Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
The Skinny: When she is kicked out of her domed home, Aria is stranded in the outside, a world she is not equipped to live in. Perry, an Outsider in search of his kidnapped nephew, finds her wandering and lost. An unlikely duo, the pair team up to help Aria search for her missing mother and Perry to rescue his nephew. As the two try to survive the wild, they must learn to trust each other and slowly begin to learn that because of where they come from doesn’t necessarily define who they are.
Yeah, this summary sucks. Trust me, this book is awesome.
BFF?: I sort of adored Aria. She has this air about her that says “Don’t mess with me help me I’m totally helpless I could kick your ass as any moment.” Even from the beginning, when she truly was lost and helpless in the wild, she was still super strong. It wasn’t so much helplessness as it was just ignorance of how to survive outside the Realms. She was able to adapt very quickly, which I enjoyed seeing. She also has kind of a flirtatious wit about her that was always interesting to see, especially during her first interactions with Perry; I loved how she caught him off guard sometimes. By the end of the book Aria had really grown on me and I was super excited to see what else she has in store in the next book!
Readability: I wouldn’t say the beginning DRAGGED per se, but I felt like I couldn’t really get into it. I don’t know if it was me or the book though. However, once I DID get into it, man oh man… I couldn’t put it down! There are alternating chapters between Aria and Perry, so we get to see the story develop from both sides. I’m not 100% a fan of this, but I did like that while the chapters were alternating, the narrative was not so I didn’t have to get used to two different voices.
Crush Level: 7
Y’all… Perry was all sorts of hot. There was just one little scene that made him drop a point. I won’t point it out, because I won’t, but it did make me a little “huh? really?” Anyway… Perry is rough, he’s super buff, he’s a man of little words, and did I mention he was hot? All that aside, because we know that’s not really what makes a crush level a crush level, Perry was super caring, first about his nephew Talon and then about Aria. He has this overprotective, kind of domineering side (like male dominance), but not so much that it is too much. Like just the right amount that it’s kind of sweet.
I’m not really sure what this is all about, but it was kind of cool. I imagine it to be like this streaky electric sky that suddenly erupts into weird storms. Despite it’s deadliness, I imagine it’s very pretty to look at!
The Outsiders, or those who live outside the dome world Aria comes from, are sometimes born with special abilities. Some have super hearing or smell or vision. Their abilities’ reasons are unknown, but it still makes for a nice twist on some of the scenes.
Sexy Swoony Times
Perry and Aria’s relationship – c’mon, you knew they got together – gets a little hot under the collar. It’s kind of excellent.
Brief history: When the world collapsed and the Aether took over, domed pods were built creating a safe “city” called Reverie. To help with boredom from not being able to go outside the pods, scientists created The Realms, a virtual reality getaway for Reveries’ tenants to visit. To access them, they wear these Smarteyes, a suction-like thing that goes over their eye where they can pick different apps to visit. I thought it was really cool and the idea behind it very smart.
Commencement Speech: I know this book has been circulating around for a while now, and I really hate that I waited so long to read it, but y’all… it was SOOO good! Why did I not pick it up sooner?! A little slow at first, but eventually I warmed up to EVERYTHING in it and got into the story. I loved the adventures Aria and Perry had, the world that Rossi created full of danger and beauty. While I wanted to know MORE about all of the characters, I felt like I got them, like I didn’t need more at that moment to love them. I would also be remiss in not mentioning my favorite secondary character Roar. Lemme just say this about Roar: YUMMO! I nearly liked him more than Perry. Okay, who am I kidding. I liked him a whole lot more than Perry! Seriously though, the characters Rossi has created are what make this book special. The setting she created is what makes this book special. They felt familiar enough to be comforting but new enough to be exciting. I didn’t feel like it was a typical dystopian/post-apocolypse/whatever book, which I think is what made me enjoy it so much more. It was like all the great elements of that genre mixed together with fantasy and reality, blending into this great mix all its own.