Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi



Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He's searching for someone too. He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers.

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Under the Never Sky is an electrifying debut that left me wanting more!
Veronica Rossi has done a fantastic job with the world building. The society in which Aria and Perry live in has been split in two. First, there are the "Dwellers" - people who live inside the Pod. I loved the idea of the Smarteye and its power to transport a person to different Realms in the Pod. It was weird to think that everything the wearer did was just a stimulation and supposedly "Better Than Real". Every aspect of the world from the Pods, Reverie, and Bliss, to the Aether sky was cleverly crafted and intriguing.
Then there are the "Outsiders" - people who live outside the Pod in a civilisation that has almost reverted back to primal times. The world as we know it has become this bleak and frightening place where tribes fight to control areas of land, and leaving your tribe means that you could face almost certain death.
I have to admit that I'm still a little confused by some of the ideas that Rossi presented as there wasn't much of an explanation. However, I'm assuming that this will be cleared up in the sequel.
I was thoroughly impressed with the character development. For Aria being thrown out into the 'Outside' or as she calls it ‘The Death Shop’ is  disorientating as she has lead a safe and sheltered life. Unaccustomed to having done anything for real it's hard for her to adjust, but eventually she does.  She becomes this strong, determined and admirable heroine that you just can't help but love.
Perry a 'Outsider' with a rough and tough exterior also grows throughout the course of the book. Initially I didn't like him, but as the story develops so does his character.
UtNS is told from both Aria's and Perry's POV. At first they’re like enemies- coming from two different societies means having different values and ways of life- but they soon realise that they have a common goal and with that their prejudice against each another fades and a beautiful romance slowly blossoms.
    He watched as she pressed the berry to her lower lip. He kept looking at her mouth after she’d done it. He knew he should look away, but he couldn’t. “Right. Good. If there’s no stinging, you’d put it to your tongue.”

    Perry shot to his feet before he finished the words, nearly tripping over himself. He ran a hand over his head, feeling skitty, like he needed to laugh or run or do something. He picked up a stone and tossed it into the creek, trying to get the image of her tasting the berry out of his mind.


    Wednesday, 25 January 2012

    Worlds Burn Through by Vicki Keire

    GoodReads Summary: Chloe Burke has nightmares of a world burned to ash and the strange boy who saves them both.

    Underneath the dreams lurks a deeply buried reality; Chloe and a handful of others are survivors of a decade old apocalypse that burned their home world to the ground.

    Now their ancient enemies hunt them again. To keep their adopted world safe, Chloe must undergo a ritual of blood sacrifice that will have life-long consequences if she survives. Her lethal protector, Eliot Gray, must keep her alive long enough to do it.

    Together they will uncover even more dangerous secrets buried in the past’s deepest, darkest ashes.

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    Chloe Burke has had re-occurring nightmares of a fire and a strange boy with intense eyes for as long she can remember . The horror of her nightmares is replaced with the death of her father. It's been two months, but the pain is still fresh. After her fathers death her mum has become over protective for reasons unknown to Chloe. Chloe rebels and that's how she finds herself on the date from hell. Wanting to go home she instead finds herself in a terrifying situation, and then when the boy from her dream appears her world becomes filled with darkness and fire and everything changes...

    Worlds Burn Through is a stunning novella with a unique plot, fierce characters and an ending that will leave you wanting more!
    • I immediately took a liking to Chloe, she's stubborn, head-strong and she can take care of herself - qualities I like to see in mcs!
    • Her guardian Elliot is protective, mysterious and a real fighter. The obvious care he showed  towards Chloe was heart-warming and I look forward to learning more about him in volume 2.
    • Worlds Burn Through is mostly told from Chloe and Elliot's POV. If you've read my previous reviews you'll know that I like it when a story is told from both the male and female mc's perspective. 
    • The supporting characters are all interesting and there is a point in the novella where the POV changes to a character that I'm intrigued by and hope to see more of in the sequel.
    • The story is unique and the plot face-paced, like Chloe I still have many unanswered questions that I'm desperate to find the answers to.
    • Although there wasn't any romance I have feeling there will be in the next volume.
    • My only complaint is that it's a novella which means it's pretty short. When I got to the end my reaction was "Nooo, it can't be finished! I need to know what happens next!" So, as you can tell I am pretty eager to read the next volume.
    If you're looking for a action-packed read with a unique premise I recommend reading Worlds Burn Through!

      Saturday, 14 January 2012

      Partials by Dan Wells

      Summary: The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.

      Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic in training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws threaten to launch what’s left of humanity into civil war, and she’s not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will discover that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them—connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.

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      Partials takes place in a futuristic world where humans are near extinction after the Partials -engineered beings that look like us, but have 10 times the strength and stamina- turned on their human creators by releasing a deadly virus. The remaining survivors are unable to create a new generation as babies die after a few days of life. Kira, a sixteen year old medic in training decides to make it her mission to find a cure.
      Kira is a smart and resourceful mc who despite carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders manages to hold a sense of humour. Being a medic and seeing the RM virus kill new born babies first hand is harsh, but it fuels her determination to find the cure. Kira's strength is admirable, she is faced with an emotional journey, but she never ones backs down and that places her at the top of my favourite heroines list.
      Something that there's not much of in YA and I wish there was more of is Diversity. Wells has created a brilliant mix of diverse characters, from Kira who's Indian to Marcus (her boyfriend) who's Mexican. 
      I loved all the characters, but was especially fascinated by Samm, a Partial who we meet later in the novel. I can't say much about him as it it would probably spoil the plot, but I will say that he had me glued to the pages, eager to discover more about him.
      Kira was constantly questioning things and I found myself doing the same. Just how far are we willing to go to save the human race? The scientific explanation littered throughout the book could have been dull, but Wells does a fantastic job keeping things interesting.
      The ending is a perfect set up for book two, there are lots of unanswered questions that I can't wait to discover the answers to in the sequel.
      Overall, I really enjoyed Partials, it was a thrilling read that left me breathless. 


      Wednesday, 4 January 2012

      She Went All The Way by Meg Cabot

      GoodReads Summary: Success hasn't spoiled screenwriter Lou Calabrese -- it's just given her a taste for luxury. And it's put her in some bizarre situations -- like in a helicopter en route to the wilds of Alaska, sharing too-close quarters with the last man she wants to be with: Jack Townsend! Once a sexy nobody whom Lou helped make a somebody, Jack's just been dumped by a high-profile Hollywood airhead -- who's eloped with Lou's longtime love! So what else could go wrong? Well...

      Their pilot could try to shoot the most adored man in America. They could crash land in the icy, mountainous middle of nowhere. And at the worst possible moment, when survival should be their only consideration, Jack could start wondering if maybe he wasn't a wee bit too hasty for not giving this sexy screenwriter a second look -- while Lou could start noticing how superstar Jack is kind of hot after all ...

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      If you're in the mood for a romantic comedy, with a love/hate relationship and sexy times I recommend reading She Went All the Way.
      I immediately took a liking to Lou. I could really relate to her in that she's passionate about reading and TV "She had never been a very outdoorsy girl. As a kid, she'd spent most her time curled up with a book. Or in front of the TV." Two of my favourite things to do!
      The story is written in diary format, and is told from both Jack and Lou's perspective. Cabot's witty writing style and constant popular culture references kept me entertained throughout the novel.
      The dialogue between the Lou and Jack was hilarious, their constant bickering had me literally laughing out loud. I liked how as the story progressed the relationship between Lou and Jack slowly developed. And when they finally decided to acknowledge the attraction between them, well, let's just say there were some steamy moments! 
      By the end of the book I was left with a big smile on my face. She Went all the Way is fun, light read with an awesome protagonist, a swoon worthy male mc and some explosive Hollywood shenanigans. 

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