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.
In this epic new series, Anna Carey imagines a future that is both beautiful and terrifying. Readers will revel in Eve’s timeless story of forbidden love and extraordinary adventure.
OPINION: 5 STARS
The Short Version:
Enchanting, wowing and brilliant, Eve builds a world that is so unlike our own yet terrifyingly easy to imagine. With stellar characterization and development, there is a very relatable and realistic note to this one despite the setting. Trying strong and intelligent roots to what we know now, and testing her characters to their limits, Carey’s debut is bold, clever and heartbreaking.
The Extended Version:
Eve is a clear product of her upbringing, her mind full of hope and wonderment at what is to come when she moves to the new building that should be the equivalent of college. The moment she finds out the truth comes early in the book, and is gutting enough to last throughout the entire book. Once thrust out into the forest and world beyond, it becomes quickly clear just how unequipped she truly is. She holds a certain naivety, both in regards to the world around her and the people she meets, yet she is malleable enough to shift and accept that what she’s always been taught is not necessarily right or the truth. She is analytic and perceptive, and makes these constant mental comparisons that truly drive her character in fantastic ways. Though she certainly her and shows her weaknesses, she has an abundance of strengths, both obvious and subtle, and her refusal to give up on herself and others makes her a genuine, engaging character.
Caleb is the kind of guy who’s cocky without actually really being cocky, but has this great self assurance and doesn’t hold too many regrets towards his actions. Protective and strong, Caleb is an extraordinary result of the way he’s been forced to live mixed with his natural personality and protectiveness. Able to hold close what’s dear to him, while still making room for others and new feelings, he makes for the perfect love interest who is full of charm.
There are references peppered throughout the book in regards to not only points in our history but to books already published. From Lord of the Flies to the Underground Railroad, Carey has brilliantly crafted a story that is easy to imagine, easy to understand the scope of, while still leaving readers breathless. Such subtle points add an inexplicable amount of depth to this book, and the way each one shapes and changes Eve adds further intimacy to the book. Shifting the way each book reference is used and viewed by the characters, adding to the concept of the world we are fed is not always truth. Unafraid to keep things in a logical progression, and with some character deaths hard hitting and gutting, Carey doesn’t sugar coat anything.
Notable, too, is the romantic angle of this book, coming across almost as a non-romance for much of the book. Caleb and Eve fall in a very easy way, something that seems to happen more than be this earth shattering change. Their friendship grows and develops in a strong way, lending itself to something more happening, while still keeping in line with not only their characters but the story and going ons as a whole. Though certainly holding some strong romantic elements, some parts more than others, this is not a book built solely on romance, making each note even sweeter.
This one has the kind of plot where at any given moment, there is not necessarily a lot going on, yet it all ties together and happens in a way that is powerful enough to keep readers engaged and on the edge. Strongly developing the characters, and having the direct implications and results of the events of the book falling back onto them, Carey does a remarkable job of blending her plot points into the story of each individual character, yet never takes the focus away from Eve. Building up to an emotional and wowing ending, this one most definitely pulls readers in on page one and doesn’t let go. The world building is stellar, definitely not the world we know, yet easy to see and imagine. Delving into some seemingly disgusting concepts and post-devastation effects, and twisting truths we know into something that can still be seen as fact, Carey holds nothing back.
Compelling and infatuating, Eve is an amazing debut that will leave readers eager for more. Setting things up for what is guaranteed to be a stunning next installment, without giving too much hints at what, exactly, is to come, Carey’s talent shines in every aspect of this book. Beautifully written, brilliant in concept, and with absolutely stunning characterization, Eve is easily one of the best books of the year.
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publication Date: October 4, 2011