Review taken from my blog, The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
By the time the sun had set over the fifty-foot perimeter wall, the School lawn was covered with twelfth-year students.
Going to to Eve my expectations were not very high, especially since the last time I read a book similar to it I was extremely disappointed. So much so that I did not even finish reading it. Nerves aside going into reading Eve, I found it to be quite addictive and absolutely impossible to put down (I read it in a matter of hours).
Eve is pretty evenly paced throughout the entire book with just one or two parts of the book were things kind of dragged along, like some of the scenes where Eve was just staying at Caleb's groups hideout (forgive me, I'm sure it had a name but it escapes me). I found these parts to be slow since nothing to important happened other than the budding of a relationship between Eve and Caleb.
While I was not to sold on Eve as a character early on in the book, I did really enjoy the world that Ms. Carey had created in Eve. I thought it was brilliantly done and completely vivid, especially the scenes where the story flashed back to Eve's life before her mother died and how things were then. The other thing that made Eve so good was the how there were more layers to the story than first appear, like the evil "king" of the US and his plan. What makes him such a great villain, even though he was only mentioned and not an active character in this book, was that he probably does not think he's evil or mad and the way he runs things scary.
Eve, well at first she is not the most likable character because well she comes across as a goodie goodie, plus she's smart but only book smart. She has no knowledge outside of what the teachers and king have been feeding her since she first arrived at the school after the death of her mother. While she may
have started out really naive I liked that as the story progressed and things got more dangerous she slowly began to learn and adapt to her new situation. It was nice to see Eve how she evolved throughout the book, and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing where how her character will change in the next book.
Caleb, I thought he was an interestingly complex character. What really makes him such a great character is that he constantly put the needs of others above himself, and that he was a genuinely nice guy even though he did not have the easiest childhood. While I thought he was a good character, it was not until the end of the book that I considered him to be a great one. It was his actions at the end of the book that set him above most YA male characters.
The thing that sticks out most in my mind when I think back on Eve would have to be the setting for the story. I thought that Ms. Carey did a brilliant job on fashioning the climate in which the book was set. She definitely did a great job of adding the various elements of a country starting over, and the "villain" was truly dastardly in his bid to control what's left of the US. Loved it!
While I found Eve to be a great read, I do have just one little thing that I didn't like whole reading it. Eve, I actually did not like her at first because she was just so...naive. But her naivety could not really be helped since she just took what she was told at face value, even so it was almost painful to read about as her carefully planned dreams were dashed when she found out the truth.
Content (will contain spoilers):
Language- is pretty clean. There may have been a couple instances of swearing, but in general really clean in that department.
Violence- There are a couple instances of heavy violence, like, when Eve discovers what happens to the girls when they graduate (chained to beds while pregnant and beaten for causing any noise). General cruelty by hunters and the men from the city towards those they capture (no water or food, hitting, and threatening to rape them).
Other- The girls are carefully monitored while in school to make sure they are in perfect health, that way when they "graduate" they can start breeding to repopulate the country after most of population was wiped out do to a disease. Most boys are basically drudges and are forced to do backbreaking work (you don't actually "see" this, but is mentioned when a character speaks of his past).
Final Verdict: Eve a fascinating book on love and survival in dark times. You won't be able to put it down.
Eve earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.