Sunday, 6 May 2012

Book Review for Eve


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, 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 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 start hunting them, Eve must chose between true love and her life.

Yesterday, I was totally being a super-good uni student and getting a head start on a big assignment I have coming up. It's the kind of assignment where you don't really understand the question, the teacher can't really explain it, and yet you're expected to write a bazillion dry words on a subject there is next to no information about. Right.

So you guys can see why my attention was drifting elsewhere; more specifically, to my bookcases. Now, I have a LOT of books just chillin' on my shelves that I haven't got around to reading yet and possibly never will. I always glance over them every now and then to see if any seem more appealing and HOLY CRAP! I have Eve!

I bought it a few months ago, SO keen to get it read and then, when I tidied my room, I shoved it on 'the shelf' (a place books only go once I'm finished them) and completely got snowed under with uni and work.

So, I guess that's enough explanation on why my uni assignment was completely forgotten about. And before the guilt kicks in, let's move on!

Book Review on Eve by Anna Carey

At Face Value: I actually really love this over. And I especially love that 'Once' is quite similar. Now, I do have a 'thing' where a lot of YA books have trended from girl-in-the-water, to girl-with-her-back-turned, but Eve came out a little ahead of tho trend so I'm willing to forgive it for that.

Immediate Reaction: What the hell? I seriously loved this book but the ending just didn't sit right with me. 

High Five: *deep breath* No. It hooked me so immediately, it had me reading until the end. And then the end actually happened. Just, no. Four stars for me.

Favourite Quote: There were a lot of heart-wrenching quotes in this book. The one that really stayed with me though, (and you'd have to have read the book to fully get it's true importance) is one from Benny and Silas as Eve is being carted away.

' Leif gripped Benny's shoulders to hold him back, but he broke free and chased the truck, pumping his tiny arms and legs with great fury.
"I love you!" he called out, when he was just ten feet away. I gripped the metal bars, my throat choked with emotion.
"I love you!" Silas cried, as he followed.
They both kept after us, sprinting wildly behind the cage. I watched their mouths moving, saying those words over and again, as the truck bounded through the woods and their small bodies disappeared, unreachable, behind the trees. '

A while ago, I read of saz101's blog about how she doesn't like to read dystopians because she the bleak futures they show, freak her out a little bit. I'd never really gotten that feeling until I read Eve. I'm not 100% what it was that caused this reaction but despite the easy writing-style, the book deals with some pretty intense stuff and it's super easy to see our world become exactly what Carey describes. And there's no shying away from these intense topics. I loved that they were dealt with head-on.

Firstly, there's the plague. I know this little devil has found it's way into a lot of dystopians but in Eve, the disaster left by it is shown with terrifying reality. The letter, written by her mother, opens this book up to a whole world of pain. Every time Eve's mum is mentioned I cry a little inside, and imagine what it would be like for that to happen to my family.

The government is all kinds of screwed up. The school Eve goes to has way evil intention that, in a post-plague world, actually make sense. HELL-TO-THE-NO, do I condone the school, but its evilness is believable and has come out of the very dominant human survival instinct. And once Eve left the school, I could totally understand why she had points of wanting to go back instead of facing the terrifying wilderness. The brain-wash of these students has been done through love, instead of fear, and not once, even after learning what the teachers had done, did I hate them. I saw them more as a loved pet that had suddenly bitten me. I didn't want to believe it was their fault.

And of course, Caleb. Man do I hate that name. This guy burns the pages out every time he shows up and there was so much fricken chemistry I could feel it simmering out of the pages. NO INSTA-LOVE HERE, FOLKS! But that name. Every time it was said was like a bucket of cold water. And it's said a lot. I just couldn't help but picture a full on bogan-lord. (In Australia, a 'bogan' is generally someone uneducated and disgusting).

Before I get into what stopped it from getting a five, I'd just like to mention that Eve, as a character, is so real and so raw. She has so much strength and I really felt her struggle to understand this new world she's suddenly found herself in. She has epiphany's on every second page and they really make you stop and think.

That said, Eve is a survivor, and I really didn't agree with some of the choices she made. 

First, big, fat, red flag for me was when she left Pip and Ruby behind. Yeah, yeah, I get what the teacher said but she did see that room, right? She did know what she was leaving her friends to? That gave me chills. It was disgusting. And for all her talk of wanting to go back for them, I didn't buy it. I did buy her love for her best friends and I did feel her regret, but at the end of the day she made that choice and she CHOSE WRONG!

I would love to say that was out of character for her. Second exhibit, Arden. This girl is far too awesome for words, and yet, Eve conveniently forgets about her when it suits her. She doesn't bother trying to find her at the lake, she runs around with all the boys while Arden is sick, and again, at the end, she lets Arden practically give herself up just to save Eve.

If only that was the end of it. The third (and I'm sure not even last) example of this is when Eve and Caleb finally get to Califia. It comes to her choice. Leave Caleb and be safe, OR STAY WITH THE MOTHER-EFFER WHO JUST GOT STABBED IN THE LEG AND STILL MANAGED TO DRAG YOU ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO SAFETY AND NOW BADLY NEEDS YOUR HELP. Yep, guess which one she chose?

I know it sounds like I have massive beef with this book but I seriously loved it. I'm so glad I put of my assignment for those few hours of escape. The world is so real, the characters are so loveable, and the danger and suspense have you tensed in anticipation. I loved it. Really. And the flaws I didn't agree with above, really make Eve that much more dimensional. Sure I didn't agree with her choices. But if she didn't make them she'd probably be dead. So meh. I can deal.

There's just one little point that has been nagging at me. Eve mentions her dad, once, only to say she doesn't remember him. It was a passing comment but something about it seemed important to me. It's totes understandable that after being taught to fear men all her life, she'd forget she had a loving father BUT, what if he wasn't around because he was trying to find someone to see to her mum. AND, (this has probably been surmised by others but I'm interested to see what you think) I can't help but feel it's the King. Him wanting her babies just doesn't seem logical in this world. He's thirty years older than her and I just don't think he'd go to this much trouble to find her just so she can pop out an heir. There has to be more to it. At least, man I hope there is.

What do you think? Am I totally nuts? Or have heaps of people already figured it out?


  1. *shudders* I still hate that feeling in my stomach after a really bleak dystopian... how much it scares me... I mean, I LOVE it, but it freaks me out? I'm an escapist reader, and escaping to something opressive and suffocating where the whole WORLD--not just a corner of it--is screwed. ANYWAY.

    AHAHAHA! CALEB THE BOGAN LORD! Oh goodness. I so know what you mean about names like that. I don't like 'Nathan' (though I like 'Nate', and Beryl and Sheila. *shudders*).

    And as for you being totally nuts? Well of COURSE you are, but all the best people are ;D

    LOVE your revie, Heather! You have made me INSANELY curious. It kills me! :O

  2. That's the nicest thing someone's ever said to me Sarah! :P

    And that bleak feeling? Yep, this book did it for me. If you haven't read Eve yet, you totally should. It would be interesting to see what you think of her because although I like the character, she isn't someone I could be friends with.


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