Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (October 4, 2011)
Series: Eve #1
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Cover: This cover perfectly describes the book. The empty, bare bridge lacking anything attributed to human civilization is exactly what the read will find inside. I love the girl running from something towards a destination in the fog.
First Sentence: "By the time the sun set over the fifty-foot perimeter wall, the School lawn was covered with twelfth-year students."
Mini-Review: Eve is an addictive and beautiful debut about the horror of sickness and what fear breeds dotted by the kindness of others and the condition of the human spirit.
The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, 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 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.Review:
Eve is a dark look at what might happen if a virius killed most of the world's population, punctuated with light by glimmers of hope and the beauty of simple kindness. Eve and Caleb's deep emotional connection despite the odds they must overcome is addictively sweet and the world that Carey has created will have the reader hugging their clean bedsheets and craddling their packages of food. The horror of the situation dotted by the kindness of others and the condition of the human spirit makes for an addictive and beautiful debut.
Eve's growth throughout the story arc is absolutely astounding. The horrors she has witnessed coupled with an education that has taught her to fear men has her basically crippled in the beginning. As she learns to survive in a world outside her School's wall, her fear and naivety dissolve into resolve and intelligence. I liked how even though Eve was taught how to see things, when she finally got out into the world she was pretty open to what it had to teach her. For the most part, I found myself identifying with her. There were a few times where I grew a little frustrated with her. There's a scene where someone Eve knows is shot and she freezes even though she is also in immediate danger and I found myself frustrated. But if I were put in the same situation, I can't say I wouldn't act the same way. Her draw to Caleb made since and I enjoyed watching Eve learn to trust him as the story progressed.
Caleb is one of those generally great love interests because there isn't a question of the type of person he is. He always went back for Eve, no matter how much danger that put him in and even when he barely knew her. He's smart, strong and resourceful, having escaped from his own camp of horrors and living in the outside world for a while. Eve mentions at one point that she knows Caleb is "a good man" and this is evident in everything he does in the story. I like me a good bad boy as much as the next girl but Caleb's sweet demeanor was refreshing, especially in a world so riddled with bad.
I also loved the group of boys Caleb lived with. Eve would often compare the world to the classics she read and I kept thinking of them as the lost boys from Peter Pan. Eve's frenemy Arden whom she ends up traveling with was a great addition to the cast and the bond that forms from dealing with hardship after hardship is just as beautiful as Eve's relationship with Caleb.
The bleak setting of the novel is both horrifying and fascinating. Death, skeletons and disease are a common place thing. Carey does this amazing job of setting dire circumstances and showing us beauty despite them. We might see a house falling apart and get a glimmer of hope in a picture drawn by a child still hanging on the refridgerator. The atmosphere fits the desperate situation and I can't wait to see even more in the seqeul. The plot is a neatly wrapped little package with an ending that kills. My only thing is I feel like the book could have used a bit more length. Make no mistake, this book packs a lot of character development, atmosphere, and plot in it's somewhat small numbers. I little more explanation as to how the plague came around would have really helped fill out the world.
In the end, Eve is a novel about the human condition and in this aspect, it's excels. The bleak tone and atmosphere is offset by the beauty of a budding romance that wants to survive against all odds. A beautiful debut, Eve is definitely a great read. In the novel, Eve was searching for somewhere to live and she found it in me as a reader.