Annotation: In the year 2032, sixteen-year-old Eve is preparing for graduation from School, a place she has been living with other girls her age since a deadly plagued wiped out most of the world’s population years earlier. When Eve finds out the truth about her future holds post-graduation, however, she escapes and ventures into the wild trying to survive in a world full of broken down buildings, vicious packs of wild animals, and savage gangs of brutal men.
Personal thoughts: Although I did enjoy this book, I couldn’t help but think for most of it, “Wow, this reminds of me ‘insert name of other novel.’” There was so much overlap for me with other young adult dystopian literature that I couldn’t really get into the story. I do realize that it is common for many YA novels to have similar concepts, themes, etc., and for that reason I think that the Eve series can be easily enjoyed by many readers who are really into the genre. It would make an ideal read-alike for fans of Hunger Games or Divergent especially. Even though I was not the hugest fan, I do plan to pick up the sequel when it’s released in July. I want to see what direction the series takes.
Plot summary: The year is 2032, and most of the world’s population has been wiped out by a deadly plague sixteen years earlier. To try and reestablish order, the King of New America has formed Schools: places for young orphaned girls to live and become educated, hoping one day to work in a trade in the City of Sand. Sixteen-year-old Eve has been a student in such a school for ten years since her mother succumbed to the plague. Intelligent and disciplined, Eve is her class’ valedictorian, charged with the honor of leading her friends “across the bridge” to their new residence where they will learn their trade. The night before graduation, however, Eve learns the terrible truth about what happens to the graduates once they cross the bridge: they are turned into broodmares, impregnated over and over again to anonymously repopulate New America. Eve is horrified and escapes the walls of the School to try and reach Califia, a place that is said to be free and beyond the reach of the King. Pursued by government troops and struggling to survive in the wild, Eve encounters Arden, another runaway student from her School, and the pair, though former rivals, agree to travel to Califia together. Having been taught from an early age to fear all men except the King, Eve and Arden are terrified when they encounter Caleb, the first boy of their own age they have ever seen, who saves them one night from a vicious bear attack. As Eve gets to know Caleb, she finds herself experiencing something they didn’t teach her about in School: love. Will Eve’s newfound feelings get in the way of her making it safely to Califia?
Review: Dystopian literature seems to be getting an increasingly sturdy foothold in young adult literature, and the addition of Anna Carey’s new series Eve further cements the genre as a literary powerhouse. The concepts in the novel have some degree of overlap with most other dystopian stories available: a plague has wiped out the globe leaving North America a barren wasteland. A rigid society has formed to help keep order in an otherwise chaotic world. A beautiful and intelligent girl finds herself meeting a handsome ruffian in the wilderness who teaches her how to survive. Unfortunately for Eve, there is very little new material in the plot. The one concept that is perhaps the most interesting and stands out in the novel is the idea of the girls being taught that men are not to be trusted. This was an intriguing thought, and one that was explored later in the romance between Eve and Caleb. The novel also makes mention of many classic works of literature that most teen readers will be able to understand and appreciate. Overall, Eve is entertaining, but there are many other series available that capture the excitement of the dystopian genre more successfully. The second novel in the series, Once, is set to be released July 3, 2012.
Reading level: Grade 7+
Similar titles: The Chemical Garden trilogy by Lauren DeStefano, Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel, The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch, Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky, Legend by Marie Lu, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi.
Themes: Dystopian, plague, post-apocalyptic, oppression, love.
Awards/Reviews: Positive review from Lauren Kate, author of Fallen.
Series Information: First installment in Eve series. Second novel, Once, set to be released July 3, 2012.
- Why do you think the students at Eve’s school were taught to fear men?
- If you were Eve, would you have left School after finding out the truth? Why or why not?
- Why do you think Eve and Arden didn’t get along? What changed their relationship?
- Do you think Leif is a protagonist or antagonist? Why?
- Why do you think the King wanted Eve so much?
- Were you happy with Eve’s choice at the end of the novel? Why or why not?