Book Review: Through The Ever Night

Hello Little Darlings,

Today is Book Review Day!

“Through the Ever Night” by Veronica Rossi

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Let me just start by saying that I have finished this series and am suffering from major book hangover. I didn’t want it to end. I kept turning the last few pages over and over hoping new words would just appear out of the thin air. I needed a “Ten Years Later…” epilogue. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to these characters that I had fallen in love with. I’m mentioning this because this post my end up being unintentionally scattered. If that’s the case I apologize and now you know why.

Veronica Rossi, in my humble opinion, took a huge risk with the second book in this series. She got you to fall in love with the two main characters in the first book and then separated them for the majority of the second book; but here is why it worked. Through the journey of “Under the Never Sky” you became invested in these two characters as individuals, not just as a couple; so though it hurt to keep them a part, it had it’s higher purpose and you as the reader understood that. With the escalation of events there was no way Perry and Aria could have remained together and accomplished the major feats that needed to be completed. It was also a great test for each character to see what they were made of on their own. It tested Perry’s loyalty and old way of thinking. It tested Aria’s confidence and abilities.

I personally loved what this book did for my favorite heroine, Aria. It really showed what she was capable of without the help of her love interest. She came into her own. She became a confident, self-assured woman. She made the hard decisions and took action without anyone holding her hand. Rossi knows how to write a female character that you can respect and look up to. She is fierce, loyal, intelligent, gentle and most importantly REAL. Maybe that is why I loved Aria so much, she felt like some I could know. She felt like someone I could be if I was placed in those dire circumstances. At least I would hope I would be. I could gush on Aria all day long, but there is more to discuss.

The one thing that stuck out to me the most about this book were the individual story lines between Aria and Perry. They were so equally compelling that at the end of each chapter I wanted to skip ahead to see what happens, since the chapters go back and forth between the two main characters. However, by two paragraphs in the next chapter, I completely forgot about that. I was hooked again on the separate story. The pace was steady, yet thrilling and she never wasted a word. The action was just as charged, if not more so than the first book; and so were the feels even though the two love birds were hundreds of miles apart.

It was an opportunity to explore other relationships formed or spoken of in the first book that took a backseat to the love story. My only warning is that there will be some major blows to the heart in this one. Sacrifices will be made and lives lost, but all with purpose and none that will push you over the edge and make you want to strangle the author, (Cough, cough… Allegiant).

This book really upped the level of intensity, emotion, action, information, etc… Everything you’d want in a second novel, which usually seems to be the weakest link in the series chain. That can not be said of “Through the Ever Night”. It did a great job carrying through the story from the first book while perfectly setting up the events of the final installment in the series. I highly recommend it. It will not be the one in the series that you will have to “get through”, it will be the one you never want to end.

Here is the link to the book on Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13253276-through-the-ever-night?from_search=true 

 

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Book Review: Under the Never Sky

Hello Little Darlings,

Today is Book Review Day!

“Under the Never Sky” by Veronica Rossi

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I’m going to strive to give as impartial a review as I possibly can. I’m definitely the type of person that can get overly invested in movies and novels. If stories don’t conclude in the way I hoped they would, as someone who has been on the journey with these characters, it’s a serious blow to my emotions. I literally find I have to remind myself that these are fictional stories and fictional characters. “It’s not real life. It’s going to be okay.” With that being said, once I am hooked into a story line it is difficult to remain neutral, but I will try my best.

First of all, “Under the Never Sky” is focused on two characters, Aria and Perry, who in an interesting twist of fate end up relying on one another as a means to an end. It’s a dual perspective, narrated in the third person, but still gives you all the juicy inner dialogue you have come to love in a first person perspective. These two characters come from polar opposite worlds, which creates some interesting tension for the reader to explore. However, because of their dependence on each other they end up creating a bond that runs deeper and grows stronger than either expected.

Now, I will admit that the book didn’t grip me from the very beginning. To be honest, I was confused the first few chapters in, but as the story progressed I realized that what Veronica Rossi was doing was intentional and downright brilliant. When we read a YA dystopian novel we expect action from the get go, frankly it’s part of the formula; but often the world building that is required in such a novel takes a backseat to the initial push of adrenaline to suck the reader in and get them invested enough to continue on. This is not the case with Rossi. Her world building is evident from the beginning, and in fact, is one of the main things that draws you in. So many questions spring to mind and mysteries begin to unfold that she addresses as the story progresses. She remains consistent and goes through great lengths so that reader feels as though they understand this world and it’s cultures as well as the characters who live in them.

Her characters are well rounded, with rich histories and current circumstances that pull you in and manage to attach you to them individually. Aside from Aria and Perry, there is Talon, Roar, Cinder, Marron, Vale, etc… Each play a part that is integral to the plot while carrying a unique emotional makeup that causes a reader to relate and sympathize in deep ways. Its always a good sign after reading a novel to be able to go back and in your mind separate out each character, especially secondary characters, without their personalities and characteristics overlapping one another.

Speaking of characters, never have I fangirled so hard on a female character. Aria’s journey throughout this book is one of self-discovery, maturity and strength. She manages to be subtle in her power and remain real and relatable, which is the issue I had with Tris in Divergent. As a pre-qualification I want to say that I absolutely love the Divergent series and it is not my intention to throw shade on Tris, but I could not relate to her at all. I admired her, but that’s where it ended. Perhaps due to Abnegation upbringing or her transition into Dauntless, she came off robotic and at times emotionally stunted. She never appeared her age and her inner dialogue was calloused, as it related to her own emotions and the emotions of others. Aria wears her heart on her sleeve in a unique way. A way that shows that she is still in touch with the reality of her circumstances and has a decent balance between doing what is right and acting out of raw desire. Aria is so far, my favorite female heroine in YA.

The two separate societies Rossi creates in this book are so drastically different from one another that you find it difficult to reconcile that these to cultures could not only co-exist on the same planet, but be aware of each other and at times interact; and when they do collide it makes for some intense dynamics. Rossi makes you feel that though they are polar opposites they may in the end be able to put aside their differences/prejudices and unite through a common goal. Both worlds are in need of and seek after the same thing. It’s something that can either bring them to together as human beings or tear them further apart. The great thing about the way she wrote them is that no one outshines the other. They each have their distinct issues and evident ugliness that frankly make you, as the reader, want to do away with both ways of living and start fresh. It comes to the point where you are incapable of picking a side to root for and at the end of the day who you end up cheering on is humanity as whole. The story remains, at its core, about the people.

All in all, I highly recommend this book and hopefully the entire series. I’m hooked. I laughed, I cried, I gasped and yelled at characters as though they could hear me. There were great plot twists and intriguing discoveries. As well as, character building revelations. For those who enjoy a good old-fashioned hate to love story, this one will knock you in the feels over and over again. I definitely ship these two. More importantly, there is so much more to say, hence it being a trilogy. I will be getting the second book “Through the Ever Night” in two days and in a week or two write a review on that one as well. Till then find “Under the Never Sky” at your local bookstore and happy reading my Little Darlings.

Here is a link to the book on Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11594257-under-the-never-sky?from_search=true