The clock ticked to 11:17 p.m. and I turned another page.
The clock ticked to 12:38 a.m. and I turned to the next chapter.
The clock ticked to 1:26 a.m. and I closed the book…satisfied to have read every word.
Late last year I met Veronica Rossi on Twitter and immediately put her debut novel, UNDER THE NEVER SKY, on my to-read list, I even pre-ordered it and picked it up the day it was released. Unfortunately, some circumstances happened that prevented me from reading it right away. So when it came my turn to pick the next book for my YA book club, there was no question what my choice would be.
I am a very slow reader so for me to read a book in one sitting is basically impossible, but this book came very close. (I read the first hundred pages earlier in the week and last night finished the rest.) The story’s basic premise is of a girl, Aria, who is wrongfully accused of a crime and forced out of her home, a protective dome, and into a dangerous wasteland. She soon meets a boy, Perry, who has also been exiled from his home and the two of them form a packed to help each other find the loved ones they’ve been separated from. (This is an extremely brief description, but I don’t want to be spoilery at all.)
The thing I enjoyed most about this story was the character development. I loved how Aria turned from a girl, who seemed weak and sorry for herself, to a woman, strong and determined to fight for what she loved. Perry turned from someone who seemed to constantly second guess himself, to someone who knew exactly what he wanted, and needed to do. I also loved, that where Aria’s changes were often big and bold, much like herself, Perry’s changes were subtle, yet extremely compelling, much like him. In addition to Aria and Perry, I thought the secondary characters had great arcs as well and I can’t wait to see more of their stories as the trilogy progresses.
My other favorite part was the way Rossi incorporated all five (six) senses into what she was writing. You could feel the heat of a fire and smell the pine of a forest as if you were right there. It was like the senses were a character of their own. She used them not only to describe things, but also to move the story forward.
Overall, this was one of the best books I've ever read. I'm excited to see where she goes with the rest of the trilogy and hope she has more stories waiting in the wings. Below you will find the book trailer...enjoy!