Read this: Under the Never Sky

Summary (from the author’s website):

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 learn to accept one another to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky. 

In order to fill the vast chasm of emptiness I experienced on completion of the Fifty Shades Trilogy oh Mr Grey! … I thought it best to immerse myself in another book; although this time I returned to the realms of dystopian Young Adult fiction. Of course, due to the popularity of this genre I commenced reading with the burden of expectation pressing heavily on my literary consciousness. But I have to say that I was not disappointed! This book bore that burden through its well-written plot and well-rounded characters.

I really loved Aria, the strong-female protagonist … although she doesn’t start off this way! I was gripped by her beautiful transformation from meek, mild and naive to kick-ass anti-hero. I’m talking an ugly ducking to stunning swan type of transformation; captivating yet deadly!

Then there is Perry … sad, conflicted and, on occasion, just plain rude! Still smarting from the pain of his past, his moodiness and dry humor makes for a sometimes awkward and tense relationship with Aria; but also sizzles with raw emotion … lust (probably) … love (definitely) and romance. In fact in terms of love and romance, this is one the better Young Adult romances I’ve read – solid, moving and yet not overdone! It is also a prime example of how opposites attract!

This book is skillfully written in dual narrative, which I found unique and refreshing. Reading how both characters felt about their lives and each other had a profound affect on me. I became completely attached to Aria and Perry and found myself in tears on more than one occasion. Indeed, there are twists and turns aplenty; and in true emotional roller coaster style, this book made my heart race.  This is especially true of the ending which absolutely does not disappoint.

Under the Never Sky is everything I hoped it would be and more. It is an enchanting tale of survival, betrayal, understanding and love – a must read for all fans of the Young Adult genre. I read this, from cover to cover, in one night … will you??

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