Tuesday, August 30, 2011

ARC Review: EVE

The Book: EVE
The Author: Anna Carey
The Publisher: Harper Teen (an Imprint of Harper Collins)
Anticipated Release Date: October 4, 2011

Summary: 
In the year 2032, more than 98% of the world's population has been eradicated by both a deadly plague and the vaccine created to destroy the virus.  Now, New America is ruled by a controlling king who will stop at nothing to repopulate the earth.

Eighteen-year-old Eve is the best and the brightest of the newest crop of girls to finish School.  She has dreams of moving to the capital, the City of Sand, with her friends and becoming a famous artist.  But, on the eve of her graduation, she learns the horrible truth of what actually happens once she leads her class across the bridge and away from the School.  With the help of a teacher, she flees in the night, leaving behind all she's ever known to journey through wild lands in search of a place where she can survive.

Along the way, Eve meets up with Caleb, a boy who'd escaped from the boys' "School" years before and has been living in the wild ever since.  All her life, Eve has been kept away from boys and taught to fear them, but Caleb, with his soft smiles and easy laugh, slowly breaks down her defenses, and she begins to care for him. When the king sends soldiers out to hunt for Eve, Caleb vows to protect her, but Eve realizes she must choose between her love and both their lives.

My Thoughts:
I have to admit that right now, I'm pretty addicted to dystopian novels.  Some are great, some not so great.  And, EVE has tons of dystopian fun.  There's the evil dictator, who we don't actually meet in this installment, but he sounds cruel and oh-so-villiany.  There's the exploitation of the poor, the hungry, the huddled masses.  The rich who enjoy all the pleasures life can offer while they live in houses built on the blood, sweat, and tears of orphaned children.  There's the naive heroine, and her oh-so-dashing love interest.  And, of course, there's a well built world of fear and despair.

But, one thing all the good ones have going for them is a strong female lead.  A girl who kicks ass. One who survives.  One you want to cheer for.  One who is nothing like you, but exactly like the you you'd like to think you'd be in a similar situation.  While I adored EVE and flew right through it, I have to admit that sadly, Eve is not the kind of heroine I usually enjoy.  She suffers greatly from Bella syndrome. (i.e. helpless girl who can't save herself and must therefore rely on others to survive)

For me, it was Arden, Eve's not quite friend, and Caleb, Eve's wild boy toy who brought this book to life.  Arden was the gutsy, kickass and take names kind of girl that I wanted to root for.  And Caleb?  *sigh* *swoon*  Need I say more?  I just wish Eve had a little more gumption and did for herself so much more.  Fleshing her out more and making her more self-sufficient would've raised this novel from good, decent dystopian read to the level of novels like HUNGER GAMES and BLOOD RED ROAD.

If, like me, you devour dystopians by the dozen, EVE is a quick read that will satisfy your dystopian craving.