The Whimsical Mama

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*Review* Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi February 3, 2014

Rating: 4 stars
Pub date: 1 December 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Format: hardcover, signed, won in a contest
Status:Book one of Under the Never Sky trilogy

Summary:

Since she’d been on the outside, she’d survived an Aether storm, she’d had a knife held to her throat, and she’d seen men murdered.

This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland–known as The Death Shop–are slim. If the cannibals don’t get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She’s been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild–a savage–and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile–everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria’s help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

My thoughts:

I won a copy of this in a giveaway hosted by Mary. It sat on my TBR shelf for longer than it should have. Since it was surrounded by hype, I was kind of reluctant to read it. One good thing about waiting to read it is when I did, I got to binge read the series.

This world was incredible. It’s one that sucked me in immediately, but it is definitely a world that I would not want to live in. There are dangers that are everywhere you turn.

In a world where racism is still prevalent (if you disagree with that, we can debate at a different time), this was a book that focused on racism and stereotypes. You may disagree with me on it, but to me it felt that way. There are deeply ingrained beliefs on both sides. The Dwellers live in a fantastical world and are raised to believe those who live on the outside are dangerous savages (very colonial power vs native right?) The Outsiders hold a deep and bitter resentment towards the Dwellers for some long ago transgression which is later revealed.

I will admit that I read Roar & Liv before Under the Never Sky (Mary gave me massive grief) so I was waiting impatiently for the wonderful Roar to show up. I absolutely adore Roar. He’s my favourite by far! I wasn’t that big of a fan of Perry in the beginning. I’m not into the broody type. I did grow to care for him and I really like the pairing between Perry and Aria. I believe they work well together to balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Aria was very naïve when she was dropped on the outside, but it givers her tremendous room for growth and she spends the whole book blossoming. Through her perspective we see just how vast the technology gap is between Dweller and Outsider. Civilisation has progressed in the Pods to eradicate illnesses, has the capabilities to stop menstrual cycles, and create realms of unimaginable levels.

We see everything from Middle Ages-esque villages and technological levels where the Tides live to a more modern feeling city to the very futuristic Pods. Veronica does an amazing job of creating a vast technological arc in this sci-fi future. It feels to me that it is more post-apocalyptic than dystopian.

Having a boy and girl from vastly different backgrounds can be terribly cliché, but Veronica makes it work very well in this world. What I really loved about the Aria and Perry pairing was that it was not an insta-love situation. It was quite the opposite in the beginning which was very refreshing. It was nice to see a relationship truly built from the ground up and not starting with “love.” The complications of their genetic abilities adds a nice spice to their situation when breeding can be considered a key part of life.

I’ve never been a fan of perspective changes, but I’ve read several recently and they are starting to change my mind. Veronica did a great job with the easy glow back and forth between Aria and Perry. One thing I didn’t enjoy in UTNS was the futuristic jargon from the two societies. Obviously language changes every day, but without context (which some of these are through the book) it was very difficult to pick them up. Once I picked up on their meaning, the bafflement quickly faded.

While I didn’t feel that UTNS completely lived up to the hype, I did enjoy it enough to continue on with the series. I think maybe after time away from it and the hype dies down from Into the Still Blue, I may come back to it and read it again. I do plan on rereading the series eventually, just not sure on how soon. I would and do recommend UTNS to post-apocalyptic and sci-fi enthusiasts.

 

Hello February, Goodbye January! February 2, 2014

I hope you’ve had a great start to 2014! I basically took the month off in January and it was nice. After the craziness of the holidays and trying to cram blogging and family obligations all together, it was nice to focus mainly on my family. I love reading and blogging, but my family comes first. Taking a step back really helped me and I think it’ll help me focus and balance things better from now on. I started getting good at working in advance and scheduling, but I’ve got to get even better. I’ve got to get better at taking a step away from the computer, phone, kindle, books, etc when the kiddos want/need me. Books will always be there to be read. My babies won’t always be babies.

Books I read in January (in order of completion)

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Brooke by Veronica Rossi (novella)

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi (eARC)

Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale by Cassandra Clare (novella)

Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd (ARC)

Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott (ARC)

These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman & Megan Spooner (ARC & audiobook)

Evertrue by Brodi Ashton

Defiance by CJ Redwine

 

Books with the kiddos:

We read a good amount of books, but not as much as I would’ve liked. We’ll work on that in February! The weather in January has been awful, either frigid or snowing so we haven’t gotten to the library nearly as often as we should’ve. Hopefully February will be a bit more forgiving in the weather department!

Events attended:

  • Jodi Meadows web chat for the #Incarnate read-a-thon
  •  Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows, CJ Redwine, & Myra McEntire signing in Nashville, TN

Coming up in February

  • 4 year wedding anniversary ❤
  • Family time
  • Dark Days tour
  • These Broken Stars tour

Goals for February

  • Balance mama & wifey things with blogging life.
  • Work on commenting and visiting other blogs
  • Stay ahead of schedule
  • Read more with the kiddos

February releases I’m excited for:

  • Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott
  •  Perfect Lies by Kiersten White
  • Cress by Marissa Meyer (the lovely Mary is getting this signed for hubby as an anniversary present to me! Aren’t they the best?!)
  •  Alienated by Melissa Landers
  • Tremor by Patrick Carman

February TBR:

  • The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard
  • Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
  • Mind Games by Kiersten White
  • Perfect Lies by Kiersten White
  •  Cress by Marissa Meyer

Challenge Update:

I’m involved with three challenges officially; I still need to sign up for a fourth.

Edelweiss & Netgalley challenge: 2/25 (Into the Still Blue and Her Dark Curiosity)

TBR Pile challenge: 6/11-20 {I can and most likely WILL be increasing my level on this. I’m also not including ARCs in this unless I complete them after the book is released} (TTEN, Brooke, Vampires Scones & Edmund Herondale, These Broken Stars, Evertrue, and Deception)

Series challenge: 3/4-6 {I can and most likely will increase my level on this as well} (TTEN, Brooke, ITSB, Her Dark Curiosity, Evertrue)

“Real” Book challenge: 5/21-30 {I have to sign up for this one once I get this post up!} (TTEN, Fire & Flood, These Broken Stars, Evertrue, Deception)

How was your January? What’s up for February? I’m excited about things that are coming up this year. 2014 is definitely looking up to be a great year!

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 26 January – 2 February 2014

So last week didn’t go exactly as planned on getting back on track. I did get posts up so that’s great! (: I am now ready to take on February. I meant to get a bit more done this weekend, but I had a great overnight getaway to Nashville with the hubby for our four year wedding anniversary that’s tomorrow. (: He took me to the Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows, CJ Redwine, and Myra McEntire signing. These ladies are SO much fun! If you ever have the chance to go see any of them, GO! Keep an eye out for some giveaways coming soon. I got some signed goodies for you! I’ll have an event recap up soon. (: How has your week been? Read anything good recently?

Completed:

Defiance by CJ Redwine. 4 stars.

Currently Reading:

The Everything Mother Goose Book by June Rifkin (with the kiddos)

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Read to the Kiddos:

We read bits and pieces of different things. I was bad again and didn’t keep track!

New to my shelf:

The Ring & the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz (ARC from the lovely Jen at Jenuine Cupcakes)

From the library:

The Midnight Heir by Cassandra Clare (audiobook)

 Purchased: 

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows (for giveaway)

Asunder by Jodi Meadows (for Alex!)

Infinite by Jodi Meadows

Everneath by Brodi Ashton (personal & giveaway copies)

Defy the Dark edited by Saundra Mitchell

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Unremembered by Jessica Brody

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz (for giveaway)

Mind Games by Kiersten White

Parallel by Lauren Miller

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson (signed)

 

 
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