Reviewed by Sara Padilla

When 17-year-old Joss is tossed off his bicycle unexpectedly, he wakes up in a hospital bed with severe injuries and an enlightened spirit. Suddenly able to hear a powerful and peaceful hum he calls the OM, Joss is faced with a world of possibility and happiness that he had previously not known.

Returning to school and home life, the influence of the OM is positive and profound. Joss’ mood is lighter and he is able to resolve conflict with former enemies. Unfortunately, there are those who would use the power of the OM for selfish reasons, and there is a dark power that exists beyond humanity that threatens to destroy everything that Joss and his friends hold dear, including the OM.

In an odd stroke of luck, Joss encounters two people who have created a mechanical device that allows others to experience the curious paradise the OM delivers. Word quickly spreads through the school about the magical device, and Joss must learn to harness and share the power of the OM in a responsible way, as well as convince his family that it is the right thing to do. But both of his parents are experiencing deeply felt grief due to the death of Joss’ brother Eli that occurred several months before the bike accident. Joss himself feels responsible for his brother’s death, and has not reached a place in his relationship with his parents where he can give or receive their love. Sussman’s novel highlights the struggle that bereaved parents and siblings experience and the journey toward a new life without a critical family member.

There are lighter moments in this easy-to-read book. Joss enjoys new friendships and discovers romance for the first time. He is a convincing, brooding adolescent boy who is learning more about the world than he ever thought possible. Crashing Eden is a quick and entertaining read, provided the reader is able to suspend disbelief completely.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Ms. Sara Padilla is a freelance writer and maintains a personal blog on family, health and wellness. She resides in the Pacific Northwest.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Michael Sussman. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.