Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Summary from Goodreads:

WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.

DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.


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.


I was quite taken with the title of this book, it sounds very compelling, but lately, the dystopian genre has been a hit and miss for me (more misses than hits really) that I sort of mentally swept the genre under the rug for awhile. But when a friend came to me with a copy for lending, how can I refuse?  


Aside form the really cool title, I thought the world building was excellent. The whole idea of a primitive world existing side by side with an ultramodern one is pretty neat. I think of it as The Jetsons with The Flinstones. Aria lives in a controlled environment, a world filled with gadgets and high-technology. They have what they call as the Smarteyes which allows them to create simulated worlds for entertainment. A virtual reality of sorts. It also connects them to the government, for easy identification and activity tracing. In short privacy is not absolute. Perry on one hand is on the outside world, living with a tribe, with rules that are well, tribal. Leadership is attained through challenges of dominance, hunting is the primary source of sustenance, a caste system is maintained, arranged marriages and trading are practiced with other tribes, preferably the richer ones. But there is an added quirk to the tribal life/outsiders. They have gifts of keen senses and are categorized through them. You are either an audible (keen hearing), a seer (keen eyesight), a scire, (keen sense of smell) or a combination, or none at all. The more gifts you have, the more prized are you in the community.  So when Aria was thrown into this strange outsider world, she experienced all sorts of confusion and fear and so did Perry for having found a girl from the Reverie, it's almost like he found a life form from outer space. So here, we now have the usual premise of having two people from completely different worlds, thrust into each other's lives purely by circumstance. They both have different goals to achieve but they can't do that without the other's help. So they need to stick together and learn to trust each other. *cue the music*   

The romance of course plays on this "two people from different worlds" scheme but it was more to my taste in a way that it was a gradual development, and was a bit subtle than most. Not the instant, love at first sight kind. And it did not occupy a chunk of the story which would often be a peeve. Much of it focused on the characters' separate struggles about their own coming of age and about the debunking or confirming of the information they already knew about each other's world and learning about new ones along the way and I was immensely thrilled about that.

All in all, I liked it. Not the best but a good enough Dystopian YA which may have made me reconsider getting into the genre once more.

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