Set several years in the future, sixteen-year-old Ricky Romanello, a college freshman, is playing basketball when he collapses and winds up in a coma sirring from a powerful flu that hits the U.S. population causing deaths and a dramatic slowdown in the economy. Research scientist Dr. Mandy Fox has been developing an anti-aging drug that she believes could eradicate the flu. Ricky becomes one of the test subjects. But Ricky and others soon discover that an unintended side effect of the new drug and vaccine has catastrophic consequences for the entire population.
This was a fascinating sci-fi novel to read. It was fast paced and kept you engaged the whole time. We used this book as a read aloud for part of our kids home education and I knew it was a hit when they asked if I had other books by Jeff! What more can a mom want then kids who have a desire to keep reading? Jeff does a marvelous job of touching on some great issues that this country has faced and may face in the future as well, such as a female president, gender politics, pandemics, new strains of viruses, and creation of new drugs. I thought the author did a wonderful job of introducing new characters and giving us good detailed background information on them, although at times he did go a little too in depth.
The group discussion guides and teacher guides were a blessing to me. There are so many differnt issues in this book that it was nice to have a guide to start from and expand on as new questions from my kids came up.
My daughter I think liked the book the best simply because the "women rock" and get to do all the things I tell are mainly for boys. I may never hear the end of it now. My sons were a little disgusted at times by how easily everyone seemed to except the gender role change and how God did not design men and women the same and was not to be tampered with. They felt it was simply not realistic and would never be allowed to happen so easily with no uprising.I was not a fan of the rape scenes and how underplayed they were and how there seemed to be do damaging effects to the raped individuals, but they acted nonchalantly about it instead.
I know some might say the book is sexist, but as a Christian I believe firmly in the gender roles and this book caused issues with me in that regard. God designed each gender uniquely and equipped us with certain duties that I believe we are to follow, not because women are unequipped to do a job a man can or vise versa, but because that is how our Creator designed it. Gender-bending issues I feel are one of the top issues we are facing now. With so many fathers abandoning their children boys are being taught to be men by women who are not equipped and this has left us with a very feminine male population who are confused about their roles in society and the home. Its a tough issue to tackle and this book gave us some great discussions around our house into that issue.
Overall I would recommend this book, but only if you have a solid foundation built into your children of proper, biblical gender roles and you are prepared to answer ALOT of questions regarding sexual abuse. This well-written novel has an intriguing plot as well as memorable characters. Although a Ya novel with a lead character who is 16, there are enough other characters, and underlying themes that are provocative and important for teens and adults to consider, that this novel should appeal to adults as well as teens alike.
Class Discussion Topics or Projects (From Classroom Discussion Guide provided by the publisher, Hannacroix Creek Books, Inc. Copyright 2013 by Hannacroix Creek Books, Inc. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint granted.)
1. The very first line in Atom and Eve is this quote by the author: “Men and women will never truly understand each other until they switch roles and view life from the other’s perspective.” This is a primary theme and leads us to wonder how we would react to such changes. Have you ever thought about what it might be like if you were born as the opposite sex to what you are now?