EVƎ & ADAM by Katherine Applegate & Michael Grant
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Source: e-arc received from publisher on NetGalley for an honest review (Thank You!)
Description from Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Evening Spiker lives an affluent life in San Francisco with her mother, a successful geneticist and owner of Spiker Biotech. Sure, Evening misses her father who died mysteriously, but she’s never really questioned it. Much like how she’s never stopped to think how off it is that she’s never been sick. That is, until she’s struck by a car and is exposed to extensive injuries. Injuries that seem to be healing faster than physically possible.
While recuperating in Spiker Biotech’s lush facilities, she meets Solo Plissken, a very attractive, if off-putting boy her age who spent his life at Spiker Biotech. Like Evening, he’s never questioned anything... until now. Solo drops hints to Evening that something isn’t right, and that her mother may be behind it. Evening puts this out of her mind and begins her summer internship project: To simulate the creation of the perfect boy. With the help of Solo, Evening uncovers secrets so big they could change the world completely.
The book starts out with a bang! literally, Eve gets smooshed by a speeding truck. What better way to grab your reader's attention than to immediately kill off your main character? Oh but I didn't mention that Eve survives, and in the ensuing hours she miraculously stays conscious through the whole ordeal. But the oddity of how quickly she's healing is overshadowed by the project her mother - head of Spiker Biotech - assigns her to keep her busy. You'd think it'd be easy to design the perfect male specimen right? It just happens to get a little bit complicated with the gorgeous and mysterious Solo hovering nearby, Eve's best friend Aislin getting into trouble non-stop on top of the ominous rumblings in the bowels of Spiker Biotech.
I love the cover so much. With the title being Eve & Adam, and using the apple as the traditional iconic symbol to allude to the story of creation, it's fitting for this tale of girl creates boy - with a slight Frankenstein science fiction twist to the cover, it blends the two themes together perfectly!
I walked into this book thinking it'd be set in a futuristic world where impossible technology ruled, but turns out it's set in present day with lots of inside jokes about current video games (I giggled at the mention of Portal), and common gadgets (like iPads). So it was a bit surprising, but given the context of how Eve is presented with her project I think this setting was a good choice.
This husband wife writing duo manages to nail the characters right on the head. The story is told from alternating points of view between Eve and Solo - each chapter is distinguished by name. But the voices are written in a way that it's easy to distinct between Eve with a more structured professional academic voice versus Solo's darker, casual but calculated voice.
I liked Eve well enough. She over thinks things a bit too much sometimes, and it ends up giving her tunnel vision, which causes her to miss crucial facts that are blaring at her. Eve has never wanted for anything in her life, but her life isn't as perfect as you think. She's lived with a very tightly controlled leash, and because of this she's both insanely intelligent but lacks common sense life skills. She's driven to do well, but like any sane teenager she tests her mothers limits. She gets her bouts of rebellion in where she can, mostly in the form of her best friend Aislin.
Aislin is that friend I think we all knew at one point. She makes some of the worst relationship decisions ever, loves to party and you always feel like you need to rescue her from herself. Which is Eve's role in this friendship, she ends up living vicariously through Aislin's crazy adventures while picking up the pieces afterwards. Aislin, although a secondary character seemed to play a huge role in the story. Her mess of a life is what drives most of the conflict. I will give Aislin credit, at least she knows what she wants and she decides quickly, it made Eve's constant indecision a bit more bearable.
Solo Plissken has a lot in common with Eve. He's clever, smart, snarky and at times just a little bit hormonally awkward. But unlike Eve, he has the ability to think quickly on his feet, and street smarts to survive in the cut throat environment of Spiker Biotech. At first I wasn't sure if I liked him, he was a bit of an ass. But Solo is like a fungus, he grows on you.
I was a bit disappointed that Eve's designing of her perfect boy takes a bit of a backseat to all the drama that Aislin and Solo brings to the party. But once things get going I was more concerned with each character's personal struggles instead of her project. The darker undertow of the whole story does however end up drawing all these strings together into one fantastic reveal. It gets a bit philosophical towards the end, but I figure the ramifications and ethics of such a project should likely be discussed.
Overall: 4/5 Hot Cups of Tea!
The style and language used makes this a surprisingly quick read. The science isn't overly technical, the romance isn't steamy but it's cute in a geeks get together kind of way. All in all you will laugh and be entertained! The ending didn't leave me for wanting, but it does look like it could be turned into a series.