Monday, July 23, 2012

Book Review: Once

Media Type: Print Book (ARC)
Title: Once
   *Series: Eve #2
Author: Anna Carey
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: Hardcover; 368
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Source: Publisher
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Mild Violence
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Fans of Eve, or readers who enjoy dystopian fiction.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
When you're being hunted, who can you trust?

For the first time since she escaped from her school many months ago, Eve can sleep soundly. She's living in Califia, a haven for women, protected from the terrifying fate that awaits orphaned girls in The New America.

But her safety came at a price: She was forced to abandon Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. When Eve gets word that Caleb is in trouble, she sets out into the wild again to rescue him, only to be captured and brought to the City of Sand, the capital of The New America.

Trapped inside the City walls, Eve uncovers a shocking secret about her past--and is forced to confront the harsh reality of her future. When she discovers Caleb is alive, Eve attempts to flee her prison so they can be together--but the consequences could be deadly. She must make a desperate choice to save the ones she loves . . . or risk losing Caleb forever.

In this breathless sequel to "Eve," Anna Carey returns to her tale of romance, adventure, and sacrifice in a world that is both wonderfully strange and chillingly familiar.

Eve is back, and finally settling into a comfortable routine. Califia is finally becoming her new home. That is, until she figures out their true motivation for letting her stay. Anna Carey quickly reacquaints her readers who the world that she built in the first book. Eve's world is one that holds both beauty and danger. From the beginning I was able to slide right back in with the story line, and I have to say that I really loved the descriptive writing in this book! Carey shows her prowess at writing vivid scenery that just bleeds off the page. Califia and the City were in my head the entire read, and it was easy for me to see what Eve saw. That, above anything else, is what I really loved about this book.

However, sadly, that's really where my love for this book stayed most of the time. Eve herself drove me crazy. In the first book I was willing to forgive her a lot, especially because of her upbringing. In Once we see a new Eve. One that is more of an individual and actually a lot stronger. When she first came into the story I was impressed. Then, as time wore on, she kept making mistakes that were selfish and frustrating. It drove me mad. I am certain there will be others that disagree with me, and that's okay. It's just that I personally couldn't stand her the majority of the book.

On top of that Caleb, my favorite character, really doesn't get much face time in this installment. The boys that he left behind aren't really mentioned at all either. In fact, Caleb seemed really washed out to me. Story wise, his whole existence revolves around seeing and being with Eve. No matter what the consequences. I know this can be sweet. I know that it works well in a lot of other stories. For me though, this felt forced. I missed Caleb from the first book. A lot.

The twist that Once brings to the table definitely does make this worth a read though. Especially if you were a fan of Eve. Again, I won't go too into detail so that way I don't spoil it for you. Still, it was a great addition to the story! I have to give credit where credit is due. It was this new development that kept me reading on to see what would happen next.

At the end of the day I have to admit that Once wasn't my favorite read, but I do see a lot of potential. Eve can be a strong character when she tries. Caleb is adorable and swoon worthy. Best of all, it is the world itself that will really draw you in. Fans of Eve, as well as fans of dystopian fiction, really need to give this story a shot.  

Other books in this series:
Eve (Eve #1)

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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