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