Apparently WordPress decided to take control of my blog, and has been holding back my read-along posts (what? you don’t like my views, WordPress?). At any rate, I’ll post the December review & wrap-up together today, and the January review and wrap-up for Silence tomorrow. Sorry about the glitch, and don’t forget to post your reviews as well – here for Eve, and here for Silence.
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.
Apparently WordPress decided to take control of my blog, and has been holding back my read-along posts (what? you don’t like my views, WordPress?). At any rate, I’ll post the December review & wrap-up together today, and the January review and wrap-up for Silence tomorrow. Sorry about the glitch, and don’t forget to post your reviews with ours.
Eve is an interesting book. There’s a lot packed into it, and as a result, there’s almost too much going on in the story. We start by meeting Eve and her friends on the eve of their graduation. They are students at an all-girls school, a system apparently made necessary after a medical plague has decimated the population. Most of the students at the school are, like Eve, orphans who have lost their family to the disease, and they have developed new family connections with their teachers and classmates. When a fellow classmate clues Eve in on the horrible reality of life after graduation – not, as she was told, a bright future with progressive jobs in the city, but rather something far more unsettling – Eve takes the opportunity to escape.
This is where things began to fall apart for me. I was fully invested in the storyline – a cross between other dystopian stories such as Marie Lu’s Legend or Lauren Oliver’s Delirium and Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale – for the first few chapters. The writing is engaging, and Carey builds a world that is both familiar and frightening at the same time. The secondary characters are something a little different, and you never quite know who they are or what their motives might be, and that’s a great hook to keep the reader going with the story. Eve’s concern for her friends at school sets her up to be a caring individual in the same vein as Katniss with her own family.
The problem lies in the main character of Eve. I found it increasingly difficult to like her, and there were many instances where all I wanted to do was to reach into the book and smack her upside of the head. She is, in the parlance of the genre, a Too Stupid To Live (TSTL) character, and there were times I would have cheerfully watched her die. She doesn’t learn from her journey, and continues to rely on others to rescue her. She makes ridiculous life choices that endanger and, in some cases, are the direct causes of death for her some friends. There’s little personal growth, and her viewpoint never expands beyond the “why me” whinge that you might expect at the start of the escape. While she demonstrates a sisterly affection for her classmates and worries about what might happen to them, she completely disregards these affectionate feelings once a boy comes along – a total personality shift that didn’t ring true for me.
All is not lost, however! As I mentioned, the secondary characters are fascinating, and I’m really interested to see how they develop. Without giving away spoilers, the background story of why the world is in the state it is sounds incredible, and has the potential to be wonderful. The pacing of the story is great, and there is enough action to keep every kind of reader engaged. There’s even a great little twist at the end, leaving you wanting to know more about what might happen.
When Michele and I got together to discuss the novel, we both agreed that Eve was the weakest link in the story for us. Michele liked Caleb, while I took a bit longer to warm up to him, especially since he was falling for a character that I felt was beneath his attention. I would have preferred for him to end up with Eve’s classmate, While Michele saw the twist coming a little earlier than I did, we both thought it was a great way to continue the story. We both agreed that we would probably want to read the sequel, Once, in spite of the main character and not because of her.
Overall verdict: 2.5 out of 5 – While I was very interested in some of the secondary characters and in the background of the society, Eve’s life choices were frustrating to me. It was difficult to enjoy a character who refused to grow despite the desperate circumstances that the had to survive. I’ll likely read the sequel in spite of Eve, just to find out what happens to everyone else!
“Eve” is available from Indigo, Amazon and your friendly indie bookseller. Have you joined the read along linky yet? Go HERE to read Michele’s review, and to link you thoughts with ours!