Jennifer at BookShelfery's Reviews > Once

Once by Anna Carey
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's review
Apr 01, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: dystopian, young-adult
Read from April 19 to 22, 2012

This review is also posted at The Bawdy Book Blog

Once is a great follow-up to Eve with a clear message: STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN.

Once picks up a few months after Eve has made it to Califia and is in their care, making her living in a new world of women. But all is not what it would seem, or what she thinks it might be…

I liked the first book, Eve, but I didn’t love it. It was just okay for me, because it was up against such heavy hitters such as Wither, Blood Red Road and other superbly fantastic young adult dystopian novels. But Once has earned its place in that fine line-up, bringing Eve with it. I truly enjoyed each aspect of this story and how Carey took Eve from a mediocre protagonist to a strong, independent woman willing to do anything for what she believes is right. I was honestly hoping for this sort of character development and I am so happy that Carey delivered in spades.
There is a lot of personal growth in Once for Eve. She isn’t who she thought she was and that turns her world upside-down (as if it wasn’t already?). Not only does she have to deal with an identity crisis, which she does with grace and spunk, she also has to deal with a new world around her, new people who know nothing of what the Schools are really like and pushy individuals who think they know what’s better for her than she does. The other characters are equally great in Once: Caleb is ever as determined as he was in Eve to be with her. Arden is just as hard (and I also loved seeing a new side of her).
We also get to meet a myriad of new characters, but I’m not going to name them in this review, because I do not want to spoil Once for you. They are an integral part to plot twists. Let’s just say that I suspected something about Eve and I was right, but I was still left in amazement.
There wasn’t really a love triangle in Eve. There is one in Once, but Carey has carefully constructed this triangle to be the most intriguing triangle I’ve ever read. It’s always interesting when there are 3 involved people in a love triangle, but one of them doesn’t want to be. I am very curious where Carey is going to take these three in the third book.
The plot of Once is a thinker: if a virus wiped out most of civilization and you were in charge of restoring humanity, how would you go about doing it? The King’s answer is to put girls in procreation centers (aka, the building across the lake from the School in the first book). Do you think that’s his only choice? I’m not sure where I fall with this. I think I would want to do anything I could to restore my people and my country, but at what cost? And would I care? That’s an honest question. At what point does the good of the country and humanity outweigh the choice of people? Maybe never. What I loved most is that Eve knew which side she was on and she stood up for what she believed in. Without regard to herself, she made her opinions known. Eve is one of the more courageous characters I’ve met.
Overall, Anna Carey has written an engaging and thought-provoking sequel. I can’t wait to see where she takes us next.

**I received this eARC for review**

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Reading Progress

04/20/2012 page 81

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