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.
First off before I get into what I thought of this book it is worth pointing out that this book is derivative of The Handmaids Tale. The idea is similar even though the books end up going in different directions.
I have some pretty mixed feelings about this book. There is a part of me that really liked it. I liked the growth of the Eve, I liked the evilness and despicableness of the government and I loved Caleb. The dystopian world was as it should be, derelict, full of peril and danger. I felt for what Eve was going through and I hoped that everything would turn out ok. There were parts that were truly gripping…but then there were other parts. The romance was sweet but went from nothing to something in the blink of an eye. My main problem was that although Eve went through a lot she never had to do anything to save herself, there was always someone there to do it for her and I felt that the main character in a revolutionary, dystopian novel should have a little more bite. (It might come in the follow up novels but it was lacking in this.)
I disliked that way that one of the male characters, who had been through so much turned suddenly into a horrible villain. There was little need for it. I felt like there should have been a different way to bring in the conflict, or he should have been written meaner from the start. Also, there was a part in the middle that more resembled teen romance angst which felt a little out of place. Here and there it felt like there was drama for the sake of drama and not for the good of the story.
I was also not a fan of the ending. Cliff-hangers are good but resolving hardly anything at all just leaves you feeling a little irritated. Yes she had reached the end of her journey but what happened to Pip, Leif, Caleb and Arden. Hopefully all of this will be answered in the next book. I did like this book, it is not the best YA dystopian I have read but it most certainly is not the worse. I will be reading the next book and hoping the Eve grows up a bit because she seriously needs to for the story to progress for me.
Published October 4th 2011 by HarperTeen. A free copy was provided for review. Images courtesy of Goodreads.
Review by Kate Phillips
Review by Kate Phillips