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. ~From GoodReads
Unlike approximately seventy-five percent (I made this number up) of other readers, I am not a big fan of dystopian books. I often find the plots to be formulaic and predictable. And although EVE may be follow that path, to some extent, I found the story to be engaging and beautifully written.
After most of the population was demolished by a plague, the orphaned children have been separated by gender. Eve, and all the girls around her, have been taught to fear boys and men. The girls are raised in a strict school setting, and then will move on to another school to learn their trade. Eve believes that once her training begins, she will become a true artist. What will actually happen is more like a nightmare. Unwilling to succumb to that life, Eve runs away, unsure of where she is going, but determined to try. When she meets Caleb, her eyes are opened to the fact that the people she trusted, not men, are the enemy.
This story is led by a remarkable heroine, Eve. I found her to be admirable, and relateable. Eve was intelligent and thoughtful. She doesn't waste time in denial, or not seeing the truth for what it is. She is ever-evolving. Her reaction to the horror of her world was realistic. She doesn't react like a cyborg when something bad happens. She does what most of us would do: curl up in a ball and cry, get the emotional breakdown out of the system, wipe the tears away and move forward as best we can.
The relationship between Eve and Caleb undergoes a natural progression. Though she is taught to fear all males, she's not blind. Eve can quickly see that Caleb is not her enemy. That doesn't mean that she throws herself on him at the first chance she get. They move ahead with caution, yet trust. It was a nice-building relationship that felt true.
EVE was a briskly-paced story. Anna Carey doesn't waste time, but dives quickly into the plot. I felt like I could never let my guard down, the action was constant. I loved that the story progressed so quickly. And the ending? Broke my heart. But not in a bad way. It was just so emotional and unexpected. I'm so happy I had book two, ONCE, to begin immediately.
EVE felt similar to UNDER THE NEVER SKY to me. I think if you enjoyed that story, you would enjoy this as well.
"Tomorrow, and the next day, and every day until we left I would send out more messages. My voice would echo in that cavern, the words wound together in coded sentences, recited over and over until they reached him, there in the night." (pg 251)
"In School, and out of School, I had believed that love was a liability - something that could be wielded against you. I began to weep, finally knowing the truth: love was death's only adversary, the only thing powerful enough to combat it's clawing, desperate grasp." (pg. 270)
Published October 4th 2011 by HarperTeen
You can purchase EVE at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Source: Personal Purchase.