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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

ARC Review and Giveaway: Under the Never Sky


TITLE: Under the Never Sky           SERIES: UTNS #1
AUTHOR: Veronica Rossi                 PUB DATE: 1/3/12
PUB: HarperCollins                             FORMAT: ARC, pb, 374 pgs
SOURCE: from pub. in exchange for my honest review



Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.
 As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions. They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers a barbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY.


THREE WORDS: Original, Enthralling, Superb-Romance (just pretend that’s one word)

MY REVIEW: Wow! Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky had me reading until the wee hours of the morning and simply blew me away. This is a brilliant debut!

          MY BRIEF SUMMARY
Aria has lived her whole life within the safety of Reverie, living her life in the virtual, pseudo Realms. But all that changers when she’s cast out for a crime she didn’t commit. Once on the outside, in what Dwellers like her call the Death Shop, she is certain she will die. But fate as other plans. Peregrine ,“Perry”, has lived his whole life on the outside, out in the real world. Their desperate situations-Aria must find her missing mother and Perry must find his nephew who was taken by Dwellers-bring them together. Reluctant to work together at first because of a mutual hatred and fear, the two set out to find their loved ones, and somewhere between running from Cannibals and dodging the dangerous Aether storms, the two fall in love.

          STORY
UTNS offers one amazing story! The futuristic, dystopian world in this book is quite unlike anything I’ve ever read, although it reminds me of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (which is a big compliment by the way!). The story is modern, yet feels timeless, edgy and startling at times, yet captivatingly beautiful and thoughtful at the same time. I seriously hope UTNS gets to adapted into a movie, because I want and need to see this story and world play out on screen.

Perfectly and effortlessly paced, the book is organized into chapters focusing on either Aria or Perry’s perspective. I really liked this alternating perspective and the way that it allowed me to see the whole picture, yet at the same time it also allowed a very intimate relationship to form between me, the reader, and the characters.

The world-building in UTNS is spectacular. Rossi’s world is well developed, vivid, realistic even in its moments of fascinating unfamiliarity, and absolutely breathtaking. I love Rossi’s idea behind Reverie, the Pods (where the Dwellers live), and the virtual Realms. First and foremost, the simple idea of pseudo Realms where everything feels incredibly real is beyond cool, intriguing, and thought-provoking. But secondly, the stark comparison between Reverie and the real, outside world is really very insightful and left me quite thoughtful. Underneath the sci-fi elements, the action, and the romance, Rossi has really done an impressive job of exploring the human condition and the deep line between simply being alive and living.

The story itself is gripping and, honestly, quite addicting. I fell into the story quickly and my attention never wavered. Rossi is one of those authors who aren’t afraid To Go There, and UNTS definitely goes there and a bit farther. The outside world beyond Reverie is relentless, hard, and unforgiving and the gritty, sometimes violent action and fighting scenes reflect this wonderfully.
  
There was one thing throughout the book that didn’t bother me as much as it intrigued me. The characters use each other’s name a lot. Like, A LOT. When addressing someone the characters always seem to incorporate that person’s name into their sentences. Like I said this intrigued me and I’m definitely curious as to whether this holds some significance.

The last few chapters are heart-stopping and left me breathless. And the ending?! That ending was pretty perfect. There are still many questions left unanswered, but the ending of the book is very satisfying and left me totally eager (and impatient) for me.

          CHARACTERS
UTNS has an awesome cast of compelling characters. When we first meet Aria, she’s a little cocky and naïve, but even after being sheltered in Reverie her whole life, she’s still has an awesome feisty, stubborn streak. Aria grows a great deal throughout the book and her growth is very organic and natural, which I loved. She’s faced with a lot of hard realizations and situations in a very short time span, and I think her character reacts in very realistic and relatable ways. I found her a sympathetic and engaging character.

Peregrine, “Perry”, gets a million cool points from this nerd simply because his name is Peregrine (LotR fans will know why). But, his name aside, he’s a totally compelling character on his own. Perry has such a captivating mix of strength, vulnerability, sweetness, wit, and swoon-worthiness. Perry doesn’t talk much and we get to know him more through his actions and thoughts, and I found myself so fascinated by this complex guy.

Even the minor characters, one we never actually get to meet, are well developed and interesting. Perry’s best friend Roar adds a wonderful sense of humor to the story. The mysterious and powerful young boy Cinder, adds an even more mysterious layer to the book. And even the Cannibal tribes have piqued my curiosity. Liv, Perry’s sister is the character we never meet in this book and I’m really hoping she’s in the next one! She already seems like a helluva girl.

          ROMANCE
Ahh yes, the superb romance I mentioned above. When I first read the synopsis of UTNS I was scared that I’d find a clichéd, insta-love kind of romance, but I found the complete opposite. Aria and Perry don’t even like each other at first, and we really get to see their friendship develop first, then their romantic relationship. It’s always refreshing to actually get see two characters fall in love in YA.

And the romance between these two is really quite beautiful and touching. There’s hot spark between them,but a deep, profound connection as well. And of course, there are obstacles standing in the way of them being together and there’s no guarantee that they’ll up together in the very end, but you can bet I’ll be rooting for Team Paria…and I think you will too ;)

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Under the Never Sky is a fresh, stunning debut from Veronica Rossi. I’ve fallen completely for this story and characters, and cannot wait for the next installment. An absolute MUST read!

5/5 Cupcakes

Learn more about Veronica Rossi:
Purchase this book:

VERONICA ROSSI was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Growing up, she lived in several countries and cities around the world, finally settling in Northern California with her husband and two sons. She completed undergraduate studies at UCLA and then went on to study fine art at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. When not writing or painting, she chases after her boys, who make her laugh every day, and who teach her about love that's a million gazillion times bigger than the ocean. UNDER THE NEVER SKY is her first novel.

Win my ARC of Under the Never Sky
*book is in excellent conditions*
Giveaway will run from 1/4 -1/17 at 11:59 pm
US only!
Enter using the Rafflecopter below
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59 comments:

Jackie's Little World said...

I've been wanting to read this one! It sounds so original and hearing that the romance (and everything else) is well done and believable just make me more excited!

Thanks for the giveaway!

storyseekers said...

I just love the cover for this book. Ever since I saw it I knew this was my type of book. After reading your review, I know I will have no choice but to buy this.

Thanks for the giveaway

Amy said...

So glad that you loved it. I have heard a lot of mixed reviews on it. I have an ARC on it's way that I won. I am looking forward to reading it, and I hope I really like it.

dani_nguyen said...

I'm also wary of insta-love, so I'm glad to hear this book doesn't suffer from it. Sounds really good & I can't wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway!

Lisa Nguyen said...

Great review! I'm really excited to read this book. There's a lot of good reviews on this. Thank you for the giveaway!

Kristen - Seeing Night said...

Greta review and another 5/5 star one. I've seen so many positive post about this novel I cant wait to read it. Plus I always love a book with a great cover design :) Thanks for the giveaway!

Anna said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I am absolutely dying to read this one, it sounds awesome! :)

Tara Turner said...

oh yea!!!! i keep seeing this book EVERYWHERE!!!!! i cant wait to read this!!! wonderful review!!!

Tara and her giveaway

Oh! Paper Pages said...

Thanks for the review! I have hit a bit of a slump in my reading while waiting for my books to arrive. I will add this to my list. It sounds like a really strong debut. Thanks for the chance to win!

Jolene and Family said...

Great review. I cannot wait to get my hands on this, everything I've heard about this sounds amazing!!!

Maidenveil said...

thanks for the review!! now i really want to read this book. added to my tbr list! :D

LisaILJ said...

I have been drooling over this book for months now. I absolutely can't wait to read it. Also pacing and character development are the two most important things for me, I am so happy to hear that both are right where they need to be in this one.

Sky said...

I really want to to read this book! I've been ranting and raving about it since like October! I love the part of your review when you talk about the romance. I hear it is fantastic. I cannot wait to meet Perry! I know he will make my list of YA hotties!

thoughtcrimes said...

This books sounds great! I love dystopian fiction, and this one sounds like it has a great premise. Thanks for the review.

Kara D. said...

Great review! I'm a new fan of YA dystopian fiction so I'm eager to read this!

Jessica ( frellathon ) said...

This one sounds great and I've heard a lot of good things about it.

BookAttict said...

Sounds like an awesome read! I'll definitely be adding it to my TBR/TBB list!

elizabeth @ bookattict . com

Maji Bookshelf said...

I really love the cover and synopsis of this book! so happy its finally out, can't wait to read it :D

- juhina

Sarah Erhart said...

Love the cover! Will definitely be reading this book soon! Thanks for the review and the giveaway!

Tiffany said...

Great review. I can't wait to read this one. Thanks for the giveaway.

Tiff Pull

Kelly said...

I'm not usually fond of chapters alternating between characters point of view, however UNTS sounds pretty great so I definitely want to read it. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

Jennifer Ochs said...

Thanks for the giveaway!!

Michelle @ Book Briefs said...

I'm glad you liked it, I have seen a few different things about this book and it is nice to see such a positive review because I want to love this book. it looks great!

Thanks for the chance to win!

Christina Fiorelli said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

I'm Christina Kit. in the rafflecopter

rhonda1111 said...

okay some of my entries would not allow me to put name rhonda1111 is twitter. goodreads rhonda thanks for the giveaways.

evrythngzen said...

Excellent Review! This is the first I have heard of this story and it sounds really good! Thank you

Denise Z said...

This title has recently come to my attention and I am glad you enjoyed it. I love a friendship that matures to more and I am glad this was done well. Thank you for your review and for the lovely giveaway opportunity.

Kaylyn's Book Blog said...

Great review. Made me want to go out and buy it right now... but I can't since it's not out yet. And plus I don't have money at the moment.
Can't wait to read your next review.

Christina said...

I've been wanting to read this book for a while now and finally I have a chance to win a copy. I've heard great things about the book and I know I wont be disapointed once I read it. Thank you for the giveaway!

vadeluna07 said...

Sounds like a great book. Can't wait to read it!

-Mystery Rose said...

This book sounds awesome! Also, your comment above about cupcakes is really making my stomach crave one! Enjoy your day(:

Nedraw said...

I love the cover for this book> I am a big fan of Dystopian books so I would love to read this one. It sounds like my kind of book. Thanks for a excellent review.

Brenda Demko said...

I have been wanting to read this! Thanks for the chance to win it. :D

Randi said...

The premise of this book didn't interest me at first, but the last couple reviews I've seen on it have been stellar! I love your description of the romance; that's one thing I enjoy in YA but that so often is cliched and phony, making it one of my biggest pet peeves in books! Thank you for the review & giveaway! :)

Sandra said...

Thanks so much for the review. I have heard so much about this book that I really want to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.

Jackie said...

I would absolutely love to read this book. It sounds fantastic.

Respiring Thoughts said...

I'm pretty excited to read this book. Before joining the blogging world at the beginning of this month, I didn't keep up with new releases. However, your review of UTNS (and others like it), have gotten me extremely interested in reading this particular book. You have so much to say about this book in the positive!

Thanks for the giveaway!

Renae @ Respiring Thoughts

Manda said...

I can't wait to get this! All the reviews I've read so far are rave ones, and the cover's beautiful. Plus, what an awesome name is Reverie? I love that. Perry reminds me more of that show Phineas and Ferb on Disney Channel than LotR. Sad, right? Perry is the platypus spy in the show hahah. Wonderful review, I really really enjoyed reading it! :) & thanks for the giveaway!

G. Donald Cribbs said...

Under the Never Sky is high on my TBR pile, and I always tweet, blog and post reviews on Goodreads and Amazon for books I love. I hope this is one of them! Check out my other books and reads to see if you think I'll love this. Thank you for the opportunity!

Emily @ Falling For YA said...

Very nice review I have been looking forward to this one for a while! Thanks for another wonderful review =)

Sarah Kalaitzidis said...

Great review seeing that it's 5 cupcakes i diffidently have to check it out! Not to mention those three words I really gotta check it out, since there isn't a lot of original stories I fine XD

Kris-10 said...

Thanks for the awesome giveaway and the great review!!! :))

Diane Melendez said...

As usual you provided us with an excellent review of this book and the authors work. I think this book is going to be a great read from all that you have told us about it. :)

Caitlin said...

So yes I have been dying to read this book and this review just makes me want it that much more. This is a dystopian book but has so much sci-fi going on and I really like that. The world that Rossi has built is very tough and I think it is awesome for an author to go bold and not hold back on what is out there. I love the thought of having a realm that isn't quite real but you don't want to leave. And then on the outside it's very dangerous territory and you definitely get to see how the characters have to grow up and learn to fend for themselves. I love how the relationship grows between Aria and Perry. And yes I too think of Pippin when I see his whole name(love LoTR). It's really nice when you get to see two people fall in love after practically hating each other, it is much more real this way. I definitely want to read this book I can tell you loved it and I know I will too.

Anna said...

I have been wanting to read this THX for the great review. fingers crossed for this win

Red said...

what a nice post. i haven't heard of this one but you definitely have me interested :)

Angela said...

The cover of the book looks amazing and thats usually what first attracts me to a book. I liked the review and hope to read it for myself soon! Thank you for the chance to win!!

booksntea said...

I've seen this book pop up on a few blogs, and I will admit that I've been skeptical about it. But, your review makes me really, really want to read this book! I'm especially interested to read about the romance, which are words that rarely come out of my mouth! I'm not a fan of the insta-love in most books, so to hear this one develops overtime sounds refreshing.

Oh, and when I first learned there was a character named Peregrine, I grinned. "Fool of a Took!"

- Jackie

K.C. Neal said...

Based on this review and others, I think this book is my most anticipated on my TBR list. I love dystopian, and I can't wait to read this!

Kathryn said...

I love reading debut offerings by budding writers, and this one sounds like a winner! Thank you for the insightful review. I have added this book to my to-read list on Goodreads and look forward to reading it!

Emily @ Falling For YA said...

Thanks for an amazing review! I am even more excited to read this book now =D

-Emily
www.fallingforya.blogspot.com

pandalovesyou said...

Superb romance, huh? Nivee review!

Brianne said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

Books Are Magic said...

Great giveaway!! Makes me want to read thiseven more :D Also thanks for the giveaway

Andie Z said...

I keep hearing the most amazing things about this book! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

cubbiesgirl said...

I have been wanting to read this for so long!! Thanks for the giveaway!

Nikki said...

I am super excited to read this book! Excellent review!

Simply Kayla said...

This cover looks awesome! It looks like a really good book! Thanks for the giveaway and the description of the book.

Miranda said...

Awesome! Definitely on my wish-list :)