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Eve (The Eve Trilogy, #1)

Eve (The Eve Trilogy, #1) - Anna Carey Instant Dystopia: Now With 50% Less Logic!Start with your randomly selected future date at room temperature. Add an ambiguous Plague (capitalised is best). Stir briefly to create a drastic population reduction, thereby ensuring wombs are a hot commodity in your new society. Heavily indoctrinate your characters to keep them in line and create exploitative scenarios, especially for teenagers. Insert an Improbable and Unexplained System of Government. Got Plausibility Problems? Just add Romance! (Instant or QuickLuv is recommended). Sprinkle with Yearning Gazes, Electrifying Touches and Heaving Breaths to taste. Season liberally with Tension, or better yet, add Love Triangle and bring to the boil. Insert Cliffhanger. Huzzah! You have an Instant Dystopia! Plate up with a pretty cover (Shiny Locks and Flowing Dress optional). Serve while this trend is still hot!~Oh, Eve. Where do I start? Despite a promising, albeit somewhat unoriginal, premise – it all went horribly wrong for me when [b:Eve|11345832|Eve (The Eve Trilogy, #1)|Anna Carey|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41SDPuKU98L._SL75_.jpg|14180376] climbed aboard the Trope Train and didn’t know when to get off. Rushing straight past the stops of “frighteningly plausible” and “sound world building”, [b:Eve|11345832|Eve (The Eve Trilogy, #1)|Anna Carey|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41SDPuKU98L._SL75_.jpg|14180376] charges down the well-travelled tracks of tru luv, flimsy backstory and convenient yet improbable scenarios. Throw in a thoroughly unsympathetic heroine and a head-desk inducing cliffhanger, and the resultant wreck claimed a few rating stars as casualties, along with my interest in reading the sequel. One of the major issues I had with this book (I’ll get to the biggest in a minute) was the version of a “dystopian” world Carey presents. The scaffolding holding this world up was simply too rickety to stand up under questioning. We’re presented with an unexplained plague that has almost depleted the population, and a rigid system of schools and labour camps funnelling the remaining youth into sinister service to the “King of the New America”. Which for girls means, you guessed it, forced breeding. (Is it just me, or is this “girl’s value is in their baby producing ability” topic coming up a lot lately?)Very little is provided in the way of explanation to flesh out this bleak vision of the future. I was distracted by this thinness of the world building throughout, struggling to visualise and accept the set up at face value. (And an immature inclination to chortle at the mention of the “King”.)But the crux of my disengagement from [b:Eve|11345832|Eve (The Eve Trilogy, #1)|Anna Carey|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41SDPuKU98L._SL75_.jpg|14180376] was Eve herself. I cannot recall a recent YA heroine that I have more vehemently disliked than this girl, who spends the entire book lurching from selfish decision to selfish decision. This in itself was perplexing to me. Although she was raised in a cloistered school with no contact with the outside world, and is actively educated in the “evils” of men and love, Eve purportedly has close friends of several years, and ample opportunity build meaningful relationships with her peers. Despite this, Eve seems to have little compulsion to act in a compassionate or thoughtful manner, instead being so absorbed in herself that she causes harm to those around her. Further, Eve’s drastic flip-flop from fear of being raped to being basically affronted that she was not her rescuer’s “type”, was infuriating, not to mention ridiculous. Granted, Eve has no understanding of how to survive in the wild, due to the closeted world she has been raised in. However, Eve’s continued abandonment, ignorance and outright endangerment of those around her boggled my mind. She leaves a trail of destruction in her wake as she stumbles through this story, and I simply couldn’t find it in myself to sympathise with her. On the contrary, I was frustrated, annoyed and entirely uninterested in her pity-parties. By the time she actually took pause to reflect on exactly what kind of havoc she had wreaked, I was so disconnected from her as a character that it was a struggle to muster any interest in her self-analysis. Conversely, Eve’s former schoolmate and fellow escapee, Arden, was a girl I warmed to. Although initially cast as the suspicious outsider/mean girl, she was straight-talking, tough and intelligent, and frequently had scenes that made me want slap her a high-five. The romance aspect of this story fell equally flat for me. Commencing when Caleb rescues Eve from an imminent bear attack, the two inevitably exchange meaningful gazes and heart-pounding touches. While I didn’t dislike Caleb as a character, and the life he and the other orphaned boys lived was somewhat intriguing, there was too much here that felt contrived and implausible. Not the least of this was the ease with which Eve assimilates into their world. Years of propaganda, fear and manipulation by her Teachers are swept away in mere days. Half-wild boys comport themselves, for the most part, like mild mannered school boys. And naturally, Eve falls in “love” with her dreadlocked, “ball song” singing saviour.I can’t even write about Leif here, and the situation that unfolds during the raid, because I’m afraid I’ll punch my computer. Below is a visual representation of my like or dislike of the main characters, relative to some of the major events. (Within a spoiler due to the naming of plot points):On the positive side, Carey’s writing is fluid and holds attention, and she changes up the scenery and events regularly enough to keep the story well paced. It’s a fairly swift read, with a plot that keeps turning consistently. Yet, just when I was beginning to soften, beginning to feel some interest in what would become of the characters and feel an investment in their goal: the ending. Although it is rather in keeping with the way Eve has behaved throughout the entire preceding story, it still seemed illogical and out of place to me. Frankly, it felt like the entire slog through Eve’s story was met with a slap in the face, and a cheap ploy to generate investment in the sequel. However, I’m sincere when I say that I hope the continuation of this trilogy gets stronger. I certainly hope more of the world is explained and detailed. I hope some of the minor characters play a larger role, as there is real potential for their stories to be interesting. That said, the bear is still my favourite character. High five, Bear!