Book Review & Giveaway: Once

Once (Eve, #2)
Once (Eve #2)
Published by Harper Teen
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Genre: YA dystopian
320 pages
Buy it on Amazon, IndieBound
 or Barnes and Noble
Source: kindly provided by publisher
Read my review of book #1, Eve.

My thoughts: 
 I was a reader who really enjoyed book 1 in this series, so I've been eagerly anticipating this book for nearly a year. I remember being impressed with the tough-as-nails storyline, which somehow allowed the heroine to still behave like a girl. I loved the epic journey, and the discovery of truth. I was left wanting resolution, and hoped to find it in book 2. 

When I picked up Once, I was aware that the series was planned as a trilogy- so the resolution would have to wait. Still, I was hoping to get some good character development and expository description. Instead, I was left feeling like it was all plot, with not enough description- or maybe the description was there, but the breakneck pace just overpowered it. The plot didn't arc as much as I would have liked; I didn't feel like I was allowed to sit in scenes long enough to really feel what the characters were experiencing. The pacing just felt off, even though I really like the concept and characters.

So what did I like about the concept and characters? I still really like the epidemic-driven post-apocalyptic North America. I like that the main character discovers an evil fate and escapes it. I really enjoyed that the King got plenty of opportunity to present his viewpoint and reasons for having rebuilt the country as he did. I loved that the mistrust that Eve was taught to give males carried over to the King himself- despite a specific major plot twist. I liked that Eve met even more engaging, enjoyable characters. I liked that the characters who carried over from book 1 felt like old friends.  Most of all, I liked the development of Eve's relationship with Caleb.

I think the hardest part of reading and reviewing this book is that it is not what I was expecting at all. If that sort of surprise is what you look for in a good read, this will definitely be a good pick for you.

Summary from GoodReads:

Sixteen years have passed since a deadly virus wiped out most of the Earth’s population. After learning of the terrifying part she and her classmates were fated to play in the rebuilding of New America, eighteen-year-old Eve fled to the wilds and Califia, a haven for women determined to live outside the oppressive rule of the king of New America. However, her freedom came at a price: she was forced to leave Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. Eve quickly learns that Califia may not be as safe as it seems and soon finds herself in the City of Sand and the palace of the king. There she uncovers 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, they will enact a plan as daring as it is dangerous. But will Eve once again risk everything—her freedom, her life—for love?

Brimming with danger and star-crossed romance, and featuring a vivid dystopian landscape, this electrifying follow-up to Eve, which bestselling author Lauren Kate called “a gripping, unforgettable adventure—and a fresh look at what it means to love” is sure to appeal to fans who crave the high-stakes adventure of The Hunger Games and the irresistible love story of Romeo and Juliet.


  1. Rebecca HipworthJune 2, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Thank you for the giveaway. I really loved Eve, so I hope I enjoy this one just as much. :)

  2. Im super excited to read this book! Thanks for the honest review! I'm glad you enjoyed it even with some of the "problems" you saw. I really like this story and I hope it delivers for me!

  3. I'd really like to read this one. I enjoyed EVE but didn't like the loose ending. I would like to know what happened sooner than later. Wish this one would be on NG. Haven't seen it there though.

  4. It's disappointing that you didn't enjoy this one more. Eve left so many unanswered questions!!! I really hope I still enjoy Once, since I really liked Eve last year.

  5. I'm partial to red hair so of course, I like the cover!

  6. Very open and clear review. I enjoy books that surprise my expectations and I'm always one to give a book a try.

  7. I liked Eve, but it definitely wasn't my favorite book ever. I'm definitely going to give book two a try. Sorry you didn't love it. That's a bummer, but thanks for the giveaway!

  8. Thank you all for the kudos on the review. I would certainly encourage anyone who enjoyed book 1 to give this one a try. :) Good luck to everyone who has entered the giveaway!

  9. I love the cover. My expectations may not be as high as Paula's. I liked the first book. Didn't love, but I was intrigued enough to want to read this one. Your review is kinda not raising my hopes though.

  10. I actually still have Eve sitting on my TBR shelf. I'm a little disappointed to hear Once was a sort of filler book. Would still love to read the series anyway.

  11. I loved the first one and I was very happy with the twists. I've been looking forward to the second one for a long time.

  12. Books sound very interesting, I need to read them for sure. :)

  13. Okay. That sounds disappointing. All plot? makes me not want to read eve.

  14. I could not put this book down. Regardless of the negative things I heard from some of my friends (or other reviews) I really, really, REALLY enjoyed this book. So much that I now need to go out and buy my own copy (only downside of borrowing books).


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