Rating: 4 stars
Cover Rating: 3.5 stars (It's okay.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: October 4, 2011
Page Count: 318 p.
Add it: Goodreads
A plague has ripped through Earth and few people remain. Orphans are picked up and taken to schools so that they can be educated and learn trades. Meanwhile, in the City of Sand the King is busy restoring America to it's former glory. Eve and the other girls can't wait until after they've learned their trades and can move into the big city. The night before graduation from school though, Eve learns something about her future that she can hardly believe. The girls won't be learning a trade like they were always told. Now Eve nows she has to flee, even if it means leaving behind the only people she knows. Luckily, Eve doesn't find herself alone for too long. She ends up running into one of the girls that had escaped right before her. Unfortunately, you can't just run away from the government. They want Eve, and they won't stop looking until they find her.
Eve was sort of an unlikeable character. She wasn't very street smart, and ended up making a lot of huge mistakes. She never seemed to have to pay for those mistakes though, which made it worse. I know that she was brainwashed, and never really had the opportunity of will to learn common sense but that doesn't make it easier to like her. Arden is more of a character I could get along with. She's fairly quick thinking and does well for herself.
This book had a lot of surprises and I really appreciated that. I was never sure what would happen on the next page. Even the ending was a bit of a surprise. They weren't unrealistic things either, they were simply not happy-ending type of things. I always love it when a book doesn't try to make things nice and appease the reader. I feel like sometimes a book has to just be real, and in real life shit happens and then more shit happens. Things don't always work out for good people. Granted some people don't want to read about reality since they face it everyday, but I certainly appreciated it now and then.
Late in the book the girls talk about some coordinates that their school was referred to by. I was glad to find that these were real coordinates for cities on the west coast. They also made sense as to the travel of the girls. They were going a certain way and the schools would have matched up with their trajectory. I can see this being more pleasing perhaps to people who live on the west coast who know I-80 and the places it passes. I like that that's the road she used too, because it also stretches across the whole country. It's a beacon road. :)
There are a lot of terrible things that happen in this book, so be prepared to not always feel warm and fuzzy and powerful. At parts in this book I nearly gave up hope on Eve and her crew. It was an excellent story though, and even though they hit rough spots they kept powering on. I really enjoyed this and have eagerly started Once. Now, I just have to wait until Rise comes out. If you haven't stated this series make sure you do soon. Eve finished up nicely, and didn't leave you needing to read the sequel. You will want to though.
"My sweet Eve,
As I drove back from the market today, you humming in your car sear and our trunk filled with powdered milk and rice, I saw the San Gabriel Mountains—really saw them for the first time."
"They fell to the cement floor, their corners dented."