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A Reader of Fictions: I Know - Save Ferris

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I Know - Save Ferris

Eve, Book 1

Author: Anna Carey
Pages: 279
ARC Acquired from: HarperTeen via NetGalley

Brief Summary:
Eve is the top of her class, about to graduate as the valedictorian in her girls' only school. After that, she hopes to be an artist. A bright future awaits her. Or does it? The class troublemaker, Arden, asserts that no good awaits them after graduation. Even though Eve doesn't really believe that, she feels compelled to check. She sneaks out to take a look at the college building and discovers what horrors it truly contains: women do not get further education, rather they become baby factories. Now, Eve just has to get out and try to avoid the dangers of men.

Undoubtedly, the most terrifying dystopias for me personally are the ones that involve the role of women in society after a calamity. Eve falls in with the like of Wither, The Handmaid's Tale, and Bumped. If reproductivity suffers, if a large segment of the population dies in some horrific event, if people are dying off younger, then women quickly lose the status they fought for decades to accomplish and become property, needed only to push out babies.

This subset of dystopias is terrifying largely because it requires very little suspension of disbelief to imagine such things coming to pass should something catastrophic occur. For all that women are much more equal now, I have no doubt that our position would not revert back to slavery and breeding chattel swiftly if that was viewed as the only way to save mankind from extinction. What's worse is that on some level, that response does make sense. What if that really was the only way for mankind to survive? I like to think there would be other ways, but what if there weren't? Is it worth it?

In Eve, the population was decimated by a plague. Many perished, including Eve's mother. Orphans, of which there were many, were gathered up and put into schools and educated until they were old enough to be of use one way or another. In Eve's school, she and her classmates are taught about the evil ways of men, of how they only want one thing and of the dangers of falling in love. They teach these lessons with examples from literature, such as Romeo and Juliet and Anna Karenina.

For the most part, this was a really interesting read, although I did find my attention waning as I got further into the story. There was a lot of running around and not a lot of plot advancement. One weird thing was a scene where Eve mentioned that she didn't remember the date of her birthday, although she did remember her mom singing a birthday song to her. Eve was young when the plague hit and she went into the school, where birthdays were not celebrated, but what kid does not remember their birthday? I mean, come on. If she was old enough at the time to have such clear memories of her mom, then she would totally remember when her birthday was.

All in all, a decent dystopian read and a chilling view of how quickly the status of women could fall. I sure hope nothing like this comes to pass.

"My mama said to stay from guys like you.
She said they were nasty make me do things I don't wanna do
Stay away from bad boys they've got one thing on their mind
Their hormones are raging and they want it all the time"

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Blogger Steena said...

There's an episode of Sliders that deals with this sort of dystopia, population catastrophe, have to make babies. Except that a stronger breed is desired to make sure we survive, so the finest male specimens are rounded up (like chattel) and the childbearing women are treated like royalty. Also not a great situation, but an interesting role reversal.

October 9, 2011 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Bellas Shelf said...

I adored this book & ARCS of the 2nd in the series "Once" are out! Jealous!
I adored Handmaids Tale too. I think I will re buy it to re read it. A classic.

January 23, 2012 at 5:00 PM  

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