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Eva Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1990
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“Sure to entertain, but thought-provoking as well.”—Kirkus Reviews, Pointer
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Using the content analysis for young adult fantasy described in France A. Dowd and Lisa C. Taylor's "Is there a typical YA fantasy?" (Journal of Youth Services in Libraries, Winter 1992), I realized how generalized and unclear the genre is. As a subgenre, I place Eva in animal fantasy, though this ape is literally embodying human intelligence in the form of Eva the human's brain. It feels real, because her transformation is so well developed and carefully explained. The type of conflict, well, none of the classics seem dominant. There is person against person, person against self, personal against society, and person against nature - which proves the dynamic characterization of Dickinson's main character.
Dickinson's story is simple and yet very complicated; you know this, but you can read along and tackle the more difficult issues at your own reading level. Apparently it's read to facilitate conversations such as extending human life and treatment of animals in medicine and sociology. These are the types of issues you consider while reading, as opposed to my original assumption - which would be a girl losing her blue eyes and sweet smile for a bubble butt and protruding teeth. It really isn't about Eva the girl as much as Eva the person and this makes it quite different from the other young adult books I've read. If you are a careful reader, you begin to find a lot of layered analogies, but they don't feel forced.