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Book Review: Once by Anna Carey

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.

By: Anna Carey
Publisher: HarpterTeen
Series: Eve #2
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Reviewed: Hardcover

“Once” by Anna Carey blew me away. I couldn’t have asked for a better sequel because this one was absolutely amazing. I thought “Eve” was a decent book; it was a good book for a debut, but “Once” completely blew “Eve” out of the water. This world that Carey has created is beautiful and creepy. “New America” is so close to our world that it leaves a creepy presence because it can make one wonder if this is how the world may end up.

Anna Carey’s “Once” begins with Eve in Califia. She hasn’t heard from Caleb in awhile because he was not allowed to cross the bridge since Califia is a women only territory. Eve hears that Caleb may be in trouble, she sneaks away to try to rescue him but gets trapped by the King’s soldiers. “Once” is about Eve’s time in the City of Sand. This is just a love story about a girl who has fallen in love with a boy that she barely knows. This story is about a girl who is fighting for what she believes in and trying to protect the people that she loves. She hasn’t forgotten her promises to Ruby, Pip, and Arden.


Eve has definitely learned a lot since she left the school that she grew up in. She is no longer a naïve little girl. Eve still has to deal with the guilt of leaving her friends behind as she tries to find a way to make everything right. Being on the run from the Kind takes a toll on Eve as she loses people she loves and then she becomes trapped in the City of Sand. In the City of Sand Eve tries to find a way to escape along with saving her loved ones.

Caleb is still sweetheart trying to be Eve’s hero. Caleb finds Eve and again tries to figure out a way to rescue her. I think Caleb and Eve have that connection of always being able to find each other. We don’t get to see Caleb as much as I thought we would this time around.

Arden is still the same loyal kick butt girl. She almost had me to tears a few time though.

The King is my least favorite character and honestly he is just a jerk face. I’m not totally sure he has the goodness of his people at heart rather than just being power happy.

Clara is a brat but I’m really glad that she is starting to befriend Eve, even if it is only so she can get what she wants.

You finally get to meet Moss in this book, but I’m not going to tell you how.

Last but not least Charles, I wish he wasn’t so naïve and buying into everything the king says or does. I don’t know enough about Charles to know if he is genuinely a good guy or not but his life choices so far are not very impressive. However, I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he has grown up in the city walls his whole life that he may not know better. He is definitely old enough to open his eyes and start seeing things for himself.

Everything Else:

I can’t even begin to describe how much I love this literary world that Anna Carey has created for her readers. The world seems so real. It might be because it wouldn’t surprise me if the world actually ended up similar to this one day, it seems that real. Carey’s writing has improved a ton since “Eve.” I think she did a wonderful job with “Once.” Carey captivated my attention right away and she held it the entire time. I didn’t feel like I was bored or lost while reading this book. The characters are amazing. I feel like I either know them or I am getting to know them. It is really nice seeing this kind of character development. I am not completely hooked and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of “Rise.”

I give "Once" five out of five bookshelves.

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