There's a lot to like in Eve by Anna Carey; it's a dystopian young adult novel (very popular right now) with lots of action. Just as she's ready to graduate from School, Eve discovers a horrifying secret about not only her future, but the futures of all the girls she's known during her lifetime. Faced with an immediate urgency to decide her own life, Eve seizes the moment and escapes into the wild on a long, unprepared journey to "Califia" where she can hopefully be an agent for change in New America. Along the way, she meets up with another runaway, Arden, and Caleb, another young adult who has escaped his own nightmare existence. And like in most dystopian novels, Eve must decide if the trade off for freedom is actually worth the price it's going to cost in lives and relationships.
Side note: Did anyone besides me get sidetracked briefly by the names of the two main female characters, Eve and Arden? All I could picture at times was the actress Eve Arden, of Rydell High fame. Maybe it's just me.
Now for what there is not to like in Eve...As I've seen in other reviews, the background of Eve and the other orphan girls at School is fairly ridiculous, given what their futures hold. Why spend all that time and energy educating these girls and then basically physically use them up when they turn 18? I need some justification for the foundation of a story, and it's just not there in Eve. Eve is also so incredibly naive that I found it almost impossible to believe she is 18, no matter that she was so sheltered most of her life. She just doesn't seem to get any more mature as the story moves on, and that's irritating. And while this is the first in a series, I would like to have known more about New America itself and just what the King is hoping to gain by using up his best and brightest in such horrific ways.
Eve has a good premise but the characterization is lacking; Eve just isn't sympathetic enough for me to worry about what's going to happen to her. She's way too focused on herself, especially after all Caleb does for her. It's going to be a long haul to get her to think beyond her own feelings, and I'm not sure the way the author dragged her evolution out in this novel that it's going to get better any time soon. Still, it's not a bad novel by any means; I liked Caleb and I'm hoping Eve is able to be that instrument of change she's so longing to be. I will probably read more in the series, but I do hope I can stop thinking of Eve as a thirteen year old and get her mentally to the strong eighteen year old I hope she can be.