Eve by Anna Carey

Book Title/Author: Eve by Anna Carey
Publisher/Year: HarperTeen 2011
Genre: YA dystopian/post-apocalyptic
Series: Yes. Eve is book #1. The second book Once: An Eve Novel is out July 3rd 2012.
Other Books From Author: Sloane Sisters series

Amazon | Goodreads | Anna Carey’s Website

Disclosure: The publisher sent it to me in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way  swayed or affected my opinions on the book. My honesty & credibility as a reader is more important to me than that.

It’s 2032 and 98% of the population has been wiped out thanks to a deadly virus and complications from the vaccine created to stop it. Eve is one of the survivors living in the New America and lives in a secluded all-female boarding school with other orphans where they are groomed to be teachers and artists and the like. Eve’s all set to graduate and start her training to be an artist until she learns the very shocking reality of what these schools are really about and what happens to graduates when they leave. Armed with this knowledge, she decides to escape – even if that means facing a world of unknown after the aftermath of the virus. A world she’s been taught to fear full of men, rabid dogs & gangs that will bring harm to her. 

I absolutely devoured this book. It was undeniably a white knuckles, bated breath kind of page-turner for me. I was so enraptured into this landscape that Anna Carey paints in Eve. I could see every rusted bridge,  every house that had been overcome with the wild & scenes of every day life that had just been abandoned and left there — just waiting for their owners to come back. It was grim, unsettling & downright chilling. Eve’s escape into this world, contrasted with her memories from her childhood & time at her school, highlights this even more. I read this book so quickly as I wanted to learn more about this world through Eve’s struggle to escape and find safety & answers to what she had learned her real fate was.  Every twist and turn and jolt of action had me reeling until the very end. An ending at which left me screaming, “WAHHHH!” and so very happy I had Eve’s sequel – Once – in my possession.

The romance of this book is one that I loved but I didn’t necessarily believe fully which I’ll explain below. The good part of it, for me, was how pure and innocent it felt. How it can just knock you off your feet and delude your senses. I really loved Caleb and I just got the warm and fuzzies watching her experience these feelings of love/lust for Caleb. I also thought, beyond the Caleb/Eve relationship, that I just adored Eve’s relationship with the young boys. Oh, my heart. Parts of this book, in relation to love, were just SO SO beautiful.

“I had once read, in one of those pre-plague books in the library, that love was bearing witness. That it was the act of watching someone’s life, of simply being there to say: you’re life is worth seeing.”

But, friends, I have to honest with you. I had some issues with aspects of this book despite how quickly I devoured it & how I truly did enjoy it. It’s one of those books that felt like a whirlwind summer fling. It was this passionate, dizzying and thrilling ride but when I sat down to think about it and digest…I realized I saw some major problems that I couldn’t ignore — no matter how much I had been blinded by my thrill ride with the story. It wasn’t as perfect as I initially thought it to be when I was all lovedrunk.

Eve herself confused me. I got the sense, from the short glimpse of her life at school, that she was so naive and brainwashed. So I had my eyebrows raised when she so easily got the cajones (seriously, like 30 pages in) to even get out of bed and snoop around..let alone actually rebel and try to escape. I felt like there was nothing about her that we had learned that made me BELIEVE that she’d do that.  Everything we had been shown about her seemed contrary to her character…but at the same time this big REVEAL was so so soon in the book that she didn’t even feel developed to me yet. We just knew what we were told — top student, naive, idealistic, etc.  Granted, I suppose if I saw what she did and realized my fate, that I’d run like hell too. But I just even thought she was too brainwashed and naive that she’d think there was some explanation for it and not leave like a bat out of hell.

The OTHER part of her that confused me was that, after a lifetime of being indoctrinated with this fear of men, she pretty easily trusted Caleb. I mean, yeah, she was wary but I don’t feel like she was wary enough as someone who was so fearful of men and hadn’t seen a man in so long. At the same time, I thought that maybe her being repressed from the male species for so long made her even MORE susceptible to that curious attraction that just makes you fall head over heels & giddy. I think of those times in my life and so I can KIND of see it. It still made it hard for me to fully believe because I just felt like everything we knew of her just unraveled. I didn’t believe that someone that had been so brainwashed would just get over it that quickly. And also, you are running for your life because of what you’ve found out and you are in danger yet all you can think about is a boy?? More than anything else.

I just feel like, because the revelation happened so soon, I never got to really see WHO Eve was. I just saw a girl who were were told was one way and all we see is something totally different VERY quickly..and I never felt much growth or character development that made up for that.

Also, without getting to spoilery, there were some confusing parts about the setup of this world and why things are the way they are. How did the virus come to be? What did the antidote do? Why do these girls get this intense schooling if their fate is what it is? I have a lot of why’s about the logistics of all of it that I’m hoping will be answered.

My final thought: Eve kept me turning the pages with it’s chilling premise, vivid world building & action-packed journey. I couldn’t put it down and it broke my heart in all the right places. While I really enjoyed my whirlwind inhalation of this book, there are some character development issues with Eve, the main character, that I just couldn’t ignore, and some really hole-y world building in terms of WHY the world is the way it is.  It was a good, enjoyable dystopian read that I think those who are loving  the fast paced, romance inclusive variety of YA dystopian will like — if they can look past some of the development issues.I liked it but I can’t say I thought it to be a 5 star, perfect read as many others did! I’d probably recommend some other dystopian books before this one!


Review On A Post-It


You May Also Like: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, Delirium by Lauren Oliver

What did YOU think about this book?? Let’s talk about it! If you haven’t read it, is it on your TBR?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she’s actually that old. When she’s not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.


  1. I wasn’t as big a fan as you of this one, but I did have the same problems. So much of this was unbelievable to me, even after suspending my disbelief for the whole premise of the book.

    • Yeah, it was one of those times that I just inhaled the book and was blinded by the problems…until I sat down and really thought about the world and its setup. I just didn’t get WHY some of the things in the world were the way they were. BUT, all that being said, I couldn’t deny how thoroughly I enjoyed reading this book. Hence my rambly, confusing review. haha.

  2. This is a very well articulated and thorough review of your feelings. Sometimes books which are not perfect, or annoying just delight you anyway — you can’t help it!

    • Thank you! This review took me SO LONG to write. I really had such confusing thoughts towards it. I can’t help but be honest about both sides of it — how much I tore through this book but also the majorly big problems for me that put a severe dent in my “OMG PERFECT!” book.

  3. Full disclosure: I didn’t read your whole review because I’m about 2/3 of the way through the audiobook and I am deathly afraid of spoilers (I was just introduced to a new character: Fletcher).

    At this point in the book, I still really dislike Eve. She’s whiny, annoying, spoiled, and has virtually no redeeming qualities. She is quite naive. I even want to call her stupid in many places.

    But at the same time, this world that Anna Carey built is fascinating. Even through my dislike of the main character, I have bonded with supporting characters. I want to know that the world will get better for Arden, Benny, and Silas. So I will finish this book. And I will read the next one.

    But man. I really dislike Eve.

    • Mandi — YES YES YES. I felt the SAME way about Eve through most of the book. It’s funny because I can LOVE a book and hate the main character. It’s happened so many times. It’s not even how annoying I find Eve but I just feel we are told she’s one thing and then, without any warning, she becomes something else.

      I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU. So many excellent supporting characters to care about and root for. I love Arden and Benny and Silas. All excellent characters who are so memorable. There is one part with Benny that breaks my heart but I can’t remember WHERE it is so I don’t want to spoil you haha.

      • I’ll stop back by after I finish it – should be by the end of the week (I only get to listen when I’m in the car).

        • Excellent! Can’t wait to discuss with you!

          • Just finished.

            Can I just say – that ending was HORRIBLE.

            I never did like Eve. She’s stupid. What kind of person would use a five year old code without even considering the possibility that it’s been broken?

            Marjorie and Otis 🙁


            Still – when does the next one come out?

            • RIGHT?? I couldn’t believe it ended there!!

              And yes..I couldn’t believe she would have done that! I WAS SO MAD AT HER. That scene wish Marjorie and Otis made me so so sad. I could picture it so clearly.

              The next one is out in July! I have the ARC. I can send it to you when I read it…which I think will be soon!

  4. YES, I agree with this. I read it in a whirlwind and looking back yes, definitely some problems, but I don’t care because I was so breathless while reading and I love love love that feeling! <3

    • LOVE THIS. That’s exactly my feeling about feeling breathless while reading this! I tried so hard to show that in my review, because there is no denying how you FEEL while reading it, but I also needed to be fair about my reflections about reading it. It was SUCH a hard review to write. That’s why I quickly stopped doing star ratings when I started blogging…TOO HARD.

  5. I need to read this one! I feel like if you had issues, I will too, but if it’s such a page turner, I don’t think I’ll mind! Definitely reading in the next few months!

  6. I just plain old didn’t like this one. I didn’t like how the plot was practically just a hook to get you to read the next book and I thought the character development was so screwed up. These are the types of things that I’m like “UM, editor? Did you SEE this novel?”

    • That’s SO funny you say that. I thought the same thing…like didn’t THEY ask the same questions about some of the character development & plot that I did?? I think I def enjoyed this one more than you did but I agree with you on both points. I guess the big thing for me was the character development.

  7. I’m curious to see how I feel about this one. I can usually look past flawed characters or characters I just plain don’t like if the plot is good enough. Since you say the plot sucked you in I have a feeling I’ll like Eve, but I look forward to reading it no matter what. Great review :]

    • That’s usually how I am too! I’ve read lots of books and loved hem with characters I don’t like. This was more the character development for me! Hopefully you can look past it and fly through it like I did!

  8. I’ve heard about the weird character development bit before, but I’m SO GLAD you enjoyed the world-building, the progression of the story. That’s nearly as important as characters. But, I’m still a little wary being the character girl that I am. I like the idea of first love, and that one line you shared – BEAUTIFUL. Seriously, touched something in me when I read that. I think I’ll go into this one with expectations a little lower and just go with it, see what happens.

  9. Honestly, despite all the reviews I’ve read, I wasn’t intrigued enough to go out and get this book. It does sound interesting, and as a fan of dystopian novels, I will probably get around to reading it… eventually. But I appreciate the honesty in your review, especially when you mentioned character development (which is often a make-it-or-break-it thing for me when it comes to books).


  1. […] world in Eve by Anna Carey — In this post-apocolyptic/dystopian story set in 2032, the world is pretty desolate after a […]

  2. Book Haul says:

    […] really cute and light! Saving for after I read something super heavy! Rise by Anna Carey: I LIKED Eve (had some issues but DEVOURED it) and have been waiting to read Once until closer to Rise coming […]

  3. […] Other Series For May Like:  Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (Through the Ever Night – book 2- was AMAZING!), Matched by Ally Condie, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, Eve by Anna Carey […]

  4. […] Eve by Anna Carey: I would never want to live in this post-apocalyptic world! This plague happens and it wipes out SO many people and obviously life is not so great for those left behind. I don’t want to give away what the main character finds out about what is really going on in her all girl school and what happens to the boys but yeah…NO THANK YOU. I would jump off a bridge the first moment I was free. […]