Monday, June 3, 2013

Book Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Title:  Under the Never Sky
Author:  Veronica Rossi
Series:  Under the Never Sky #1
Genre:  YA dystopian romance
Pages:  376

Rating:  A+

Synopsis from  Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland—known as The Death Shop—are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent energy storms will. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild—a savage—and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile—everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must come together to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

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Goosebumps.  That's what this book gave me - goosebumps.  I was swept into this beautiful romance that I never wanted to end.  And when it was over...

Yeah, that picture pretty much sums up how I felt when I finished Under the Never Sky.

The book is primarily a romance in a sci-fi/dystopian setting.  I mean, the post-apocalyptic storyline was interesting and well-written/developed, but the real center of this book is the relationship that develops between Aria and Perry.  At least that's how it felt to me, and I loved it.

Aria and Perry are great primary characters.  Their strengths and weaknesses work together to make them real, relatable, flawed characters.  The story is told from both their perspectives, so we get to see each of their personalities develop throughout the book, fleshing them out into characters with depth.  Their growth from enemies to allies to friends to lovers is slow and believable.  No ridiculous insta-love here.  Their romance is beautiful.  And for all those people arguing between Perry and his best friend Roar... please.  Perry is by far the more interesting and smexy of the two.  Don't misunderstand me - I do think Roar is awesome too.  But I'm Team Perry all the way.  Roar has a lighter, fun personality, and he's handsome in a conventional way.  But Perry is just so intense, so passionate, and he's rugged and strong.  Yeah, I'm definitely all about Perry.  :)

I love how Rossi handled the world-building throughout the novel.  Instead of spending chapters explaining the ins and outs of her post-apocalyptic Earth, she builds it during the story.  She uses the action and the characters to introduce each aspect of her world, developing it a little at a time until you got the big picture.  This was perfect, because it kept the book from getting bogged down with long-winded descriptions.  The book stayed fast-paced, but I never felt like I was missing something, like I needed something better explained.

I kept putting off reading Under the Never Sky because I kept hearing how good it was, and I was "saving the best for last".  I'm so glad I didn't keep waiting to read it.  It was exactly the kind of book I needed - satisfying, beautiful, and no cliffhangers.  I'm definitely looking forward to reading the next book, Through the Ever Night (which I got autographed at BEA).  It's sitting on my desk, waiting for me to finish my library books so I can see what happens to Aria and Perry next.  A+

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