I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Eve and Adam by Katherine Applegate, Michael Grant
Series: Eve and Adam #1
Published by Feiwel and Friends on October 2nd 2012
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
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And girl created boy…
In the beginning, there was an apple—
And then there was a car crash, a horrible injury, and a hospital. But before Evening Spiker’s head clears a strange boy named Solo is rushing her to her mother’s research facility. There, under the best care available, Eve is left alone to heal.
Just when Eve thinks she will die—not from her injuries, but from boredom—her mother gives her a special project: Create the perfect boy.
Using an amazingly detailed simulation, Eve starts building a boy from the ground up. Eve is creating Adam. And he will be just perfect... won’t he?
Before there was Harry Potter there was Animorphs. I was in love with that series as a child. It was pretty serious. Half my closest was dedicated with Animorph books and I had a special shelf full of them right next to my bed. And honestly, looking back I’m surprised I didn’t have an Animorph shrine a la Helga G. Pataki.
So when I saw Eve and Adam go up on NetGalley, I’ll admit this freely, I squealed. I waited with bated breath for Macmillan to approve me for this title and dove in not long after receiving it. Unfortunately, it’s not at all what I was expecting. When I think back about Eve and Adam I just have an overall feeling of “meh.” In fact, there isn’t much I like at all about it. Not the plot, not the characters and not the ending. Okay, wait. I like the cover. There. *happy sigh* Now that I have that out the way, I won’t feel too bad for giving two of my favorite authors a negative review.
I had a feeling that Eve and Adam and I wouldn’t get along right from the beginning. Readers are immediately introduced to Eve via a car accident where she loses a leg. Then her mother, Terra Spiker of Spiker Biotech, whisks her away to her facilities to be looked after. There she heals faster than humanly possible, meets a boy named Solo and begins working on a project to create her perfect boy, Adam. And all that happens in the first 15% of the novel. It felt like a lot of events was happening in a very short amount of time and I was still attempting to process that the girl had lost a leg. Then you add it the random sexually promiscuous best friend who’s in love with a loser drug dealer sub-plot, the insta-love and the perfect boy, Adam, who literally stops traffic with his good looks and you’ve pretty much lost me as a reader.
A part of me isn’t sure where to begin with what didn’t work for me with Eve and Adam. Was it the characters? The plot? The slut-shaming? The insta-love? I think I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s actually two things that stood out the most:
1. Show, don’t tell.
Right from the beginning we are told about Evening’s accident and how horrible it is. And as the novel goes on, it is referenced a few times, but with the same old, “It was so horrible. I lost a leg.” Even after finishing the book, I never felt I had a good understanding of what actually happened during the accident. It wasn’t necessarily terribly important, but it did bother me.
This is also done with Solo’s dislike for Eve’s mother, Terra Spiker. As a boy he lost both of his parents in a car accident and Terra Spiker (his parents’ employer) ended up looking after him. He constantly says how evil she is, how he hates her, etc. But we never actually see proof of that evil beyond what he tells the reader. Sure, she wasn’t the friendliest character in the book, but it didn’t equate to the evil that he accuses her of.
Then of course we have Le Hottie McHottiekins, A.K.A. Adam, the perfect boy Eve has been tasked to create while she recovers from her accident. We are told over and over how incredibly gosh-darn howt he is. And when he goes out in the world looking for Eve, everyone – male and female – stops what they are doing for a moment of silence for the baby angles that obviously died for his magical existence. So I guess you’re supposed to feel your ovaries exploding at that point.
But the descriptions used to describe his howtness? He has blue eyes, black hair and he’s just perfect in every sense of the word. Riiiight…
2. The characters
The other major thing that bothered me were the characters. First off, the novel flips back and forth from Eve to Solo’s PoV and later Adam’s. But the thing is, they all read like the same person. And I was told that the novel was supposed to funny, but I think I may have chuckled a grand total of one time. Their personalities along with their interactions resembled robots or cardboard characters. They we unrealistic like so:
Eve – The girl loses a leg in the very beginning of the novel and she gives exactly two shits that it was at one point attached to her body. The day after she is admitted in her mother’s facility she doesn’t even show concern over her injuries. She doesn’t even find it weird that she is healing so fast nor does she even look at her leg. Her explanation is that the doctors and nurses told her not to look at so it wouldn’t upset her. She also thinks her lack of pain is due to the strong meds they have her on. I’m sorry, but I don’t buy any of that. She doesn’t ask any questions about her recovery? She’s not the least bit concerned? Those were simply convenient allowances to move the plot along.
Solo – I never liked this kid. From the moment he entered into the story thinking Eve was hot as they wheeled her and her detached leg from the hospital to when he thinks she is checking him out while she screamed in pain from her injuries, I thought he was a douche.
I know she’s checking me out. Fair enough, because I’m checking her out.
“Ah ahhh ahhhh!”
Eve cries out suddenly. She’s in pain. Bad pain. So it’s possible she’s not really checking me out.
I mean, who actually does that? I’m not sure how I was supposed to react to that. Was it meant to be funny?
Also, I could never understand his intense hatred for Terra Spiker. So she’s mean… okaaayyyy. But she’s taken care of him, given him a job, etc. Yet here he is determined to bring her and her company down. Oh, and did I mention the insta-love? After only a handful of interactions, Solo feels conflicted about taking his evidence of Terra’s illegal activity to the Feds because he is in love with Eve. HUH? I wasn’t even aware that they were friends. There was absolutely no time for them to develop any type of relationship. Note to self: Staring+two conversations=love.
Adam – “I’m so howt, but why is everyone staring at me? Someone hold me.” *eyeroll* For his name to be in the title, he had the smallest role in the book.
Terra Spiker – “I’m evil bitch incarnate and I know it.” <=== The only character personality given to readers. She also loves to slut-shame Eve’s best friend, calling her a “drunken slut” any chance she gets.
Aislin – Eve’s best friend who has only one purpose in the novel: To make Eve look good. By coming off as the self-destructive, drunken BFF who happens to also enjoy sexy times (honestly, why is this portrayed as a bad thing?), you have a character who Eve can spend her free time worrying over and protecting. This makes Eve look caring, kind, thoughtful and selfless. It also provides a clever way for the main character to admit they wish they could be like the BFF while never actually engaging in the more risqué behaviors. Instant innocence. Take out Aislin’s character and Eve has no real depth to her. She’d also be boring considering she’d have no reason to put her Under Dog cape on and save anyone in her spare time.
Oh, and I can’t forget the other scientists featured near the end who make perverted statements toward Eve.
“You haven’t tapped that little piece yet? She’s no great beauty, but she’s cute enough, and she’s got a nice little body.”
“I’d do her, ” Dr. Chen says.
Did I mention these men are probably old enough to be her father and grandfather? I get that they were supposed to be evil, but the layer of sexism wasn’t necessary to drive that point home. All it did was turn me completely off to the book.
While Eve and Adam didn’t do much for me, it is readable. But I was, unfortunately, left disappointed, confused and underwhelmed. *sigh* The only other possible positive is that the novel is a very quick read. You could probably read it in only a few short hours. However, I sadly can’t recommend anyone wasting those precious hours reading Eve and Adam.
ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. Thank you!