Eve tells the story of a girl and boy in a post-plague world. America specifically has been destroyed by a plague that killed anyone who received a vaccination against it. This meant that most adults were killed along with many older children. The result has been a catastrophic collapse of society and the emergence of a new order and a new country, The New America, ruled by one man, The King.
Eve, was five when her mother died. She along with numerous other orphans were sent to special schools where they received a special education that included the learning of Latin, writing, painting and piano. They also received a special kind of indoctrination - to fear men. Men, the girls are told, "could be manipulative, conniving, and dangerous." Through literature, they learned to avoid men at all costs.
The story opens the day before Eve's graduation, when she along with thirty-nine other girls will walk across the bridge to the giant windowless building to begin learning their trades. Eve is excited to begin this new chapter in her life. She wants to become a painter and paint murals in the King's capital, the City of Sand. She imagines a life of leisure and accomplishment. However, Eve begins to question what is going on when the school rebel, Arden, escapes. Arden tells Eve the true purpose of the building across the lake from the school - the graduates are enslaved to breed babies for the new world.
When Eve discovers that Arden is telling the truth, she escapes into the unknown wilds the night before "graduation" in search of a safe haven known as Califia. Eve stumbles upon Arden and the two of them starving, run into a young man, Caleb, who instantly is drawn to Eve. Caleb hides Arden and Eve from the government troops who are searching frantically for Eve. It is at this time that Eve discovers why she is being hunted - The King wants her for his wife.
Caleb takes her to a refuge camp in the wilderness. The camp run by a tough character named Leif, is populated entirely by boys of various ages. Eve who has been indoctrinated to distrust men, must now rely on Caleb and Leif for her safety. As Eve spends more time with Caleb she gradually begins to realize not all men are as The Teacher described in the school. Some men are bad, but some men like Caleb Eve identifies as a "good man". Gradually Eve finds herself falling in love with Caleb. From this point on, there are several twists in the story but essentially the remainder of the novel tells the story of Eve and Caleb and their attempt to reach Califia.
Overall, this novel was enjoyable and very exciting. The dystopian society is gradually explained throughout the book. After years of indoctrination, I'm not so sure Eve would have so quickly undertaken the task to learn about what was going on in the windowless building across the lake from the school. Nevertheless, this does set the stage for Eve leaving the sheltered world she has been raised in.
She also seems to quickly overcome her biased view of men and learns about loving and happiness from Caleb.
Eve is the first book in what will be a trilogy. The second book, Once, is due to be published next year. If you'd like to watch the book trailer and read about possible casting for a movie check out the website TheEveTrilogy.com
Eve by Anna Carey
Alloy Entertainment 2011