Eve by Anna Carey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
I really liked this story a lot- I felt it had a lot of adventure and heart. There have been a lot of dystopian novels out this year, but I thought that this was a good one. This is set not too far into the future where a plague has killed off the majority of the world's population. I thought that the back story, the reasons why, and history of the spread of the original devastating virus was well explained.
The main character Eve has been raised in a walled off school for girls, cared for and educated, but has never seen a boy and has been taught to fear them. Eve discovers, by accident, that after they graduate they are going to be kept in a prison and used for breeding, so she escapes the school the night before graduation with one of her classmates Arden and starts to run. The focus of the book is not about the society, or the girls kept for breeding, but about Eve's new life on the run, as a fugitive hiding from the soldiers who are pursuing her, and about the people that she meets along the way.
I thought that Eve was very sweet but naturally naive, but I liked her a lot and sympathised with what she was going through. She fends for herself in the woods and manages to hide out in a few abandoned houses, when she has never had to do anything for herself before, and copes well with how devastating it is when everything she thinks she knows is wrong. She is very lucky in that the first boy she meets is Caleb- someone with a good heart who is willing to try and help her even when doing so puts himself in danger. Eve is prepared to be afraid of Caleb and immediately assumes the worst of him, but Caleb is one of the nice guys and his humourous attempts to reassure her added a breath of fresh air to the story.
Caleb takes her to a secret hideout of a kind of resistance movement where they are safe from the soldiers, but where she is also met with suspicion. As she tries to help and fit in, she gradually feels more at home there. At one point she becomes a figure like Wendy to the Lost Boys with the children of the resistance in hiding- she starts to teach them to read and civilises them. Eve is spoilt by having Caleb as a friend, and starts to assume that she has been lied to completely about all guys, letting her guard down a little, and making herself vulnerable again. This book is suspenseful, tender, harsh and romantic and has the best and worst of human nature shown in it. There are betrayals and cruelty and heartbreaks, but also acts of bravery and selflessness, and a determination of spirit. Eve is a survival story, and a love story, and a story of struggle, and Eve and Caleb fight soldiers, and hide, and develop codes and try to find each other again. Their goal is a place called Califia, told about in stories, where they will be safe from the soldiers.
Although I liked this, the book was, however, very short and could have been expanded upon a little more. Even though this is the first book in a series, this still felt a little like the skeleton of a story and could have done with a little more flesh to it. I enjoyed it though, and will read the sequel when it comes out.
Thanks to HarperCollins and netgalley for the advance copy.