Author: Anna Carey
Publication Date: 10/04/2011
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.Eve has never left the walls of her school, and never had a need to. Ever since she ended up there she's been a model student: top grades, is friendly and welcoming to her peers, and follows the guidelines of the School to the letter of the law. After she leaves the school she has plans of being an artist, cheering up people with her work. That is until on the eve (pun intended) of her graduation she finds out - with the aid of a classmate, Arden - that graduating from the School isn't all it's cracked up to be and escapes, leaving everything behind.
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 being hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.
As someone who lives for dystopian fiction, the idea of a virus and its ramifications on society sounded like something that I'd love to read. However, for me Eve was more of a story between two people that just happened to be set in a world where strange things were happening. The idea behind the book is that 98% of the population succumbed to the virus, leaving the country something of a barren wasteland, now ruled by a monarch. The premise was startling until Eve left the school; after that is where things began to fall apart for me. After stumbling upon Arden - in an awkward manner that disagrees with their first encounter earlier on - they literally are saved by a boy on a horse.
The boy, Caleb, ends up being Eve's way of figuring her new world out. This I have no problem with, but the idea that a girl - for she is definitely that, a girl - would willingly and so quickly begin a relationship with the first male she had ever seen is not only incredibly unlikely but it almost seems unhealthy. Beyond this, that their new group - composed of only boys plus Eve and Arden - would take a trip to an enemy bunker for candy, end up drinking alcohol and spending the night there is wholly unconscionable. Not only does it not make any sense for fear of having the soldiers return, but to so easily sleep so near intoxicated people did not sit well with me.
Not only did Eve make a lot of bad decisions, but for someone trapped beyond walls for over a decade of her life, her knowledge of small things outside appeared too extensive to be entirely believable. While this is a book that I had been waiting quite awhile for, unfortunately it's not one that I can say that I truly enjoyed. This is a quick, fairly fast-paced read that I think a lot of people will love, but I would have to qualify it as dystopian-lite. As of now I'm undecided on reading the sequel, although I'm slightly curious to see what happens in the evolution of Eve as a character.
This ARC was received from HarperTeen via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.