Author: Anna Carey
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: Eve Trilogy (Book 1)
Publication Date: October 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 318 Pages
ISBN-10: 0062048503 (Harper Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-0062048509 (Harper Teen)
Reviewed by: Emmy
The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.
Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust…and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.
Quick & Dirty: Eve has an interesting premise but falls short in the execution with its paragon-love-interest and convenient plot problem.
Opening Sentence: By the time the sun set over the fifty-foot perimeter wall, the School yard was covered with twelfth year students.
So I made the mistake of asking other reviewers about Eve before I picked it up — and there are some seriously mixed reviews out there. Personally, I didn’t see the novel as misogynistic but a lot of others did. The orphans left by the virus are sent to Schools, separate ones for girls and boys, and it’s at Eve’s school I think most of their problems lie. The School is a lot more like a finishing school from the Victorian Era, but we know the valedictorian the previous year wanted to become a doctor — it’s not that their getting no education because they’re women, it’s that they’re getting a different kind. Which is entirely the point.
When Eve learns her School isn’t the haven of safety and scholarship she was raised to believe, she flees the night of her graduation. I was very surprised she found it so easy to abandon the other girls in the School to their fates, but that was the smallest of plot holes I found. Turns out, almost everything Eve’s been told at School is a lie. But there’s a place on the coast called Califia, where she’ll be protected from Schools and the King — if she can survive the journey there.
Eve’s character is the mothering-type — probably another reason people found Eve misogynistic. She’s used to being responsible, to taking care of people, which is something of a hindrance in the dog-eat-dog world outside. I mentioned there were some plot holes in Eve, and this is where one crops up. For someone who’s been raised on horror stories about men and what they’ll do to women, Eve seems to trust Caleb pretty fast. I felt like even if you realize your School was lying to you about your future, 10 years of psychological manipulation can’t just be willed away.
Caleb and our other secondary characters are still in desperate need of fleshing out. Caleb is a swoony paragon of wilderness survival who will do anything for our heroine. I liked him, he was perfect, but almost too perfect. I loved reading about him, don’t get me wrong, but I definitely questioned the reality of his situation as well as his friends’. They made everything go very conveniently for Eve, gently moving along the plot and guiding her way to the next step. I can’t imagine it would ever be so easy. (But then, this is not a long book.)
The writing was solid, but I wish Carey had delved deeper into the characters — especially since we don’t get a lot of worldbuilding. Eve is stranded outside civilization and as such, we have very little idea of what’s going on in King’s City. I’m hoping in Once, which partially takes place in the city, will help ground the story in a setting and bring us characters we can really invest in.
The gang came closer. I kept at the lock, pulling and hitting it with my palm, hoping it would break. Please open, I begged, please. I glanced around the corner of the shack again and saw the men beneath the gas station awning. They huddled around the deer. One hacked at the animal, cutting its coat away like a person skinning fruit. It bucked and twisted. It was still alive.
I tugged on the door, suddenly wishing Headmistress would barrel down the broken road and the guards would pull me onto the bed of a government Jeep. We would go back the way I’d come, the men shooting at us, until they were tiny black dots on the horizon. Until I was safe.
But my fantasy evaporated, like fog burned off by the sun. Headmistress wasn’t my protector, and School was no longer safe.
Nowhere was safe.
3. Rise (April 2, 2013)
FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Eve. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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