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Publisher: Harper, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2011
Summary: Eve is hopeful for her future. Her all-girls school has prepared her well for life in the New America, safe and free from the evils of the male of the species. Right before graduation, Eve discovers that her destiny is to go to the Reproductive House. She escapes the school with no plan other than to find a way to freedom in Califia. As Valedictorian she was destined to be the birthing unit for the King. Now his men are searching for her. Not long into her journey she meets Caleb. Slowly she realizes that her "education" was mostly lies, and emotions she has never known begin to surface. As they reach Califia, Eve must decide what is more important - life or love. This is a young adult dystopian fiction novel. It is a high interest / low readability book.
Type of Reading: independent reading
Recommended Age: read together: 13 and Up; read yourself: 11 and Up
Interest Level: 15 to 18
Reading Level: 5.2
Age of Child: Read by a 12-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: The story (as much as she read of it) confused our daughter. She thought it was a story about a girl who was trying to "go back" to her life, as a ghost would. She dropped the book around chapter 3.
Adult Reader Reaction: By chapter four, I found it very difficult to keep reading. The story and characters were unfolding fairly predictably. Califia is a thinly veiled reference to California; near the end of the book Caleb and Eve are in "San Francisco."
Pros: High school readers who enjoy fairy-tale like dystopian fiction will enjoy the journey with Eve and Caleb.
Cons: Despite the content recommendations on the back, this is NOT a book for 7th graders or any middle school students for that matter. The protagonists are high school graduates!
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. Personally I would skip, but there are a lot of positive reviews for the whole series, so you may want to read them all.
Educational Themes: Some science fiction has themes you can draw out and discuss. I am struggling to find them for this book.
Notes: The publisher donated an Advance Review Copy (ARC) of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - young adult series, fantasy, science fiction, fairy tale
Date(s) Reviewed: December 2015
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.