New Review: Blackbird by Anna Carey

Title: Blackbird
Author: Anna Carey
Series: Blackbird Duology
Rating: ★★★★


Blackbird was not quite the book I thought it would be. I was really interested in the story, but I wasn’t sure if I could get into the 2nd person point of view. The first few chapters didn’t really connect with me, but eventually the story drew me in and the 2nd person point of view became an incredible way to feel like part of the action.

A girl wakes up on the train tracks with only minutes to react. She doesn’t know who she is, where she is, or why she’s there. She can’t remember a thing. She wants answers, but has the sense to know that answers are likely dangerous. She has a feeling that she is being hunted, but doesn’t know why or by whom.

Imagine that type of scenario. That panic and fear. The desire to know what is going on, but the worry that searching for answers will only make things worse. That is what the 2nd person point of view conveys in this book. It makes you, the reader, the main character. It’s not like other books where you have to imagine yourself in the place of one of the characters. Instead, the entire book is detailing your life, and you’re just as clueless to what’s happening around you as the main character is.

I think that’s the really interesting thing about this book. I think this would have been a good book from any point of view. The story is interesting and engaging. The characters feel real. But using 2nd person puts the reader directly into the action. I felt the same panic and fear that I was supposed to because I wasn’t reading about some character’s life. The entire book is filled with “you” statements. “You run,” “You are about to do this,” made me feel although I was the main character. I was the one in the book. It’s a feeling I rarely experience so fully in novels written in 1st or 3rd person.

I completely understand that the POV of this book will likely turn some people away. It’s not for everyone. But for me, it made the book more exciting (once I became used to it). I stopped picturing a character doing all those things and was instead putting myself into the book. I don’t mind that there weren’t many answers. It’s all a part of the 2nd person and I’m really looking forward to seeing where this story goes.

If you’d like to read Blackbird for yourself, you can purchase it here:
Barnes and Noble

Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for an advanced copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Rise by Anna Carey

Title: Rise
Author: Anna Carey
Series: Eve series
Rating: ★★★★

Eve and Once set up a world that was going to crumble before things could change. Rise is that crumbling.

Eve is married to Charles, unhappy and anxious. She is silently working for the rebels from within the castle. The death of Caleb strengthened her resolve and she’s not going to let anything stand in her way.

I didn’t mind Charles. He wasn’t a villain, but he wasn’t a grand hero either. He played his part well and it was obvious that he cared for her in some capacity. I wish Eve had given him the chance to be friends that they deserved.

Eve takes action in this novel. She’s one the move and has to make decisions quickly, thinking through the outcomes as far as she can, but still not knowing entirely if she’s right. There are some deaths in this novel and each one hit hard. Eve’s ability to keep moving even though everything around her seems to be stopping is something I admire.

The supporting characters play an important role in this book. Characters that hadn’t been involved much become key players and without them, Eve would have failed at some of things she needed to do. Without getting into spoilers, there are a few scenes that would have ended the book if Eve did not have support. I’m glad Carey made it a team effort at times. One individual cannot do everything alone, but with help and support, anything is possible.

Rise is the third series finale I’ve read in a row. Like Requiem the ending is left open, but it works. There’s enough of an ending that I feel closure. I don’t know where the characters will end up, but Rise still felt wonderful. I’m glad the Eve series ended the way it did.

If Eve sounds like your kind of book, you can purchase it here:
Barnes and Noble

Once by Anna Carey

As much as I try to escape them, book trilogies keep pulling me back in. I’ll love the first book, the second will be a major disappointment, and the third will somehow manage to make me love it more than I thought I could. I loved Eve and wanted to keep reading Eve’s story, even though most book sequels disappoint me and only act as a bridge between the first and last books. Carey didn’t fall into this trap. She wrote a book that had its own identity, while still needing the other books to tell a complete story.

In Once, there’s a pretty big opening shock. I certainly didn’t see it coming. But I liked it. It made things different than how I thought they’d go. The other plot twists have me thinking about people differently and looking at who I trust and who I don’t. I love when an author can mess me around that much and still make me love a book.

Of course, this isn’t a standalone novel. You need to read Eve in order to know about Once. However, Once does stand by itself in the sense that it has its own stories, its own plot that are different from those in Eve. It serves as a set-up for Rise, but it’s more than just the set-up. Thank you, thank you, thank you to Anna Carey for writing a sequel that wasn’t novel-length filler.

Eve and Caleb are still ever present and had my heart pulling for them so hard. They jump into some decisions, just like teens would, regardless of their circumstances. But they also are great planners and can think of nothing more than how to get to the future where they are together. One plot twist had my heart breaking, even though I saw it coming. I just want the future for these two that they dream of.

Once was a wonderful sequel that jumped right over the trap of the sequel slump. There’s love, action and plotting. It had me completely engrossed from start to end. It’s going to be a long, long wait for the finale and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Eve by Anna Carey

I held out on reading Eve because I was a little over dystopian novels for a while. There are only so many times in a row you can read about the bleak future of the world before you need a break. I’m actually pretty upset with myself now for how long it took me to read this. I should have read it sooner.

Eve remembers just a little bit of her life before the plague killed her mother and she was sent to School. While there, she becomes the best student of her class and finds a lot of pride in that. On the night before her Graduation, she discovers what the School is really a front for and decides to make a run for it. She heads into land where nothing she knows will help her. She may be book smart by the School’s standards, but when it comes to surviving she’s clueless. And yet she doesn’t think about giving up. All she knows is she does not want to end up like the rest of the girls that graduated from her School. She wants to be herself and not have anyone dictate her life for her. It’s this that gives her the strength of character that has me loving her. She doesn’t know exactly what she wants to do, she just knows what she does not want to do and lets that determination guide her.

Caleb had me crushing. He was sweet and strong and caring. He knows helping Eve won’t be easy, and yet he still helps her because he doesn’t want to see anything happen to her. The way they fall together was perfect and not too fast and felt right. It wasn’t love at first sight and it took time. That made it feel real and even sweeter than most Young Adult romances out there now.

Eve was a fantastic novel with amazing characters and a world just real enough to make it terrifying. The end had me wanting more and I can’t wait to see what Carey has in store for Once.