I liked this book. I did…
I’m currently half way through the second right now so I won’t know if it has truly stuck itself to my soul until I finish that one and decide whether or not I need to go immediately back and reread them both. I do that. a lot. (It’s sort of how I gauge whether a series is good. ) Anyway, I’m just not sure yet if this is an immediate rereader or if i’ll move on to the next seris on my list.
Ok. So I have been rereading LOT of YA lately. In these final months before I sell my soul to medical school I intend to read as many books that make me happy as humanly possible . Many of my favorite books are considered YA but sometimes I truly dislike the YA label because the books that fit this genre often, not always, but often span many genre’s and (in my humble opinion) should be considered worthy reading for book lovers young, old and everything in-between.
It seems the YA label can be offsetting to “adult” readers. I suppose, however that it’s considerably better than the day I walked into a Barnes and Noble and discovered the section “teen paranormal romance”….oh. my. heavens…
You know these things used to be in much simpler (and less horrible) categories like “fantasy” and “science fiction” and sometimes even “science fantasy” as well as YA… anyway that’s a discussion for another day.
But I digress.. Under the Never Sky was a rough start for me. At first I couldn’t decide if it was too similar to other books I had read recently (Legend, but without the spark) or if it was a jarring change from the series I had just finished (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, with all its flowery prose and epic fantasy). I think ultimately my issue was that the world Aria lives in was just difficult for me to invest in. I didn’t particularly like her or care about her story until well after she was banished. Perry, on the other hand, was plenty likable and had a considerably more sympathetic plotline but even his story felt disjointed until the two of them left their cave and began to write the story together.
At that point it became a truly a different book!
I loved watching Aria grow, in fact, I even appreciated that it was tough to relate to her at first and you the reader began to fall in love with her right along with Perry. .
And speaking of the love story…hmmmmm… well, I must confess I kind of adore a good love story. I know lots of readers think the pesky star crossed lover bit gets in the way of more meaningful commentary on growing up, learning to be happy in your own skin, fighting for something meaningful and making tough life choices. Perhaps it does, but love, young love especially also shapes and informs us. We learn a lot about ourselves as entities independent of our parents and our childhood during our first foray into love. Besides, love is something we can all relate to whereas most of us have probable never journeyed through a post apocalyptic wasteland.
I really appreciate it when a series romance strikes a balance between all that gooshy blushing, spine tingling stuff and real life issues. I also appreciate it when the characters are individually strong and most importantly, kind to each other!! In other words, not so wrapped up in their own trauma and insecurities that they hurt each other flippantly.
Perry and Aria, thankfully, accomplish this. Once they fall for each other (which is really fun to read) the story is much more tightly woven and both Aria and Perry become kinder and stronger and all the ooey gooey kissy blushy stuff is still there, although not overwhelming and perfectly lovely if you like that kind of thing (which I do)
And while we are on the subject of things I like: Science fiction: I am secretly a scifi fangirl nerd and this book has definitive science fiction leanings. One of my biggest pet peeves in a book is crap science… (cough..Allegiant..cough) If you don’t know your stuff and you can’t reasonably back it up then DONT TRY, (I mean seriously…That scene in allegiant where they try to explain DNA and GD mutations was painful) just leave it to the readers imagination!! Rossi does this and she does it seamlessly. What IS the Aether?? who knows! but it doesn’t really matter, maybe she will explain further maybe she won’t but in the mean time I will totally go with it . Ethics of genetic modification (designer children), solar flares, genetic shifts these are all topics based on real science and are at least plausible if a little fantastical.
So all in all this was a good story, a good read and quite frankly I am glad I went ahead and plowed right into the second book Into the Ever Night because so far I like it even better than the first!