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Book: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Synopsis: Aria is a Dweller, one of the privileged few who live in the pods—enclosed cities safe from the energy storms and other dangers of Outside. Her mother recently transferred to another pod to continue her top-secret research, and by attempting to get in touch with her, Aria turns her life upside down. Perry is an Outsider and a Scire, and his abnormally strong sense of smell is both a blessing and a curse. Simmering tensions with his brother and his intense bond with his nephew conspire to threaten everything Perry has ever worked for. Aria and Perry meet when the she is exiled from her pod. They couldn’t be more different, but teaming up is the only way either can hope to get back home.
Is this a “must-read”?: Yes.
Why?: Okay, I’ve officially decided that you can’t judge a book by its cover, title, or the summary on the inside flap. Case in point: Under The Never Sky, which is actually pretty good. I’m not sure it’ll win any YA awards, but the descriptions were beautiful. The world Rossi creates is interesting and even unique as post-apocalypses go. I’d describe it as The Book of Eli meets The Scorch Trials, but with a few twists. Her addition of super-powerful “Senses” was cool and actually seems plausible as a future genetic mutation, and the characters overall are relatable and fun.
The romance was refreshingly genuine, and the buildup believable. It was one of those rare times when I could actually see teenagers acting and speaking that way. I mean, how many times have you heard a teenage boy say “Before you, my life was like a moonless night”? I’m guessing never. Now, how many times have you heard one say “I don’t know what to say”? Your boyfriend, your brother, and that jerk from AP Calc all said that within the last hour didn’t they? Exactly. At times the characters’ thought processes were difficult to follow and some moments seemed forced, causing me to wave my “Deus ex machina” flag, but that’s about my only pet peeve.
It’s a pretty quick read, not without plot twists, and it has more than enough hooks to keep you interested. The protags are multi-layered and not nearly as angsty as the norm, which was also refreshing. I particularly liked how versatile the ending was. Rossi could leave it right where it is, or write a sequel, either would work. Ambiguous endings like that are hard, so kudos to Ms. Rossi for having to chops to pull it off. So, basically, go read it.
Next time: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Post by dac213!
Have you ever read Under the Never Sky?