Some years after a plague killed everyone who received a certain vaccine, orphaned Eve is about to graduate from her all girls school (where students are taught about the evils of men) and cross the bridge to a new life. But when she gets a sneak peek at what that new life entails, she goes on the run, searching for a rumored safe haven. Along the way, she meets a boy and discovers that not all men are beasts after all.
I was excited to dive into this novel, and the first few chapters set up the situation and Eve’s character well. The big reveal of what drives Eve to run away is properly shocking, and opens up great possibilities for the story. Unfortunately, her method of escape creates a precedent of “easy outs” for her character whenever she finds herself in peril (read: often), robbing the narrative of much needed tension and urgency.
EVE is also an example of character taking a back seat to plot. Frustratingly, in many cases, Eve's choices may further the plot, but they do not ring true for her character. Is it believable that she would make the first move on Caleb so soon after a whole life of indoctrination against men? NO! Would a supposedly smart girl go with the boys to raid the storeroom of an enemy that is actively looking for her and then casually fall asleep there without being afraid that the enemy might come back? I should think not.
With an official summary that compares it to TWILIGHT and THE HUNGER GAMES, EVE promises more than it can deliver. The romance, while “forbidden” and sweet, never managed to make my heart race. Still, Carey’s writing is slick and she imbues Eve with an authentically earnest voice that was endearing enough for me to finish the book despite the bumpy plot.
EVE comes out in hardcover on October 4, 2011. Find out more about it at the publisher’s website.
Zombie Chickens Say: Entertaining, but in no way the second coming of THE HUNGER GAMES. Even if it’s not our favorite book ever, many early reviews are full of praise and didn’t seem to have the same frustrations we did.
Judge for yourself! HarperTeen has donated one ARC of EVE for a lucky Dystopian August fan. Since I’m taking care of the shipping, I’ll open this internationally. For a chance to win, fill out this form by August 27, 2011 at 11:59 pm CST.
Song for the Ultimate Dystopian Playlist: Pearl’s Dream by Bat for Lashes. Sample lyric: “There’s a place I must go, for my heart is a child that stumbles for the arms of the wild.”