Original review posted on Books and Swoons
I was going to a book signing for Tahereh Mafi's and Veronica Rossi's Spring Into The Future book tour and I felt horrible that I had only read Tahereh's Shatter Me and didn't know anything about Veronica's Under the Never Sky. I wanted to know, come the discussions, what everyone was talking about and not feeling like I was getting spoilers. So, off to read I went.
First off, I LOVE the name Aria. I completely fell for it. I want to name my future daughter that name. But, besides that, Aria is this kick-ass, strong female character and what gets me excited about it, is the fact that she wasn't even sure she could be that kind of a person. She figured that out while actually fighting for survival. Any one can relate to that, I know I do. I love Aria's transformation from someone who didn't know how to defend herself to being out in the woods by herself, fully able to keep herself alive at the end of the novel.
See, Aria was born and raised in this enclosed city of Reverie and she never been outside of it. So, once she was accused and tried for something that she did not do, she is exiled to the Death Shop, where she is supposed to meet her death. In her determination to find some sort of shelter, Peregrine finds Aria just as an Aether storm is beginning. After he managed to save her from the dangers of the storm and the harmful environment, they came to an agreement to help the other out. Aria to find Lumina, her mom, in Bliss and Perry to find his kidnapped nephew, Talon.
While there is romance in the book, it is not what the story is about and I truly enjoy young adult novels where the female is the protagonist and the love story doesn't account for the whole plot. I enjoy reading about female protagonists being put to the test and pushing to find themselves and/or dealing with dangers and not just finding the right boy. And so, I like Aria's and Perry's tentative friendship that blossomed into something else. And, even Ms. Rossi herself has said that while this book dealt with Aria and Perry, the next books will be bigger than them. It will now deal with the consequences of what happened at the end of the book. I won't go into more of the plot details, since I don't like giving away plot spoilers but I certainly can't wait to read the follow-up novels.