Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1) by Veronica Rossi (2012)
YA Fiction | Dystopian
“WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.
DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.
Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she’s never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.
Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He’s searching for someone too. He’s also wild – a savage – but might be her best hope at staying alive.
If they can survive, they are each other’s best hope for finding answers.”
pooled ink Review:
I’m not sure what it is exactly but I was sucked into Rossi’s book from page one. This YA dystopian fiction contrasts a futuristic high-tech world that spends its time largely in a virtual reality with the outside which is a wild and savage place. But as different and incompatible as these two worlds seem they inevitably collide and it all comes down to the same thing: survival.
Like almost every book out there this one contained an element of romance but what I desperately appreciated was how realistic it fought to be. There was none of that twinkly eye swooning the first moment their eyes meet. No. None of that nonsense. Instead for a good portion of the book Perry found Aria an annoying whiner while she saw Perry as a surly grump (but it was totally fitting and more amusing than irritating to read so don’t be deterred). Both held prejudices against the other but as life shoved them into a logical (but not overwhelmingly enthusiastic) alliance and they begin to rely on one another slowly but surely walls come down, ice melts, a friendship forms which then blossoms into something else. Huzzah. It was a process and that was nice to read because as much as it has worked for numerous fairytale princesses and as hard as I may try frolicking and singing in the woods has not granted me a perfect soul-mate and a happily ever after. What false advertising my childhood received 😉
Back to the story, the plot was interesting and Rossi developed quite an intriguing world but for me it really comes down to the realism of her characters. Aria was physically weak and knew nothing of how to survive in the outdoors, and Rossi didn’t try to cure that with a magic wand. No instead Aria had to learn page by page and struggle through it picking up strength, knowledge, and skills as she went. It’s nice to read about a heroine who wasn’t simply born perfect (although her genetically modified singing voice does leave me squinting a bit in jealousy). It’s also nice to read about a “prince charming” who doesn’t have to save her because she’s useless (okay well at first she really is useless) but instead he admires her determination and trains her to defend herself and trusts her as a comrade and yeah he loves her but their relationship is more than just kissing in the rain and candy hearts or whatnot. They build each other up and that is what a relationship should look like.
Besides fabulous character work Rossi’s book is filled with action, sci-fi, survival, betrayal, and a journey. Like I said at the beginning of this review, I’m not sure exactly what it is about this book but it won me over and I hope you give it a chance to win you over too because it’ll take you on a fast-paced unforgettable adventure.
Purchase here: Under the Never Sky
Meet Veronica Rossi!
Veronica completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA and then went on to study fine art at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She is a lifelong reader and artist. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, she has lived in Mexico, Venezuela, and all over the United States, to finally settle in Northern California with her husband and two sons.