Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Eve and Adam (Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant)

Eve and Adam
Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant
Square Fish
Fiction, YA Sci-Fi
****+ (Good/Great)

DESCRIPTION: The day Evening "E.V." Spiker was struck by a car was the day her life changed forever. It's not just the trauma of a crushed arm and severed leg (among other injuries) - it's what happened when her mother, Terra "Terror" Spiker, got her moved to a private room at the family pharmaceutical laboratory just outside of San Francisco. Everyone knows about the company's groundbreaking, life-saving work on diseases and vaccines, but few know what goes on deep within the gleaming complex. For one thing, Evening's leg heals remarkably - impossibly - fast. For another, there's a teen orderly, Solo, who's definitely hiding something behind his surfer-dude hair and inscrutable blue eyes. But the strangest secret may be hiding in the "game" her mother wants her to play to keep her occupied during her convalescence, a program to build the perfect human, from the DNA up. But it's all just virtual, not real cloning or genetic manipulation... isn't it?

REVIEW: The moral dilemmas of Frankenstein meet modern America in this fast-paced medical sci-fi tale. Evening struggles between the demands of her hard-nosed businesswoman mother and memories of her equally-stubborn artist father, cursed by a perfectionist streak in an inherently imperfect world. She lives vicariously through Aislin, her rough-edged BFF (currently dating a loser thug who gets her into one jam after another), who acts as an emotional compass when Evening finds herself lost in the unfamiliar terrain of her own heart. Solo, an angry young man whose life has also been permanently altered by his late parents' association with Spiker Pharmaceuticals, has spent years plotting revenge as he gathers evidence of the dirt hidden beneath the company's spotless facade... only to find his resolve tested when he realizes how many people, including Evening, could be hurt. The imperfect characters, each saddled with their own flaws, struggle to navigate in an increasingly complicated situation. Is it ever justified to play God? Are some prices simply too high to pay? Can the perfection never found in real life be achieved in a laboratory? Why is love, so unpredictable and irresistible - and how can it compel one to do and endure such horrible things? Evening and her companions face all of these questions, and more too, while dodging shady doctors and other threats. I clipped it a half-star because the ending felt a little weak and the villain a trifle flat, plus I felt more could've been done with the all-too-real creation Adam, but overall I enjoyed this one.

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