So I have finished the fourth book in my reading challenge. This time, I read Eve: The Awakening by Jenna Moreci.
This book was the one I chose for “A book you’ve been meaning to read for a while.” I had stopped at page 101 or so because there was ever the slightest POV jump, but then I did some research and found that it was all in my own head – Jenna was using omniscient POV, and I just hadn’t realized it. And it’s been a while since I either read or wrote something in omniscient, so I forgot that head-hopping is rather normal. And after I realized that, I was able to finish the book with a clear conscience.
The premise behind this book is that Eve is a chimera, a race of superhumans with the power to “melt” things – melting includes being able to levitate, to send a levitating object flying, and apparently, making things explode, which is always kind of cool. Who doesn’t love a good explosion now and again?
Chimeras usually don’t know what they are until their powers emerge – usually in early adulthood. In Eve’s case, her powers emerged at eight, when her parents were killed in a car accident right before her eyes. And she’s apparently the most powerful chimera in the world.
Ever since her parents’ deaths, Eve has been alone, and desires to make a fresh start by moving to Billington University, the most prestigious and expensive school in California. She’s gotten a scholarship for her freshman year, and uses this move as a way to start over again. Yet she can’t really start over, even here.
On her first day, she meets some eccentric girls in her dorm – Madison, her roommate and the heiress to a diamond company, Heather, an eccentric upperclassman with some secrets of her own, and Hayden, a strange acquaintance of Madison’s. And things take a turn for the worst when Jason Valentine, the senator’s son, is kidnapped and revealed to be a chimera, and she’s asked to tutor him. And then to make matters worse, she’s outed as a chimera and has to fight some aliens while falling in love. (If I didn’t know any better, I’d think this was a parody of Tokyo Mew Mew. And if anyone got that reference, you’re awesome.)
I have very little complaints about the story or the characters. They were all very solid, realistic characters, although I didn’t find myself relating to Eve as much as I think I should have in this book. It wasn’t just because Eve is an orphan and both my parents are alive. It wasn’t even that she’s an arse-kicking badass lady and I’m terrible at athletics – in fact, that was one of her likable qualities, that she is good at any kind of athletic endeavor but doesn’t rub it in people’s faces. I can’t really say why I didn’t identify with Eve as much as I should have. But it’s not like I didn’t identify with her at all. Because I already knew beforehand that this would become a series, I knew that probably Jenna wouldn’t go to all the trouble of killing off her main character, but near the end of the book, Eve gets in a ton of trouble and I was trembling slightly as I read. I did end up sympathizing with Armaan, Eve’s medically-inclined sidekick, the most, because he’s a lot like me – geeky, unpopular, bookish, smart, yet he always finds doors closed in his face and can’t get acceptance to the medical program, which has always been his dream.
One complaint I do have, though, is that Jenna introduces Hayden, a flighty sidekick for Madison, who is Eve’s roommate. But Hayden didn’t have a very memorable entrance, and it was overshadowed by Heather, who had a similar personality and a name that started with “H,” and had been introduced only a few pages earlier, so I didn’t remember her at all. And all throughout the novel, the few times that Hayden had an interaction with another character, I kept confusing her for Heather. And then in the last few chapters, when Hayden ends up being crucial to the plot, I’m just like “I don’t remember this character in the least.” and so couldn’t bring forth the same kind of emotional reaction to that pivotal scene. Plus, this is just my own personal bias, but I know a Hayden, and he’s a male, so I’ve never really understood the name “Hayden” to be a girl’s name. I kept seeing Jenna’s Hayden as the Hayden I already knew. Of course, this is going to happen with almost any common/popular name, which is even more of a reason to give the character a memorable entrance and help the reader solidify the character in his/her mind.
But I say don’t let that deter you from reading this novel. I can’t shut up the part of my brain that is my “inner editor” and I always find myself reading the book as a fellow author rather than as just a reader. Aside from my small nitpicks, though, this was a very enjoyable story. If I were to give it a “starred” rating, I’d say it’s four out of five stars. And I’m most definitely looking forward to more books from Jenna!
EDIT: And if anyone is interested in learning more about Jenna or her books, I’ll put her social media links below.