Monday, April 15, 2013

Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate

Have you ever dreamt of creating the perfect significant other?  Someone with a perfect body and a perfect personality?

No?  Just me? ;)
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Eve and Adam is a young adult science fiction novel that focuses on Evening Spiker, her mother’s biopharmaceutical company, and Solo Plissken, Evening's mother’s secret ward.  The whole story is told from both Evening and Solo’s points of view, with each narrating a chapter or two at a time. 

After Evening gets into a serious accident that severs her leg, her mother quickly transfers her from a general hospital to her specialized hospital within her company before her doctors realize that Evening has been genetically modified to heal unbelievably quick.  This is something Evening isn't aware of right away.

While she thinks she’s healing, Evening meets Solo, a mysterious teenage boy who is able to sneak her in and out of her mother’s facilities.  Solo has lived at the biopharmaceutical company since his parents died six years earlier.  He harbors a deep hatred towards Evening’s mother because he suspects she was involved in his parents’ death.  He has spent his time at the company honing his hacking skills in order to one day turn the company into the FBI.

In order to distract her from realizing how fast she heals, Evening’s mother asks her to try the new project that has recently been developed: Project 88715.  This project allows users to create a human… via simulation of course.  Evening is supposed to create the perfect boy by choosing his features starting at a cellular level and working her way up.  She fantasizes about what makes the perfect man, debating on the relationship between genius and social skills, whether someone can be too beautiful, and even the size of his boy parts.  She names her simulation boy Adam.

Predictably, it doesn't take long for Solo and Evening to develop feelings for each other, which forces Solo to rethink his plan to take down Evening’s mother.  Adventure ensues as Evening and Solo learn the truth about each other, their parents, and what really makes the perfect partner.

I really wanted to love this novel.  It was an incredibly easy read with a super interesting concept.  However, I felt the characters weren't deep enough and the storyline was pretty predictable.  On the other hand, because of this, this would probably be an excellent novel for reluctant young adult readers.  Additionally, the fact that it is told for both characters’ points of view will help both male and female readers identify with it.

A note on the authors: Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant are a husband/wife team who have written a slew of popular young adult novels individually.  It is unfortunate that this cooperative book didn't live up to many of their other books.  This interview with Applegate and Grant mentions a possible sequel to the novel.  Despite not loving the novel, I did like enough to keep an eye out for this sequel.  It will be in my Amazon shopping cart the day it's available for preorder. 

This would be, however, an excellent supplemental text for biology classes.  It looks at genetics, cloning, and the ethics of each.  I could see this being assigned along with a short essay explaining various biological concepts within the novel.


baboonfan said...

Ah, the story of the creator and the creation. Frankenstien, Pygmalion,Chobits, Absolute Boyfriend, the relativly recent Astro Boy movie, each of these is about a scientist of some kind making artificial beings, often as companions or replacements for someone they've lost. It's an excellent way to explore what makes a person a person, and the logistics and morality issues of creation. These provide a depth of interesting topics to explore. You could definetly teach this in a school, perhaps alongside Frankenstein, as an easier read. Perhaps you can use it for differentiated instruction?

Clarice Howard said...

Since you think that this novel would be good for reluctant readers, would you incorporate this into a high school curriculum? Could there be any benefits from students reading this book?

Also, you said this could be used in a biology class. It does not seem that most biology classes would chose a fiction book to incorporate into the class because the ideas or concepts may not be completely accurate. This might then confuse students.

Laura Coyotl said...

With the way technology advances every day, this is something that we could probably have in the future. Who wouldn’t want to create their ideal guy, with everything perfect? I feel that one of the downsides to creating someone so perfect is that we will lose reality of what is real, humans are not perfect and that is what makes us unique. Being with someone who is perfect will make me feel bad about myself, because I will see my flaws and I will know that I can never be perfect because I am human. But simulating is not bad as long is reality is not lost. This book will give student a good view of what would it be like to create a perfect person.
I like that you gave you opinion about the book, and you said what you thought about the books plot and everything. You gave the book a good review without saying that it is bad because you did not like it as much. Good recommendation, about this book being an easy for reluctant readers. Also, the links you provided were good.