Yay! for NetGalley. It seems like half the books I review are from NetGalley these days, including Eve by Anna Carey. I have to say, I’m feeling quite privileged to have the opportunity to review so many ARCs. Before we get to this goodie, how about a blurb from Ms. Carey’s website:
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.
Eve was not at all the love story I thought it would be – girl meets boy in the wilderness to start a new life together. The book was something entirely different, and I wished the blurb would have alluded to that. Eve is not a romance, but rather a story of survival. So not to mislead you as I was, I’ve decided to write a modified blurb, you can use in conjunction with the blurb above.
Just before graduation, Eve discovers the girls aren’t led across the river to experience a new and wonderful life where they hone their skills for the future. Instead, she finds a building full of past graduates strapped to beds and all pregnant — a breeding warehouse. Eve flees into the hostile wilderness in order to escape her fate. Only problem, the king is willing to go to any lengths to get her back.
The rest of the blurb works, but remember, this is not a romance. In fact, I’m hard pressed to even call it a love story. If I could pick a genre for it, I’d say it goes along the lines of a post-apocalyptic fairytale with out the fairy part… think Peter Pan from Wendy’s POV and no folkloric creatures. That’s Eve.
I had such mixed feelings about this book. There was a lot to like, and it kept me entertained throughout, but parts were so unrealistic I found myself often pulled out of the story. For example, pregnant girls strapped to bed without any ability to roll over. If a society is short on fertile females and the girls are the only hope for survival, I highly doubt they’d be strapped down to beds when they’re ready to pop. It’s just not healthy for the baby or mother. They treated their greatest commodity as expendable. And what makes Eve so special the king would do anything to have her. I just didn’t buy it.
The adventure itself was great, though. The human encounters, the fears Eve had, the chase — all of it kept me involved in the story. In fact, there were times I saw the potential for a 5/5 star rating. Unfortunately, there was so many aspects which were unrealistic in the book, I couldn’t justify anything higher than a 3 or 4. Then I hit the ending, which I absolutely HATED. If my review were based on the ending, I’d give it a 1. As it were, the rest of the novel was enjoyable. A 3 is a fair compromise, considering the lack of realism and the sorely disappointing ending.
Would I recommend it to others. Hmmm. Despite the lack of realism, the story was quite entertaining. If you don’t mind a world which doesn’t make sense at times, I say go for it. On the other hand, I have a feeling most individuals won’t like the ending… which I also found unrealistic… crazy unrealistic in a WTF kind of way. Still, I don’t regret reading Eve and think it would be an interesting experience nonetheless.
In fact, I’d love to see a version of Eve made into a movie. Similar plot, unrealistic parts rewritten, better ending.