faces obstacles head-on, and her strength of character is prevalent throughout the story. Excellent use of imagery and symbolism further stresses the smothered suffocation Eve feels living in the confines of Compound Eleven. It is a brutal and unforgiving caste system, especially for the people of the lower castes where violence, depravity, and suffering are a way of life. The author does a great job of detailing the ugliness of Eve’s life in the lower levels, which stands in stark contrast to Wren’s upper-level world. Wren, Eve’s love interest, is an interesting character as well, and I’m hopeful we’ll learn more about him and his life before meeting Eve. He understands Eve well, and their relationship makes Eve reevaluate her prejudices, beliefs, and feelings about the upper castes. Other characters, Especially Eve’s close friends and enemies are dynamic additions to the story as well. I enjoyed this engrossing YA dystopia. Issues like abuse, emotional abandonment, and unrequited love are explored throughout the story, as are themes of facing one’s fears, fighting against oppression and for equality, and rejecting corruptive power. Plus, there’s a forbidden romance, a ton of action, a shocking betrayal, compelling characters, and a surprising cliffhanger ending. I can’t wait to find out what’s in store for Eve in future books in the series! Thanks so much to Netgalley, Entangled Teen, and the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Paschal

    This was incredibly slow, with a lot of day to day details that I felt bogged the plot down and made my attention wane. The book takes place over roughly 6 weeks and we get to experience every single, occasionally boring, day over that six week period. I think all the details were to show how awful life in Zone Eleven really is- but let me tell you, I got it after the first few chapters, so all the rest was overkill in my view. The story was almost 400 pages and not a lot happened, everything th This was incredibly slow, with a lot of day to day details that I felt bogged the plot down and made my attention wane. The book takes place over roughly 6 weeks and we get to experience every single, occasionally boring, day over that six week period. I think all the details were to show how awful life in Zone Eleven really is- but let me tell you, I got it after the first few chapters, so all the rest was overkill in my view. The story was almost 400 pages and not a lot happened, everything the book strove for occurred at the very end when I wanted more action overall. I really did not like the main character Eve, she was all hard edges and tough attitude, prickly in every situation when she didn't need to be, closed off so nobody could get to know her- even me as the reader which made it hard to root for her. And there was a love interest, a very Romeo and Juliet forbidden love (that started after he beat the stuffing out of her). And he was great, maybe a little too great- very understanding, very caring, very forgiving, good with kids, loved everything Eve loves, didn't care about status issues, full of self doubt even though he seemed perfect... I felt like he was more an idea than an actual person. I had no idea that this was a series until I got to the very end, when surprise, this is the first book and there was no real resolution (the ending was super abrupt!). I am not certain I will pick up the next book in this world, but I am not opposed to the idea since I do have questions that were not answered.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Escaping Eleven is a young adult dystopian romance by author Jerri Chisholm. Escaping Eleven is Jerri’s debut novel, and I really enjoyed it. I was excited to learn that it is going to be the first book in a series. Book two is called Unraveling Eleven and it is currently slated to be released in September of 2021! Escaping Eleven had a unique world set up. In this dystopian novel the climate of earth has made the world uninhabitable, and the remaining survivors of this area of the world are for Escaping Eleven is a young adult dystopian romance by author Jerri Chisholm. Escaping Eleven is Jerri’s debut novel, and I really enjoyed it. I was excited to learn that it is going to be the first book in a series. Book two is called Unraveling Eleven and it is currently slated to be released in September of 2021! Escaping Eleven had a unique world set up. In this dystopian novel the climate of earth has made the world uninhabitable, and the remaining survivors of this area of the world are forced underground to live. Underground their new society is divided into a caste like system, where the floor that you live on determines your job, and your status within the compound. The higher to the top floor you are, the more upper class you are considered- quite literally. Our main character, Eve lives on the lower floors of Compound Eleven, which puts her more in the laborer/have not category of this society. But Eve is scrappy, and may seem a little closed off an prickly to most outsiders looking in, but I appreciated her skeptical prickly nature. I loved Eve! I think she felt real and fleshed. She brought the story to life in my opinion. She is not living in an easy world by any means, and her outward personality likely helps her with her fights. In the lower floors there is something that felt like a fight club to me, and Eve is one of the best fighters! That is until a mysterious boy shows up and whoops her butt. I loved that the lover interest, Wren, started off by fighting her. Because though Wren is a great fighter, he is a real sweetheart. His compassionate soul helped to counterbalance out Eve’s harsh exterior I thought. I really enjoyed the two of them. And I liked the story of Escaping Eleven. I thought this novel has a really strong premise, and a great start and a awesome ending. I can’t wait for the next book. That being said, the story did drag a bit in the middle for me. But with the ending of escaping Eleven and I am really hopeful that the next book will have more action and movement in it. I would also like to learn a bit more about the world in the next installment. Overall, this was a solid start to a series. I am interested in continuing on and seeing what happens with Eve, Wren and with this world overall. I think this was a really good debut from author Jerri Chisholm. I can’t wait to read more from her!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie - Books Less Travelled

    *I received a copy from the publisher. This does not affect my review.* I might have gone into this one with too much expectation? I will say it was a good read, and I did enjoy parts like the basis worldbuilding and characters. The details were definitely there, this book doesn't shy away from hard truths and gritty detail. That said... Not much really happens for much of the story, and as thick as this story is, I think that is what really disappointed me the most. There is so much potential, a *I received a copy from the publisher. This does not affect my review.* I might have gone into this one with too much expectation? I will say it was a good read, and I did enjoy parts like the basis worldbuilding and characters. The details were definitely there, this book doesn't shy away from hard truths and gritty detail. That said... Not much really happens for much of the story, and as thick as this story is, I think that is what really disappointed me the most. There is so much potential, and so much right about it, but this is a long book for so little actual progress or development in the characters' story. A large part of this likely stems from the characters being overall unlikable, which is a big part of the story for me. Wren was good...though a little too perfect for my tastes, but was the most likeable character and had more actual personality than the others who were more flat in nature. I can see all these problems being fixable in a sequel, I've seen it before in a few of my favorites even, but it's not an easy task. That said, I liked the concept, and feel more attention on balancing these areas can really make this series stand out and shine! That said, it was original in many ways, which I liked, and can see this being a big hit with the right audience.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Frank Chillura (OhYouRead)

    This has everything and more that I look for in a book! First off, we get Dystopian... think Hunger Games, Divergent, Uglies, The Giver, Partials, Enclave, Delerium, Matched... this book is one among a list of greats in my ALL TIME FAVORITE Sub-Genre! (Side Note: Obvs I couldn’t list them all!) We get a BADASS Female MC in Eve! She’s like an underground cage-fighter... only her entire world is the cage and she’s fighting to get out! We get a Secretive & Damaged Love Interest in Wren. But also, can This has everything and more that I look for in a book! First off, we get Dystopian... think Hunger Games, Divergent, Uglies, The Giver, Partials, Enclave, Delerium, Matched... this book is one among a list of greats in my ALL TIME FAVORITE Sub-Genre! (Side Note: Obvs I couldn’t list them all!) We get a BADASS Female MC in Eve! She’s like an underground cage-fighter... only her entire world is the cage and she’s fighting to get out! We get a Secretive & Damaged Love Interest in Wren. But also, can we talk about how much I love his name! Wren is definitely a name that screams “Here comes a MAN who’s gonna steal my heart!” We will spend this Trilogy trying to crack that egg, but it’s gonna be the perfect Soft-Boiled... I just KNOW IT! This was definitely the thrill ride I signed up for. I just don’t know how I’m gonna wait for Book 2. The SUSPENSE!!! It’s killing me! Thank You to Jerri Chisholm & Entangled Teen for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review! ____________ You can find this review and more on my Instagram: @ohyouread

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brinley

    This book was an exciting read, even though I had a few problems with how it was written. It follows Eve, a resident of Compound Eleven, the haven people fled to when the Earth overheated. Over time, the haven became worse and worse, and now, Eve is confined to a place where she fights to make a living, and lacks freedom. After a particularly vicious fight, she decides that escape is her only option. My main problem with Escaping Eleven was the speed of the plot. I had such high hopes based off This book was an exciting read, even though I had a few problems with how it was written. It follows Eve, a resident of Compound Eleven, the haven people fled to when the Earth overheated. Over time, the haven became worse and worse, and now, Eve is confined to a place where she fights to make a living, and lacks freedom. After a particularly vicious fight, she decides that escape is her only option. My main problem with Escaping Eleven was the speed of the plot. I had such high hopes based off of the beginning, but I was a bit disappointed by where it continued from. As soon as I started the book, I was sucked in, I couldn't wait to read more about Eve and Wren. As the book continued, I lost interest though. Pretty much the entire middle lacked action, and while I still loved the characters, I got a bit bored. Eve, our main character, was fairly compelling. I appreciated the way she was written, her thoughts on fighting, and relationships felt realistic. I do wish that her relationship with her family had been explored a bit more, because while it's mentioned, it's glossed over most of the time. Wren was our other main character, and while I liked him, I had a few problems with him. I think part of it stems from the fact that the first time we saw him, he was refusing to fight Eve because she was a girl. I get that this is considered chivalrous, but as their world's cruelty is revealed, it felt a bit weird. I also wish that his violent side had been explored a bit more, along with Eve's feelings toward it. Despite my struggle with Wrens character, I did like his and Eves relationship. While it happened fairly fast, I didn't have a huge problem with it. I really liked seeing all of their friends interact, it gave us a few more romances to root for. I do feel like the concept of this book has been done several times before, but this was still a super interesting book. I'll be looking to read the next book in the series, and see where Eve and Wrens journey continues to! Thanks to Netgalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Petra

    Thank you to Entangled Publishing for providing me with ARC in exchange for an honest review. Gritty, intense and not sparing you reality and hardships that is living in Compound Eleven and touching serious real life problems. The earth becomes more and more baren,the sun is burning hotter and is no longer possible to walk safely outside....so all they can do is to move all the life underground but with it comes new ruthless order with no mercy if you don't follow the rules and stick to your level Thank you to Entangled Publishing for providing me with ARC in exchange for an honest review. Gritty, intense and not sparing you reality and hardships that is living in Compound Eleven and touching serious real life problems. The earth becomes more and more baren,the sun is burning hotter and is no longer possible to walk safely outside....so all they can do is to move all the life underground but with it comes new ruthless order with no mercy if you don't follow the rules and stick to your level. Our heroine Eve is one of the Compound Eleven's inhabitants and after so much oppression and so much loss she feels suffocated living there and is determined to find a way to go outside and taste freedom no matter the consequences. I loved that about her that she is tough as nails and so stubborn but at the same time ,despite her ruthless surrounding she is kind and caring. Torn between not leaving her friends and family alone in that place and finding freedom she meets THE boy from the upper level - Wren that changes everything and one more reason to stay and at the same time her only hope of getting free. I was left curious about him and wanted to know him better , i think Eve was a little egocentric and didn't dig deep and tried to know him that much(especially tha talk about his dark side was left hanging) therefore we were left with not so full picture of him (really wished that we hadchapters with his point of view so we hear a little bit of his mind!). I have to mention the atmosphere was so gripping that you can feel the tension,the stale air and little claustrophobic of the life there.Also both Eve and Wren's friends added a lot of color and lovable characters and lot of emotions. The last 50 pages or so i was at the edge of my seat and prayed we get some king of closure and not left hanging and boy i wasn't disappointed and got relaxed exhale and i can't wait for the next book to see what awaits Wren and Eve after all they've been through.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tani

    I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alicen (thecozyshelf)

    All I can say is excellent! This book was absolutely wonderful. It was exactly what I needed to read right now. I will have a full review up soon that is hopefully more coherent than this. 😂

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Eve Hamilton lives in an underground compound due to the suns heat making it impossible to live above ground. The compound is far from perfect...with a corrupt caste system, unbearable jobs, and persecution and violence on the rise from the upper floors/government. Eve is also a fighter. A literal get in the ring type of hard hitter. A match between her and a member of a higher floor may result in more than just a bruised ego and a black eye...wink wink...nudge nudge. The relationship between Ev Eve Hamilton lives in an underground compound due to the suns heat making it impossible to live above ground. The compound is far from perfect...with a corrupt caste system, unbearable jobs, and persecution and violence on the rise from the upper floors/government. Eve is also a fighter. A literal get in the ring type of hard hitter. A match between her and a member of a higher floor may result in more than just a bruised ego and a black eye...wink wink...nudge nudge. The relationship between Eve and Wren is the driving force of this book. That and Eves ever churning curiosity for life outside of the compound — a life in the what once was apparently full of fresh cool air. I honestly found this hard to put down. Maybe it’s because I haven’t read dystopian in a while but it was just what I needed. A powerful girl meets an attractive but almost off limits guy from the upper floors gave this a total forbidden lovers type of feel. Always here for that. Yes it has hunger games and divergent vibes to it but it still feels like a new book to me. Eve is a character who is super torn between family that really isn’t there for her, friends and her need and curiosity for freedom. I think this was a good start to the series and there is SO much more of this world and these characters that can still be left to explore...SO I will definitely be reading book 2! Thank you to Entangled Teen for sending me a copy and putting it on my radar. It pulled me out of the slumps and now I’m so excited to share it with others. Yes this is a #kissingbook but it’s YA and tame.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Escaping Eleven in exchange for an honest review! I'm not going to lie, Escaping Eleven is definitely a story you've come across if you read Dystopia. A civilization forced undergrounds because they can't handle the climate (or can they?). A corrupt system where the people on the bottom suffer as a result. A girl who dreams of leaving and a boy who dreams of keeping her safe. Escaping Eleven is full of tropes of the genre but it's unique enough to Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Escaping Eleven in exchange for an honest review! I'm not going to lie, Escaping Eleven is definitely a story you've come across if you read Dystopia. A civilization forced undergrounds because they can't handle the climate (or can they?). A corrupt system where the people on the bottom suffer as a result. A girl who dreams of leaving and a boy who dreams of keeping her safe. Escaping Eleven is full of tropes of the genre but it's unique enough to keep you interested from beginning to end. Honestly, the low point for me was probably the love interest but considering I barely like men (in the romantic sense, I don't have a secret loathing of an entire gender), I recognize that I'm not the most qualified to rate those of the fictional variety and macho-men protective characters just don't work for me in general. It's not exactly insta-lovey but it's also not really developed enough that I could get really invested. I'm really curious to see where the series goes from here though.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lauren loves llamas

    Content warnings: (view spoiler)[violent no-rules-barred boxing match-style fights (which lead to serious injury and death), death of side characters (including children), gun violence, alcohol, attempted sexual assault, PTSD from assault, slavery, police-style brutality, child abuse, domestic violence (side character, distant/toxic family (hide spoiler)] It’s not clear from the blurb, but this is actually the first book in a trilogy. While I found the resolution satisfactory, there’s still quite Content warnings: (view spoiler)[violent no-rules-barred boxing match-style fights (which lead to serious injury and death), death of side characters (including children), gun violence, alcohol, attempted sexual assault, PTSD from assault, slavery, police-style brutality, child abuse, domestic violence (side character, distant/toxic family (hide spoiler)] It’s not clear from the blurb, but this is actually the first book in a trilogy. While I found the resolution satisfactory, there’s still quite a few plot threads left hanging. “Sometimes I wonder if it is better to be alive and caged or dead and free. I guess if I’m fighting for my life right now, I believe the former. It is always better to be alive.” To be honest, the entire plot is basically summed up by the book title: Eve is determined to escape the underground Compound Eleven before she’s forced to pick a job and swear allegiance to the Premes, the residents of the top floor. That means she has just over a month to figure out where she’s going – and how. While she’s fascinated by the surface, everyone knows that it’s uninhabitable due to unrelenting heat, so her only choice is escaping to one of the connecting compounds. But she’s keeping her escape a secret from her friends, and things get even more complicated when she somehow ends up befriending a Preme after facing him in a boxing match. But her friendship with Wren leads her to question a lot of her assumptions about Premes and what she wants from life. Is one person enough to make staying in Eleven worth it, or is their relationship just another cage? “You know, if anyone bears a resemblance to the sun, it’s you.” “Me?” “A dangerous, intense, burning ball of fire? Yeah, that sounds like you.” Eve is angry, confused and more likely to punch someone than talk to them. In other words, I loved her. From a young age, she’s felt betrayed by the Compound, especially the Premes, and she’s just naive enough to think that she can escape to somewhere better. The pacing is slow and a bit uneven. There’s a lot of daily life bits – practicing for the fights, feeding the Noms, just hanging around with her friends, interspersed with more action-oriented scenes. This didn’t bother me that much as the slower scenes gave us more insight into Eve. And that’s really what the story is about – Eve coming to terms with how she feels about her place in Compound Eleven, in her family, and among her friends. She starts out angry and a bit naive, and over the course of a little over a month, she grows as a person. There’s a lot to be said about tarring groups with the same brush (all Premes are bad, all guards are bad) and judging people without fully comprehending their motives. Plus, she comes to understand herself better – while she wants her freedom, even if it means her death, there are some lengths she’s not willing to go to. Finding out what those are, though, is quite the story. “Besides, it’s kind of hard to get a girl out of your head once she sucker punches you in the face. Never a dull moment with you, Eve.” Wren’s more of a cipher. He verged a bit too close to the “too perfect to be true” love interest. There were hints of more to him – why was he in the fighting ring against Eve to begin with? – and other references to a violent nature, but I never felt like that was fully explored. Part of it, I think, is that we only get Eve’s POV, and she’s downright snippy about spending time with a Preme. She’s trying to convince herself she doesn’t care about Wren or why he’s there, and frankly she tries to avoid talking to him as much as possible. The development of their relationship felt realistic to me, and I liked how Wren and his friends fit into Eve’s friend group. Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and I will definitely be picking up the next one. If you’re looking for a character-driven dystopian romance, this is the book for you! I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 4.5* I love me a dystopian, and this book absolutely fulfilled my craving. I could not put it down, and immediately knew I would be needing the next book. We follow the story of Eve, a surly and rather unhappy inhabitant of Compound Eleven. It's basically a crappy bunker town, at least for the Have-Nots like Eve and her friends and family. In fact, Eve's own brother was Octavia Blaked (it You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 4.5* I love me a dystopian, and this book absolutely fulfilled my craving. I could not put it down, and immediately knew I would be needing the next book. We follow the story of Eve, a surly and rather unhappy inhabitant of Compound Eleven. It's basically a crappy bunker town, at least for the Have-Nots like Eve and her friends and family. In fact, Eve's own brother was Octavia Blaked (it's a verb now), only instead of floating the mother for having a second child, they floated (reverse floated I suppose) the kid which is next-level cruel. So to say Eve isn't exactly enamored with the place would be a gross understatement. She fights (voluntarily) in the pits, but she doesn't really want to fight forever. This is how she meets Wren, an upper-level privileged sort that decided to take part in a fight for funsies. (In truth, I think Wren may have a serious anger management problem, but that is an issue for the next book to tackle.) Eve gets beat up pretty badly, and even though Wren kind of feels bad, it just cements what Eve has always known: she needs to get out of there.  What ensues is Eve formulating an escape plan while simultaneously falling for Wren. This complicates matters, of course, but his position is also helpful to her plans. She's also quite remiss to trust him, or any of her existing friends with her intentions, which makes sense (I mean, things don't seem to end well for many folks) but obviously this creates a lot of conflict.  There were some predictable moments, which is the only actual negative I can offer. Otherwise, I was deeply invested in Eve's escape plans, as well as her evolving relationships with her friends, family, and Wren. I also liked reading about the hierarchy of Compound Eleven itself, and there was mention of other compounds (and the world in general) outside of Eleven, so I am really looking forward to reading more about those mysteries in the upcoming books!  Bottom Line: A very solid start to a series that has hooked me with its appropriately desperate main character navigating a pretty intense and uncomfortable dystopian world. 

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nikole Clow

    Let me tell you, you are in for a w ild ride! Escaping Eleven is action-packed, sprinkled with intense and unforgettable moments, and beautiful prose. The characters are wonderfully developed and fiercely captured. Escaping Eleven will easily immerse you in the world and leave you wishing the sequel was already in your hands. This is definitely one of those books that will stick with you for a while. Eve is one of those main characters you will have a hard time forgetting about. She’s wonderfully Let me tell you, you are in for a w ild ride! Escaping Eleven is action-packed, sprinkled with intense and unforgettable moments, and beautiful prose. The characters are wonderfully developed and fiercely captured. Escaping Eleven will easily immerse you in the world and leave you wishing the sequel was already in your hands. This is definitely one of those books that will stick with you for a while. Eve is one of those main characters you will have a hard time forgetting about. She’s wonderfully layered with a sharp and witty personality. She’s a fascinating character that you just want to piece together. Eve is strong-willed and knows she can only really rely on herself. Yes, she has those close friendships with people she trusts, but in the end, she knows only she will be able to save herself. Her budding relationship with Wren was something I loved seeing. Like most relationships, it starts out bumpy and unsure, but it was easy to see that these two characters needed each other. Wren makes Eve question the truths she’s always believed, especially about the upper castes. But one thing never changes: Eve’s desire for freedom, far away from Compound Eleven. I’d definitely say Chrisholm’s debut is exquisitely written. Chrisholm has a way with words, a way with making the scenes come to life and dance in your mind. It felt as if I was there, in Compound Eleven, with Eve and Wren. I lived for that feeling of being immersed in the story. I loved being able to make those connections with the characters, especially with Eve. Chrisholm’s writing beautifully captures the essence of this story and lays it perfectly in her story. Her world building is phenomenal, and character development is just as good. Chrisholm is definitely an author to keep an eye on – I can already tell she’s going to create some truly magnificent stories. Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to see what happens in the sequel. If you are looking for a new exciting read, with several action-packed scenes, a blossoming romance, and exquisite character building, then I definitely recommend reading Chrisholm’s debut!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Meigan

    Dark and gritty, romantic and thrilling, ESCAPING ELEVEN is a fantastic new entry in the world of YA dystopian fiction. When the world became too hot to sustain life, humans had no other option but to build compounds deep within the earth. An obvious reflection of classism, these compounds put the highest class at the top with the lows and the “disposables” at the very bottom. The lower levels are a tough place, and most characters have had to adapt to their surroundings. Eve is one such example Dark and gritty, romantic and thrilling, ESCAPING ELEVEN is a fantastic new entry in the world of YA dystopian fiction. When the world became too hot to sustain life, humans had no other option but to build compounds deep within the earth. An obvious reflection of classism, these compounds put the highest class at the top with the lows and the “disposables” at the very bottom. The lower levels are a tough place, and most characters have had to adapt to their surroundings. Eve is one such example — an occasional match fighter in the ring, but even her strength and her ability to fight doesn’t always keep her safe. She meets Wren in such a fight and the aftermath is something she could have never predicted. An alliance with a Preme, which is definitely something that goes against her beliefs. Anything that’s labeled as dark, dirty, and gritty are always books that I know will appeal to me, and ESCAPING ELEVEN was certainly all of those. The characters were, hands down, my favorite aspect, and every one is dealing with some sort of trauma, most of it stemming from the conditions they’ve had to endure in the compound. The lower levels are dark, filled with dangerous things and even more dangerous people, and everyone isn’t the lower levels has been a victim of it. Though even the upper-echelon Premes aren’t sheltered from pain and heartbreak. Wren’s backstory with several mentions of personal struggle have been hinted at, and I can’t wait until his story unfolds. I originally rated this 4 stars, but I have to up it 5. I stayed up until 3 in the morning to finish it and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Any time a book forces me to forgo sleep, it’s one that becomes an instant favorite and ESCAPING ELEVEN has definitely become an instant favorite. *Many thanks to Entangled Teen for sending a copy my way.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elyse (ElyseReadsandSpeaks)

    Well that was a nice surprise. It took me a bit to get into it, but towards the end, I felt like I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Truthfully, this was more of a 3-star book for me for most of it, but the end really kicked it up a notch and I thought it stuck the landing so I think it deserves the extra nudge. Probably more like a 3.5 rounded up. If you're missing the Divergent and Hunger Games vibes in YA, you may like this one. The Earth is deemed uninhabitable so the people are forced to Well that was a nice surprise. It took me a bit to get into it, but towards the end, I felt like I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Truthfully, this was more of a 3-star book for me for most of it, but the end really kicked it up a notch and I thought it stuck the landing so I think it deserves the extra nudge. Probably more like a 3.5 rounded up. If you're missing the Divergent and Hunger Games vibes in YA, you may like this one. The Earth is deemed uninhabitable so the people are forced to live underground. In this underground, there are four tiers: Premes (rich, privileged, in charge), Upper Means, Lower Means, and Denominators. I've always been into different caste systems or factions so this is a trope for me. The romantic story is that a Preme and a Lower Mean fall in love, but the bigger plot that drives the book is how Eve wants to escape the compound, even if it means finding her immediate death aboveground. I wasn't so into all the bloody fighting parts, but I did like learning about the different roles each tier has in the compound and how it extends to professions and relationships. I also liked the added details of a one-child policy and the generational cleanse. It's a brutal system that only supports the Premes so it was easy to see how Eve would be willing to risk her life to get out of there. I'm not gonna lie - the relationship was a bit insta-lovey, but it did grow on me after a while. I think that's why this book was more in the 3-star realm for me - I like to be swept off my feet in dystopias. Four and Peeta delivered that for me, but this relationship was a bit too quick from the get go so Wren didn't give me the swoons. Overall, interesting enough to make me want to continue and it gave me the dystopia vibes I've been missing.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sara Zaninelli

    “Your eyes look like the sun.” • It’s been a while since I read a good dystopian and then this one arrived and I fell completely in love. The sun has become a gigantic fire ball that nobody can endure so humanity has decided to refuge underground. But even if life as we have always known it is over, injustices are not. Indeed compound Eleven is divided into 5 floors, the ones on the highest floors rule, the others obey and need to suffer cruelties every day. Eve is a fighter, her dad thought her l “Your eyes look like the sun.” • It’s been a while since I read a good dystopian and then this one arrived and I fell completely in love. The sun has become a gigantic fire ball that nobody can endure so humanity has decided to refuge underground. But even if life as we have always known it is over, injustices are not. Indeed compound Eleven is divided into 5 floors, the ones on the highest floors rule, the others obey and need to suffer cruelties every day. Eve is a fighter, her dad thought her long ago that this is the only way a second floor girl can survive and when she has the chance to fight a Preme (one of the 5th floor) she wants to enjoy the moment. Except that he is so much stronger and he wins, but he also turns out to be a gentleman fascinated by her fierceness and her uniqueness. Eve and Wren start having a relationship that neither of them expected but that changes their whole lives and I absolutely adored seeing them together. Wren is a cinnamon roll, always ready to protect her, and she is completely taken off guard by this. She has always been thought that to be strong you don’t need to rely on anyone and she fights so much this new feelings for him, but in the end she understands that being together and loving him makes her stronger, not weaker. Nonetheless Eve has a dream: escape Eleven and go outside, even if it will kill her it will be worth it because she will die free. After all, her life in that hole sucks and only one person can’t change her entire perspective, can’t he?!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Danyel

    Be still my dystopian heart 😍 I absolutely loved this book. The storyline was great (even though I did guess the plot twist, but the story did make me second guess myself a few times) and the world building was done really well. I easily pictured what compound Eleven and every room in it looked like. I loved Eve, a fierce female fighter that just wants to get out from under the cruel rule of Compound Eleven. She is strong, smart, loyal, and her character growth is incredible👌🏼 And then there’s Wr Be still my dystopian heart 😍 I absolutely loved this book. The storyline was great (even though I did guess the plot twist, but the story did make me second guess myself a few times) and the world building was done really well. I easily pictured what compound Eleven and every room in it looked like. I loved Eve, a fierce female fighter that just wants to get out from under the cruel rule of Compound Eleven. She is strong, smart, loyal, and her character growth is incredible👌🏼 And then there’s Wren, let me tell you about Wren. I am in love. Tall, dark, handsome, has some baggage, extremely protective (but in a super hot I know you can protect yourself, but you shouldn’t have to so I’ll kick everyone’s ass to make life easier for you kind of way), doesn’t care what others think, and is also super smart. Send me one of him wrapped in a bow please. I also really liked a bunch of the side characters, especially their friends, and their enemies...and by liked their enemies I mean I really hated them, but they were well written. I had to tell myself multiple times that I needed to put the book down because I had to go to sleep, or to work, or you know...to pay attention to Logan 😅 This was my fastest read in a long time because I never wanted to stop reading it and there were parts that I read more than once because I liked them so much. I honestly can’t wait for book two, and knowing it doesn’t release until September is going to kill me! 😭

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brook Obsessed

    A unique dystopian romance about what life within a caste system would look like in an underground living facility. A thought-provoking take on fighting for freedom and a stunning portrayal of bravery and young love. Eve has lived in Compound Eleven her entire life. The sun forced humans underground and people are grouped according to their worth. Eve, a fighter and Lower Mean, wants nothing more than to breakout of their facility and feel the sun on her face. But in her efforts to plan an escape A unique dystopian romance about what life within a caste system would look like in an underground living facility. A thought-provoking take on fighting for freedom and a stunning portrayal of bravery and young love. Eve has lived in Compound Eleven her entire life. The sun forced humans underground and people are grouped according to their worth. Eve, a fighter and Lower Mean, wants nothing more than to breakout of their facility and feel the sun on her face. But in her efforts to plan an escape, she meets Wren, a kind Preme who opens her eyes to new possibilities. Can Eve find freedom or will she choose to stay for her friends and family? Packed full of action, Eve and Wren take us on a journey through their loss, defiance, and fight to find freedom outside the confined walls of Compound Eleven. A vivid and dark picture of what it’s like to be controlled by government and the beauty of selfless love through all circumstances. A surprisingly additive read! I can’t wait to see where this one goes!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Heather Schreiber

    “Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above ones head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday and no tomorrow. To forget time, forget life, to be at peace.” Thank you NetGalley and Entangled Publishing, LLC for the advanced copy. Oh my goodness, what a page turner! A book with a dystopian, post apocalyptic feel. Sadly, it shows how society will always be divided. I love Eve, she is so strong and such a badass. Her friends as well. To live by a “Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above ones head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday and no tomorrow. To forget time, forget life, to be at peace.” Thank you NetGalley and Entangled Publishing, LLC for the advanced copy. Oh my goodness, what a page turner! A book with a dystopian, post apocalyptic feel. Sadly, it shows how society will always be divided. I love Eve, she is so strong and such a badass. Her friends as well. To live by a code of “we are survivors” must be so hard, but it keeps them going day by day. And Eve is so cunning, thinking of every possibility on how to get out. All the tragedies she encountered and yet she still remained caring, an overall good person. Those events could have turned her into a monster easily. Wren just makes my heart melt (and Eve should have given Addison a nice, broken nose). That ending should be a crime! Please get the next book out fast!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    2.5 stars. I received an advanced copy from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review. I was quite excited for this novel when I read the synopsis as I do quite like dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels. Although this novel has some good and interesting elements to it and it was clearly enjoyable enough for me to read through entirely, it had quite a few negative bits. First, I do love how strong Eve is as a female. I love that she is a boxer and damn good at it, however, with her physical str 2.5 stars. I received an advanced copy from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review. I was quite excited for this novel when I read the synopsis as I do quite like dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels. Although this novel has some good and interesting elements to it and it was clearly enjoyable enough for me to read through entirely, it had quite a few negative bits. First, I do love how strong Eve is as a female. I love that she is a boxer and damn good at it, however, with her physical strengths she seems to have quite a few weaknesses that come with it. To include, she is not likable AT ALL. She is a character who I never really cared about and she is unrelentingly selfish and genuinely ONLY seems to care about herself! Until, literally, the last few chapters and NOW she's having some realization...and yet continues to move forward in her selfish ways. Second, the love story was sweet and unfolded well, however, in between the love story the chapters seem to drone on and give so many unnecessary details. I feel this novel could have been better and felt like it had more substance if it had not been so damn wordy. I had greatly hoped with the beginning and length of the novel that this would be a standalone, alas, it is not. If the novel had not been so wordy I feel like I would be excited to continue to read, however, the length and lack of substance makes me feel less excited to try to pick up a sequel (and likely a third...).

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult / SyFy *Rating* 3.0 *Thoughts* Escaping Eleven is the first installment in author Jerri Chisholm's Eleven trilogy. Four generations ago, Earth was rendered uninhabitable, the sun too hot, the land too barren. Those who survived were forced underground, where civilization divided into compounds. In Compound Eleven, only the cruel survive. Fighting is entertainment, violence is a way of life, and hierarchy is everything. For the Primes who inhabit the fifth floor *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult / SyFy *Rating* 3.0 *Thoughts* Escaping Eleven is the first installment in author Jerri Chisholm's Eleven trilogy. Four generations ago, Earth was rendered uninhabitable, the sun too hot, the land too barren. Those who survived were forced underground, where civilization divided into compounds. In Compound Eleven, only the cruel survive. Fighting is entertainment, violence is a way of life, and hierarchy is everything. For the Primes who inhabit the fifth floor, life is comfortable. For the Lower and High Means and the Denominators who live on the floors below, it is anything but. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sara Zaninelli

    “Your eyes look like the sun.” • It’s been a while since I read a good dystopian and then this one arrived and I fell completely in love. The sun has become a gigantic fire ball that nobody can endure so humanity has decided to refuge underground. But even if life as we have always known it is over, injustices are not. Indeed compound Eleven is divided into 5 floors, the ones on the highest floors rule, the others obey and need to suffer cruelties every day. Eve is a fighter, her dad thought her l “Your eyes look like the sun.” • It’s been a while since I read a good dystopian and then this one arrived and I fell completely in love. The sun has become a gigantic fire ball that nobody can endure so humanity has decided to refuge underground. But even if life as we have always known it is over, injustices are not. Indeed compound Eleven is divided into 5 floors, the ones on the highest floors rule, the others obey and need to suffer cruelties every day. Eve is a fighter, her dad thought her long ago that this is the only way a second floor girl can survive and when she has the chance to fight a Preme (one of the 5th floor) she wants to enjoy the moment. Except that he is so much stronger and he wins, but he also turns out to be a gentleman fascinated by her fierceness and her uniqueness. Eve and Wren start having a relationship that neither of them expected but that changes their whole lives and I absolutely adored seeing them together. Wren is a cinnamon roll, always ready to protect her, and she is completely taken off guard by this. She has always been thought that to be strong you don’t need to rely on anyone and she fights so much this new feelings for him, but in the end she understands that being together and loving him makes her stronger, not weaker. Nonetheless Eve has a dream: escape Eleven and go outside, even if it will kill her it will be worth it because she will die free. After all, her life in that hole sucks and only one person can’t change her entire perspective, can’t he?!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bookish Heidi

    This book gave me serious Divergent vibes and I am here for it! Divergent mixed with something I can't put my finger on at the moment. Eve is such a flawed character and those are my favorite. Eve lives in Compound 11. One of the underground compounds built by rich people when the sun decided to burn up the world. It consists of 5 floors, with the rich people being on the top and poor people on the bottom. They aren't allowed to intermingle unless they're in the fighting ring. That's where Eve m This book gave me serious Divergent vibes and I am here for it! Divergent mixed with something I can't put my finger on at the moment. Eve is such a flawed character and those are my favorite. Eve lives in Compound 11. One of the underground compounds built by rich people when the sun decided to burn up the world. It consists of 5 floors, with the rich people being on the top and poor people on the bottom. They aren't allowed to intermingle unless they're in the fighting ring. That's where Eve meets Wren and how this story begins. He's a Preme and she's a lower mean (second floor) and she hopes to whoop his pretty boy self. Instead he beats her to a pulp and a friendship begins. Compound 11 is an awful place. People are starved, beaten, shot, etc. Their prime punishment is sending people outside to let the sun burn them up. And Eve dreams of one day seeing what it looks like aboveground. She becomes obsessed with the idea and plans to escape, one way or another. Will burning up under the suns brutal rays be worth seeing freedom for the first time in her life?

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