Author: Anna Carey
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: October 4, 2011
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.—Goodreads
I'll be up front: Eve is bleak. Like, zombie apocalypse (and not in the funny way) bleak. There are hardly any people left. Cars and homes and buildings are just abandoned and falling apart. And if you're a smart and lovely eighteen-year-old orphan who has just realized that her future does not hold a great job, as she was led to believe, and you decide to run away from the only home you've ever known into the FREAKING WOODS to try and get to a utopian-sounding place that may or may not actually exist, all of this bleakness becomes even more bleak.
The world Carey creates in Eve is intense and terrifying in a very real way. She does a beautiful job of describing death and decay and straight-up hopelessness. And she also does a very intriguing job of imagining what education would be like in a world where the population is emaciated—read: girls are taught that men are terrifyingly carnal and awful by reading Romeo and Juliet. (That actually made me laugh a little because I'm not one who loves Romeo and Juliet.) So when Eve meets a boy—the oh-so chivalrous Caleb—who is nice to her, she is VERY DUBIOUS of him. And then he takes her to his Cave of Boys and she realizes that everything she was taught was a perversion of the truth.
From there, Eve becomes the Wendy to Caleb's group of Lost Boys. And just about the time that I was getting comfortable with the story and thinking that things would maybe end up being okay for everyone, THINGS BECAME NOT OKAY. And they stayed not okay.
By the end of Eve, my heart was broken into about three thousand pieces and I was so, so grateful for my family and friends and job and apartment and food and world. And I desperately wanted the next book in this trilogy, because it ends in a place of OMG WTF.
Although, I will say this—if this book was a stand-alone, I think I'd be weirdly ok with how it ends. But I'll stop talking about the ending of this book now and just tell you to go read it if you so choose. :)
Overall, Eve is a gorgeously devastating book. If you like a good dystopian read, definitely check this one out. And if you're not so much into dystopia but are willing to give it a shot because you are a person who likes good books and are open-minded enough to try anything, this might be the one to sway you in favor of the dystopian genre. But know this: this is not dystopian-light. It is straight up unhappy.
But you know what's not unhappy? CALEB. If nothing else, read the book for Caleb. *swoons*