Monday, June 25, 2012

Review: Once by Anna Carey

Once (Eve #2)
Anna Carey
July 3rd, 2012
368 pages (hardcover)
Source - Publicist (unsolicited)
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.
When I first read Eve, I found myself torn - there were aspects I enjoyed and others that frustrated me. With Once, Carey proved herself capable of delivering a strong sequel filled with surprises. There is no sequel slump here. Instead, Eve journeys to reunite with the boy she loves while also discovering that sometimes the right choices are the most difficult ones to make. I'm going to keep quiet on specifics, because this is one story that is better read without knowing the big moments.

Carey's greatest achievement in 
Once is with the characters. Eve battles circumstances that would make anyone want to give up and give in. She's forced to smile and pretend in the City of Sand, even though she's nothing more than glorified prisoner. Her composure is admirable, along with her efforts to aid those that oppose the King. With each new chapter, Eve presses onward to become a stronger, smarter heroine and one worthy of rooting for. A story brimming with deceit, secrets, romance and more, Once is a magnificent sequel. 

Highlights: I was completely captivated by this story and the direction it went. A few of the revelations and twists, like the true reason why the King wanted Eve so badly, had me hooked. There was more to the characters in this story than I expected (especially the King, Arden, Moss1, and Beatrice). I loved the descriptions of the City of Sand, and the ending left me curious for the next novel. 

Lowlights: I felt like Eve and Caleb became a bit reckless with their safety for the sake of the plot and the direction it needed to go. A couple times, they ran headfirst into trouble, despite knowing the possible consequences. 


1 Moss's identity within the city blew my mind, I can't believe I didn't realize it earlier. One of the many great twists in this story!



  1. It is nice to see a sequel that is strong. I still haven't read Eve yet but I'm glad you liked the sequel maybe more than book one even.

  2. I was REALLY debating with this one because I just wasn't completely sold with EVE but ONCE sounds intriguing. Okay, yes. I'll have to check it out--you've convinced me! :)

  3. I haven't read this series yet, but knowing that the second book lived up to the first makes me want to check it out. It sounds like you really enjoyed it, although I find recklessness really annoying.

  4. Full of surprises? Very glad to hear that. I loved the first book and I'm sure I'll love this one too. :)

  5. I need to read this series--it sounds so fun! My TBR list is getting so long these days. :)

  6. Okay, you've convinced me to read ONCE. I wasn't a huge fan of EVE, but I'm loving the fact that the story goes in a surprising direction. Thanks for the review! :)
    - Lauren

  7. Was this not a great sequel, or what??? I enjoyed it so very much. I can't believe I didn't catch on about Moss!

    Great review!

  8. I need to read this series! I've been wanting to read it and it's been on my TBR list for ever! Great review- I really liked it.

    Teenage Fiction

  9. i really loved reading eve and i can't wait to get my hands on this