I really enjoy my YA dystopian, and there's been plenty up for grabs this year. This was another good, fun read with some really great dystopian elements: distant, inhumane government, people being pigeon-holed into groups and labeled, an epic journey, a loss of innocence accompanied by grand discovery of truth. In Eve, we get all this without the heroine having to lose her femininity. I love it when she's allowed to be smart and independent, but can still ask for help and depend on the strength of others when appropriate.
The main character, for whom the novel is named, has been raised with some heavy-duty propaganda about doing her civic duty at the expense of her personal freedom. She doesn't realize, however, just how much of that personal freedom she is destined to sacrifice until it is nearly too late. As she seeks a better life, she develops some unlikely friendships as well as a few opinions that are contrary to her former philosophies.
Is there a love story, too? Of course there is. Would I have even bothered to read it through if there wasn't? This one has a particularly interesting complication, too: one of the central ideas of what Eve has been raised to believe is that males are inherently dangerous and incapable of self-control. Add that to the fact that the boy is hiding from the government himself, and harboring Eve is putting him in danger of discovery. These two really should not be together: forbidden love factor for the win.
Beware the ending: it will leave you wising you had the sequel in your hands NOW. Unfortunately, we will have to wait several months to see if the situation we are left with gets a satisfying resolution. I have a feeling that will be the basis for book two, so it should be a delicious read.
Summary from GoodReads:
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.