First, thank you to Bethany Atazadeh for sending me a copy of your novel!
Synopsis (From Amazon):
Everyone in Eden is assigned a Number, tattooed on their neck, which determines their value and place in the world. On her Numbering Day, Evalene Vandereth anticipates joining the élite. Born in an upper-class family, she knows exactly who she is and what she is worth. Even as the needle breaks her skin, she is blissfully happy. She never considers another outcome, until it’s too late.
Now 18-year-old Evalene lives in fear, struggling with her new identity, stripped of her freedom and basic human rights. Can she escape her Number? Is anyone else asking the same question? Fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent will love Evalene’s Number and its incredible dystopian tale.
I was really excited to read this after Bethany sent me the synopsis. The number system was a really interesting aspect of Eden, I think what hit if out of the park for me was this HUGE divide between the people because of their tattoos. They are even told their numbers are selected by God. So from the very start, it feels impossible to escape the number system through any means.
It was also great to see contrast with the characters. Chapters switch between Evalene and Jeremiah which really gave you different perspectives on the story but also emphasizing the struggles of the number system.
Evalene had amazing character development. Seeing her go from being raised to be a high number with a multitude of privileges then be stripped of them as a low number and THEN learn to find her voice was exhilarating. Evalene even with all the betrayal and doubt she has, she really perceivers with the help of other characters. There were times I couldn’t put it down because I just kept rooting for Evalene to keep going!
Jeremiah is a great complement to Evalene, he has so much fight and wisdom in him. Jeremiah wholeheartedly knows what he believes in and when he meets Evalene he reminds her of her worth. I will say his sections in the beginning felt really short and rushed when it came to his past and I was hoping to learn more about him, but fingers crossed we learn a little more about his family in the second book!!! He really was a great character so caring and selfless (EVEN THOUGH HE CONFUSED ME SOOO MUCH AT THE END, whyyyyyyyy). ALSO, Jeremiah and Evalene’s budding romance was so sweet that I cannot wait to see what happens there.
I’d also like to quickly mention Olive!! She is so sweet and precious and SO strong. She knows exactly what she believes and only looks for the good in people. I just loved her relationship with Evalene, she is that friend who constantly pushes you out of your comfort zone, but for the better.
Overall, I loved this novel. The characters that Bethany created were so heartfelt. I feel like the plot is completely relatable to our society now and the idea of rating people and social media contributing to this idea that other people define yourself worth. Also, this book has a lot of religious aspects to it, but I think Bethany does it in such a seamless way that you are so enveloped by the characters and story that you don’t even see it until the end. I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed this story, especially the sections where she makes you realize you are worth so much more than what others bestow on you.