Genres: Young adult, science fiction, dystopia.
The year is 2032 and a virus has killed nearly everyone on Earth. Eve attends a school where most of the students – all girls, are orphaned. In Eve’s isolated society, females are completely segregated from males and taught to fear them. Once they are eighteen, they are able to graduate and learn a trade before moving on to the enigmatic City of Sand. On the night of her graduation, Eve discovers a terrible secret about her school and makes it her mission to escape. She travels to the wilds with Arden, a fellow student, running from soldiers who want to bring her back. The two girls come across Caleb, a boy from the wilds, and they band together to help each other avoid capture and survive.
With Eve, I felt like I was reading a story that was occurring parallel to other dystopian scenarios. This is because the plot is similar to other YA dystopian novels: there’s the hidden, repressive secret, the escape, the survival, and the forbidden romance. I’m generally quite happy with this format as I think it can still produce an original and exciting story, but, although I did enjoy Eve overall, I rarely felt like I was reading something new.
One particular thing I did enjoy is actually something that others disliked about the book: I liked Eve‘s character. Eve is not the strong female character who attempts to overcome her unjust society and rebels against authority, risking her life, nor the girl who becomes a warrior, charging through the wastelands. I actually liked Eve because she was pretty clueless about how to survive and defend herself. I admire immensely all the strong, female characters in novels who fight for their survival, but I’m not entirely sure whether I could do it personally, and so I could empathise with Eve.
The discovered secret in Eve is not a new concept, but I would have loved for it to be explored more than it was considering it was the central reason why people desperately wanted to avoid capture. I love discovering more about dystopian societies and I suppose my biggest problem with Eve is that there was a lot of traipsing about in the wild. Although I love survival stories, there needs to be something about them that is exciting and purposeful, whereas Eve’s survival story is pretty uneventful, apart from a few thrilling moments.
Eve is an entertaining, felicitous novel for those unfamiliar with the dystopian genre, but those already acquainted with repressive and controlling societies may be left wanting more. Even so, I am very much looking forward to the forthcoming television show. I think the novel will work marvellously on screen.