Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.
This story was not for me. It started out okay, though it felt rushed. No time was dedicated to building the relationships between the girls in School, or giving Eve time to process that her whole life was a lie. Instead, another girl (Arden, who has a reputation as a prankster) tells her the truth the night before Eve's life was scheduled to change. So, why would Eve believe her so easily? Enough to risk swimming across a lake in the middle of the night, even though she can't swim? I don't buy it.
However, if we'd been able to see more of the school, how the girls interacted, and how Eve finds clues to corroborate what Arden says, then Eve's trek across the lake would make more sense. Or, even better, if the story had begun with Eve finding Arden coming out of the lake, looking horrified and jumpy, that would give Eve reason enough to wonder what was really going on. Especially if Arden subsequently seems reserved and eyes the Teachers with suspicion--this would make Eve even more curious.
But none of this happened, so the beginning got off to a rough start. Throughout the rest of the book, Eve is too passive. She doesn't resist the bounty hunter (that first scene with him, btw, doesn't make sense because the bounty hunter doesn't have three hands), she doesn't try to help Marjorie or Otis, and she lets both Arden and Caleb leave under questionable circumstances (especially Caleb...that irritated me in so many ways). About halfway through the book, I actively disliked Eve. I thought Arden was much more interesting.
Many aspects to the plot didn't make sense. For example, why did the girls in School receive such an education, even skewed the way it was? Also, why were they taught to fear men so much? Where are all these babies going, anyway? To replenish the orphan work force? It doesn't make sense that they'd go to rich families in the city. Kids are expensive to support. If there are whisperings about why the king wants Eve, there would surely be whisperings about where the babies go. On that note, it also doesn't make sense that the king would go so far to pursue Eve when, clearly, she isn't what everyone thought. So why does he?
If the answer to any of these questions is "you'll find out in the next book," well, that's too frustrating for my taste and it makes me lose all interest in the story. There is a fine line between withholding information and keeping an air of mystery. This story had too many questions and not enough answers for my taste. I doubt I'll read the next book.