REVIEW: Once (Eve #2) by Anna Carey

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars, Genre: Fiction/ Young Adult/ Apocalyptic Fiction, Pages: 368, Level: Easy

Book Description from Barnes & Noble:

When you’re being hunted, who can you trust?

For the first time since escaping from her School, Eve can finally sleep soundly. She is living in Califia, protected from the terrifying fate that awaits orphaned girls in The New America in the year 2041. But she was forced to abandon Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at Califia’s 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. Trapped inside the city walls, Eve uncovers a shocking secret about her past- and must confront the harsh reality of her future.

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.

In the second of the Eve trilogy, Eve is reunited with Caleb, finds out about her secret past and begins a new life in a new location. The reader will finally get a look inside this City of Sand everyone talks about. In addition, a love quadrangle will emerge. Eve will find out more about an organized resistance against the King and of course will end up right smack in the middle of it.

SPOILER One thing that annoys me endlessly about these young adult novels is how they feed into teenagers’ desire to be ultra-special. Teenagers already have quite the imagination and fantasizing about being the head cheerleader or MVP football player is no longer enough. Now, in almost every young adult novel the lead male character turns out to be an actual fallen angel or a devastatingly handsome vampire. And the female lead is just more ridiculously unreasonable- a fallen angel in a tragic love story who is reincarnated over and over again for thousands of years and always finds her way to her soul mate, the daughter of the leader who was responsible for creating a whole new society with the aim of saving the human race after an apocalyptic event, or in this case, the daughter of the king who is rebuilding American society. What a shocker! I never saw that one coming… okay, I did. And to tell you the truth, I grumbled a little bit when Carey did the total predictable thing. I could think of many scenarios that would have been better and am a bit disappointed that the author did not. But I guess she has to cater to her target audience to keep all the money rolling in…

And the whole, repetitive Caleb is dead; no he’s not. Caleb is dead; no he’s not. I guess this is the teeny bopper’s version of Grey’s Anatomy- Meredith and McDreamy are together; no they’re not. Yes they are; no they’re not. SPOILER

Once is entertaining, but seems to include details that aren’t really relevant to the story. I’m not sure why authors do this; I suspect it has something to do with making the book longer, which I really wish they wouldn’t. I love long books and if a book is less than 500 pages, I know it is not going to last me very long. But that doesn’t mean that boring and irrelevant details should be included to stretch out the story. That just annoys me and I start skimming, reading only the first line of each paragraph unless it sounds as if the entire paragraph is either interesting or important. I would rather have an intriguing, well written, 250 page book than a 368 page book and 100 pages were skimmed. I may still enjoy the story, but my internal editor is not happy that I had to wake her up.

If you read and enjoyed the first book, then yes, I recommend you read this one. It’s a fairly quick read and an extremely light read. You won’t be using many brain cells with this series; it’s pure entertainment. If you haven’t read the series and somehow stumbled upon this review before reading the reviews on Eve, eh… It’s okay. It adheres to the current successful formula for young adult fiction- love story plus dystopian fiction plus totally unrealistic and improbable revelation as to who you really are equals a big hit with teenagers. Others do it better; Once does it minimally well.

Reviewed by Christina


If you enjoyed Once by Anna Carey, you may also enjoy:

Matched, Crossed & Reached by Ally Condie

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