As seen on Stumptown Books
This was a reread for me, having originally read this middle-grade novel in middle school, at precisely the age it was meant for. I remembered it recently and wanted to give it another shot, having not yet learned the lesson that some things from our childhood are better left to memory.
The opening is the strongest and creepiest part. We discover early on that Eva has had her brain moved from her prepubescent body into that of a young chimp. The sequence of her learning what has happened, and how she deals with it, was shudder inducing. Eva was so strong and able to cope with this horrifying event in her life; I remembered why, in middle school, I thought she was such a strong character. I was able to identify her as an, albeit very strange, heroine. Unfortunately, reading this book through an adult's eyes, I am able to see that Eva was suspiciously accepting of her situation. She reacted maturely to everything that was thrown at her, which made it obvious that an adult male was trying to write a 13 year old girl, and barely succeeding. Her thoughts on politics were too cohesive and she is entirely too adult like, instead of being the angsty teenager we would all be in this situation. Seriously, what happened to her is thoroughly horrifying, she deserved to have some screams and cry alone in the corner time.
Soon we leave the hospital and learn about the state of the world, and although it is a much more depressing view of the near future than I cherish close to my heart, it was also disturbingly accurate in some ways. It was interesting that TV was the medium that had completely taken over society, as there was no internet really.
The middle of the book lost its way, and I was actually growing bored, even though the book is so short. I didn't like it all the way up until the very end, when the last page was actually quite a good pay off.
The bottom line is, if you are interested in young adult dystopias, this would probably prove an interesting read for you. Having been published in the late 80s, as opposed to the last decade, proves that our fear of where we are headed has changed drastically.