by Anna Carey
3.5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.com
Sixteen years after a deadly virus wiped out most of Earth’s population, the world is a perilous place. Eighteen-year-old Eve has never been beyond the heavily guarded perimeter of her school, where she and two hundred other orphaned girls have been promised a future as the teachers and artists of the New America. But the night before graduation, Eve learns the shocking truth about her school’s real purpose—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 Arden, her former rival from school, and 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.
I don’t normally start books like this, but there was one moment that this book “won” me over. Eve had come across a group of boys in the “wild” and had become a teacher to them. She had to explain what love is to the little boys who didn’t remember the world before the plague: Love is just caring about someone very deeply. Feeling like that person matters to you, like your whole world would be sadder without them in it. And as she’s leaving camping to two little boys start SCREAMING “I love you! I love you!” To read that from two characters who were so naive to the world…it was one of the moments my heart got all warm and tight.
I liked that this book was a journey. Once the characters left one location you knew they’d never be going back…at least not any time soon. The premise of the plague is this creepy This-Could-Really-Happen reality, and what they do to the girls — as barbaric it sounds — could be something humans turn to. I enjoyed all of the characters, and passed my 1st person POV test: Eve’s inner monologue did not annoy me. Her choices did annoy me, and I had to keep reminding myself that a person in her position would do some of the stupid/naive things she did.
I’ve already read Once so I’ll finish my review over there.