Friday, January 13, 2012

Review: Eve by Anna Carey


Eve by Anna Carey

Series: Eve (#1)
Pages: 318
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: October 4th, 2011
IBSN: 9780062048509

Where do you go when nowhere is safe?

Sixteen years after a deadly virus wiped out most of Earth’s population, the world is a perilous place. Eighteen-year-old Eve has never been beyond the heavily guarded perimeter of her school, where she and two hundred other orphaned girls have been promised a future as the teachers and artists of the New America. But the night before graduation, Eve learns the shocking truth about her school’s real purpose—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 Arden, her former rival from school, and 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.

Orphaned like so many others after a virus wiped out most of the world, Eve has spent most of her life in an isolated all-girl boarding school. Before graduation, she finds that her future isn't the one she's been convinced of -- there's no trade to learn, no life in the city. So she escapes into the wild, valedictorian Eve who knows nothing of the world besides the propaganda she's been fed, and soon finds out that survival is going to be harder than she could have imagined.

My main motivation for reading Eve was that I wanted to figure out its gimmick. It sounded like any other dystopia in the blurb, with the token future world post dramatic population decrease rather shallow in execution. But there's always a catch. And so it is that in Carey's dystopian world, women and men are illogically segregated.

So the world is apparently approximately 98% decimated, which still leaves the population of a large country, and rather than banding together into average-sized cities and trying to live as normally as possibly they can, the solution is 
(I don't feel like I'm spoiling anything you find out just a few dozen pages in) to put women in battery farms and try to get our seven billion back as soon as possible. It made no sense to try to rebuild civilization on this instilled apprehensiveness of the opposite gender and on drastic means to boost a population still too large to make extinction a serious risk.

Still going with the illogical, a romance is formed, with complete disregard for the setting's ridiculous customs. Eve spent her whole life learning the dangers of men, without having ever met a single one personally. Even in realising so much of her school's teaching was at least somewhat false, there is no way -- absolutely none -- that she could learn to trust a man in such a short amount of time. Even without the psychological implausibility, her relationship with Caleb was rushed and without chemistry and his attraction to her was founded on what, that she was the only girl he'd ever met?

And for a namesake novel, it's expected that Eve be somehow notable or memorable, but she doesn't have a strong voice or anything particularly unique about her. She has the scared, determined, unrealistically selfless personality of dozens of Harper heroines before her, the kind that I'd have to scroll up to the blurb to remember if it weren't made so obvious.

Eve is a book best left to the kind of person who generally exclusively reads the popular hyped new releases. I'd call my problems with it a failure to suspend disbelief, but it was more than the idea at the center of Eve is so implausible it was silly, and it couldn't at least compensate for in the way others like Delirium did.


Cait said...

I think many people have felt the same way about this as you have, and I did as well. It's an empty book; it doesn't create any emotions in the reader and leaves you feeling slightly dissatisfied when you finish it.

Jessica@Booked Up! said...

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Ελλάδα said...

Eve and Arden have been raised to fear men. That in itself was interesting, but then when they decide to trust Caleb and the rest of the guys in his adopted family. I liked that evolution, especially on Eve's part. 4) How all of the characters, not just Eve and Caleb, are learning how to love, and what love is, in a place where love has become obsolete.

Canada said...

Eve is one of those books you secretly want to read, but end up debating with yourself after reading all those mixed reviews. But let me tell you: Eve was a pretty satisfying read.

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