Monday, July 2, 2012

Eve by Anna Carey

Anna Carey
Publisher: HarperTeen
Released: October 4, 2011
Genre: Dystopian
Pages: 320
Source: BEA
Series: Eve #1
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.
I know I've said this before, but I am a bit of a contemporary snob. While there are certainly examples of other genres that have rocked my socks off, I am most happy with real stories, be it gushy or gritty. That said, dystopian novels tend to pique my interest when I first hear about them but then fall off my radar. I admit to being intimidated by dystopian societies, especially when there are so few standalones amidst a sea of trilogies. They sound so darn intriguing, but I let them sit on my shelf, too afraid to invest myself in multiple installments of mediocrity. Such was thankfully not the case with Eve. Well, I did let it sit around a bit before picking it up, but I was intrigued by the first chapter and completely hooked by the fourth or fifth.

Eve is a model student, valedictorian of her graduating class, eager to move on to the City of Sand where she will contribute to the new society in a meaningful way. All is not how it seems, however, and when Eve learns the truth of what her life will be after school, she knows she must find a way out. Narrowly escaping her teachers, forced to leave her friends behind, Eve sets off through the forests in search of a rumored safe haven for women. She meets a boy along the way, who defies everything she's been taught about men. He helps her, even when it's not in his best interest, and Eve must choose which path to take - with him or without him.

Eve was a plenty likeable character, and I enjoyed her journeys - physical, mental, emotional. This was definitely more of a plot driven novel, but such is the way of most dystopian stories. The plot was very good, and I thought the world-building was interesting. It definitely had the creeper factor, which is something I like to see from this genre. Caleb didn't exactly make me swoon, but his selflessness was definitely attractive.

Fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent won't find quite the same level of brilliance in Eve; however, it is a remarkable addition to the genre that is so popular. It is an engrossing, quick read that can easily be devoured in one sitting. Its sequel, Once, is available in stores tomorrow.

FTC: I received a copy of this novel from BEA 2011

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