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.
Eve is at it's heart a book about love. What it means to love, how we learn to love, and the different kinds of love we encounter. All wrapped up in one scary as heck dystopian world. As much as this book could never touch the Hunger Games in it's prose, the world it creates scares me just a little more. It's a world filled with hate, mistrust, lies and tyranny.(The fact of a medical disaster creating such havoc in such modern times is too real.) But through it all one girl learns to love.
In this New America, men and women are segregated. In fact from a young age girls are taught to fear men, that love and relationships are a liability. Eve has spent her whole life cloistered in school learning how to be the perfect lady. Thinking she will leave to learn a trade and go work in the City of Sand. When all that awaits her are lies. (I really don't want to throw out the horrible fate the girls encounter because it is too much of a spoiler.)
When she decides to leave it's a rude awaking to the horrors that are beyond the walls. There is nothing left of America. Except ghost towns and renegade gangs of orphans who have fled the oppressive regime. By meeting up with a group of young orphans and placing her trust in Caleb, she sees what real families are. What real relationships mean, and that the things she learned in school were all manufactured lies.
While the story was engaging and fast paced, I did not want to put it down, I felt that Eve was to quick to adapt. In fact Eve is a train wreck, making bad decision after bad decision. (If your Eve's friend, chances are you are going to die.) I understand that you do what you have to do to survive. But the ease at which she was able to kill at the end of the book shocked me. She was so fresh and new to the outside world, without help her reality should have been different. For someone who was taught to fear men I found her very trusting. I also wished that it ended different for her and Caleb. The strength of the novel really lies in it's vivid descriptions of a post apocalyptic America. You can just imagine the cities and towns left as they are. The most haunting scene was the Golden Gate Bridge, when Eve and Caleb cross it through rows of rusted cars filled with sun bleached bones, and the feeling that time had just abruptly stopped. And in the message that you can not oppress love. That people will always have the capacity to love and think for themselves.
I recommend Eve as a quick and easy read to add to the dystopian shelf. (I seem to be really into that genre lately.) It's good, it can hold it's own, but it has a lot to live up to.
I purchased the kindle edition for review