Eve by Anna Carey narrated by Tavia Gilbert
Published by Harper Audio on October 4th 2011
Series: Eve #1
Genres: Dystopia, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Length: 336 pages or 6 hours, 30 minutes
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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.
Eve was a difficult book.
I wanted to like it, but somehow, it didn’t add up. Eve is about post-apoctaylptic America, after a plague has wiped out most of the population. Orphans, in particular, have been subject to the cruel regime and have become servants to build and repopulate. The boys start in when they are young, but the girls are raised in the shadow of false hope. Eve, our main character, is the smartest girl at her school when by chance someone who hates her reveals the whole dastardly truth and not only does she manage to pretty easily run away, but she also falls in love, gets people killed, and eventually gets to safety at the sacrifice of many others.
Oh, and did I mention? She is most desired of all women by the King himself.
The writing in this book is on and off.
There were some moments in this book that were raw and gritty and perfect and terrifying and I loved them. Scenes where the boys are hunting, or the mountain lions are tearing apart a carcass? I know it’s a bit morbid, but they’re written really well. Anna Carey should try her hand at horror rather than romance.
On the other hand, there were many more moments I found myself questioning the direction of the story as well as the author’s research. There were little things. The first one I noticed was the beginning of the book where a pregnant girl is described as having a stomach that protruded three feet in front of her. I assume the hyperbole was there to make it grotesque, but three feet is quite a distance and I’m not sure that’s humanly possible. Then later a bear fell off a ravine. Also some of the setting seemed a little off for Arizona. I haven’t been, so I may be completely wrong, but isn’t Arizona more of a dry climate? Repeated descriptions of forests felt extremely New England-esque.
As far Eve goes… she’s perfect and it’s horrible.
I don’t usually cheer for the MC anyway, but Eve is Class A Mary Sue. She’s the “smartest”. She’s so pretty everyone wants her or falls in love with her. Everyone is willing to lay down their lives for her. And she’s so stupid that she is willing to get four people killed so she can tell a boy she loves him. Not to mention that she was raised from a child to believe men are evil and within ten minutes of meeting one, she’s in love.
I find it really difficult to care about a character who doesn’t have any common sense, guile, or genuine remorse.
Overall, this is a two-star book.
The plot was jumpy. The first half of it there were a lot of pointless things that happened to establish a romantic relationship. Carey could have developed this into a really interesting post-apocalyptic survival story, but she went with teen romance instead. Put that together with the questionable details in her writing and the insufferable characters, and I’m out. The one saving grace of this book was the idea. It begins with a quote from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and had it chosen to do so, an interesting tale could have been made of women’s rights and struggles in a post-apocalyptic world. I feel like the ideas were twisted to appeal to a fluffier audience, and it’s a shame. I’d’ve liked to have seen what this book could have been without the romance.
For this series, I’m going to say “thanks, no thanks” to the rest of the books. Eve didn’t really grow as a character at all – she just changed her mind. I’m not intrigued enough to continue.
People who just want some gosh darn googly-eyed romance in a dystopian wasteland. I’d say consider picking it up if you’re a fan of The Hunger Games; it seems to fall in the same vein. Also, since everyone is all crazy about OMG IT’S JUST LIKE THE HANDMAID’S TALE! … Read The Handmaid’s Tale. I’m reading it now (didn’t realize the two were aligned until I started Eve) and other than dystopian women being considered baby machines, I don’t see the resemblance.
Overall GIF Mood?