Thursday, April 18, 2013

Book Review: Once by Anna Carey

Title:  Once
Author:  Anna Carey
Series:  Eve #2
Genre:  YA dystopian
Pages:  354

Rating:  A-

Synopsis from  In the second book of this thrilling dystopian adventure, Eve will come face to face with the king who has been ruthlessly hunting her and learn the shocking truth about who she really is.

Having managed to evade the soldiers hunting her, Eve finally reached Califia, a haven for women determined to live outside the oppressive rule of the King of New America. However, Eve's freedom came at a price: she was forced to leave Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. When Eve learns that Califia may not be as safe as it seems she sets out once again in the hopes of being with Caleb only to fall into a trap that sends her to the City of Sand and directly into the hands of the King. 

Once at the stronghold of the King, Eve will uncover the real reason he was so intent on her capture, and the unbelievable role he intends her to fill. When she is finally reunited with Caleb inside the city walls, Eve will risk everything to be with him.
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Once is an emotionally draining book.  It's riveting and romantic, but the ending is just so heartbreaking.  As soon as I finished reading it, I just wanted to read something lighthearted and fun.

Eve is a much stronger character in Once.  I like how her character has progressed from a naive and bossy know-it-all to a strong, confident, and compassionate heroine.  And if you didn't fall in love with Caleb in the first book, you definitely will now.  He's such a great love interest; his idealism, his convictions, and his passion all contribute to his growth as a character.  Eve and Caleb's relationship is passionate and intense, making the ending (which I won't spoil) all the more emotional.

The story itself is interesting, especially since it continues to build the world Carey created.  Besides the school and the wild, the book also shows what life is like in Califia and the City of Sand.  There are new characters too - Charles, Clara, the King - and each added something new to the story.  The king presents a very conflicted character.  Part of me hates him for all of the things he's done to re-establish New America, but another part of me sees how much he struggles with his position, his actions, and his place with Eve.  And you can see how Eve feels the same way about him.

Once is a great second book to a trilogy.  It has its own unique storyline, introduces some new and interesting characters, and provides non-stop action that kept me glued to the book.  Just be ready for an ending that will break your heart and leave you feeling drained.  A-

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