Saturday, March 16, 2013

Under the Never Sky

by Veronica Rossi
New York : HarperCollins, 2012.

Aria lives in the Pods, where the "real" is gray and everyone's hooked up to Smarteyes that allow them to visit the Realms, a sort of immersive Second Life. Peregrine is an Outsider, one of those whom Aria's people believe to be savage and wild, living in a world that they cannot survive in. When Aria loses contact with her mother, she ventures outside the Pods with friends and finds out that everything she knows about the Outside is wrong.

Shifting back and forth between Aria's and Perry's points of view, the reader gets to see each character's preconceptions change as they travel together and learn about each other. Because most of the action takes place on the Outside, we don't really see much of Aria's world except through her memories and the quick glimpses of technology for the portions that take place in the Pods. If you've read a lot of young adult dystopias, you may not find the plot directions all that surprising, but this is a fast-paced story with two characters I couldn't help but root for. I would hand it to teens who are impatient for the next book in the Divergent series.

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