The story of a young girl set 20-21 years from now in the future after a plague, riding on the hopes for a better life, is a little orphan annie meets I Am Legend.
Eve has been sheltered her entire life, away from all the males of the world and only a distant memory or her mother when everything was ending. Her need to survive is tested by nature and its elements, but mostly by one boy who proves to her that what she learned isn't 100% correct.
The protagonist is sort of a meek girl in the beginning. She has never seen water outside of a faucet/shower, let alone been outside the walls of her school. The girl is forced to make a choice when she discovers the truth about what really happens after they graduate. This is where the real story begins for Eve, out in New America, located on the west coast.
When Eve meets Caleb, it changes everything. She learns how to swim and how to use a weapon. She learns what love is beyond the love of a parent. It takes time, but Caleb is her saving grace in all of this hellish world. Some would think he holds her back, but I believe he helps her push forward for a better tomorrow for all the children in peril. As for Arden, the girl who went to school with Eve, she pushes Eve's buttons in ways that wakes her up and forces her to make choices. Some of which are life altering. This character is truly stone cold outside exterior, while when you get to the heart of her, is really just a sad little girl who feels all alone. Eve is the only one so far to break through to her.
As for the darker side of the story, the character Lief is a prime example of what I despise in men: ruthless, misogynist, assaulting, teenage boy. He didn't like nor understood women, let alone tried to rape Eve after a night of drinking. Situations like that are scary and do happen to women, 90% know their attacker. So to add that realism to the book is a wake-up call for the heroine. Another set of characters I do not enjoy was the King and all the soldiers that roamed the land. The king alone was a pain in my bum! He had such devilish ideas for the women and in how to rebuild society. People like that tend to be dripping with power and abuse it in horrid ways that makes your skin crawl!
Anyway, it was interesting to read about the scenery that was presented in the story. The way San Francisco looked to the Golden Gate Bridge, was eery in many ways. It was as though you could drop a pin and hear it a mile away from the absolute quiet that swept the city.
Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot. I'm very excited to read the sequel Once
and see what happens to the lovely Eve and her beloved Caleb as they overcome their biggest hurdles yet.