Posts Tagged: dystopian YA fiction

Book Review- Under The Never Sky

03 Jan, 2012 by in under the never sky, Veronica Rossi 9 comments

Under the Never Sky
by Veronica Rossi
Hardcover, US, 400 pages
Expected publication: January 3rd 2012
by Harper Collins
ISBN 006207203X
Book Source: Netgalley
3.5 stars

Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.

As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.

They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers a barbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love – one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY.

I had a rocky start with Under the Never Sky mostly because I spent the opening chapters scratching my head wondering what was going on.The first scenes really reminded me of Lord of The Flies as we are introduced to a  group of friends who leave their main pod for an outing and things turn violent.  Without any character building or back story or explanation why, you see teen boys gone savage. It isn’t until much much later that we understand part of why things happen the way they did. It took a good half of the book  for me to start enjoying myself since I felt lost as a reader to the world Rossi was building. When I finished  the book a month ago there weren’t many reviews posted on Goodreads to help fill in the blanks of what I couldn’t put together. Now there are a ton, and it seems many readers caught on and loved the setting much more than I did.

The world is based on two societies, one in pods or realms where the inhabitants are protected from the other harsh and dangerous outside world full of savages and cannibals. Members of pod society wear eyepieces that give an receive transmissions, only experiencing things as a simulated reality. Aria, one of the main characters is discharged from her pod into the outside Death Shop to fend for herself after the skirmish of the first chapters involving a top officials son. There she encounters Peregrine, or Perry for a second time. The two are forced together by circumstance though they hate and mistrust one another. Their relationship takes a long time to build and develop which I enjoyed but I wish I felt more of a connection to Aria. We don’t know much about her except for that Perry thinks she smells wonderful and she can really sing. I found myself wanting to more more of her history and her relationship with her mother whom she is fervently seeking contact with. I liked Perry and the idea of genetically evolved humans made a lot of sense. My only turn off was the pointy teeth and lion-like predator aspect of him which I know was part of the adaptation to his world, but threw me for a loop. My favorite scene between both narrators involved Aria’s training to face a coven of cannibals on the roof of their allies’s protected community. If you know which one I am talking about it is awesome!

Under the Never Sky will appeal to fans of dystopian post apocalyptic fiction and it is unique int hat it has supernatural and fantasy elements. Already, those who got an advanced read are calling it amazing. I don’t know why it didn’t quite click with me but am hoping book two will fill in some of the world building and character connection gaps. I would recommend it for older teens and adults as there is heavy violence and two characters have a sexual relationship, though I appreciated that it was not described in detail and the author often left much of the romance to the readers imagination. Thanks so much to Harper Teen and Netgalley for the early peek.

About the author:

Veronica Rossi’s debut novel, UNDER THE NEVER SKY, will be published in over twenty international markets, starting on January 3rd 2012 in the United States. Film rights to the trilogy have been optioned by Warner Bros.

When not writing, she chases after her boys, who make her laugh every day, and who teach her about love that’s “a million gazillion times bigger than the ocean.”

Learn More on Veronica’s Goodreads/ Blog/ Website/ Twitter/ Facebook

Glow Release Day ARC Giveaway

13 Sep, 2011 by in St martins griffin 9 comments

Happy Book Birthday to
by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Hardcover, 307 pages
Published September 13, 2011
by St. Martin’s Griffin

series: Sky Chasers #1

What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you’d been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth’s collapse, the ship’s crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader’s efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don’t know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them…

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he’s the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren’t all from the outside.

Fire and Ice is giving away two ARC’s of Glow to our followers today to celebrate courtesy of St Martin’s Griffin. To enter click here and fill out the form.

Also: if you’re a Facebook user, please please do “like” the GLOW facebook page. There, you’ll find a 50-page excerpt from the book, sweepstakes, and more. Best of all, there’s a Facebook app (where users take a quiz to be placed on one of two spaceships and then compete with their friends to earn points for cool GLOW prizes). Good luck!

Ashes ARC Tour

19 Aug, 2011 by in ARC tour 2 comments

Ashes (Ashes Trilogy #1)

by Ilsa J. Bick

Hardcover, 480 pages

Expected publication:

September 6th 2011

by EgmontUSA

It could happen tomorrow…

A cataclysmic event. An army of “The Changed.”

Can one teen really survive on her own?

An electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky, destroying every electronic device and killing billions. For those spared, it’s a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human…

Desperate to find out what happened and to avoid the Changed, Alex meets up with Tom—a young army veteran—and Ellie, a young girl whose grandfather was killed by the electromagnetic pulse.

This improvised family will have to use every ounce of courage they have just to survive

We are accepting five readers in the U.S. for this ARC tour on a first come first serve basis. For a full list of Fire and Ice ARC tour rules and to sign up click here and fill out the form.

1)Heather R





Watched Blog Tour & Giveaway

21 Jul, 2011 by in book giveaway, watched 5 comments

by Cindy M Hogan
Paperback, 348 pages
Published April 28th 2011
by Createspace
ISBN 1453899154

Source: author
4 stars

It takes more than a school trip to Washington, D.C. to change fifteen-year-old Christy’s life. It takes murder.
A witness to the brutal slaying of a Senator’s aide, Christy finds herself watched not only by the killers and the FBI, but also by two hot boys.

She discovers that if she can’t help the FBI, who want to protect her, it will cost her and her new friends their lives.

Watched is one part suspense, one part action and lots of building first time romance. Main protagonist Christy has never really considered herself a part of the “in ” crowd at school. Back home she’s young for her grade, overly intellectual and socially awkward. But on a summer trip to Washington DC as part of a scholarship for future politicians her life makes an unexpected U-turn. Witnesses to a violent crime she and her group are forced to stick together when they find they are being followed and their lives are in danger. There is a feeling of danger lurking at every corner for Christy. She’s also bombarded with the new and conflicting emotions of being noticed by two guys at the same time…Alex, the cute popular rich boy she’s been eyeing since day one, and Rick who is everything she could ever hope for with both manners and honesty. Sometimes it’s hard to choose, and Christy needs to decide what she stands for.

It felt like there was a lot of self-doubt wrapped up in Christy’s mind. In the wake of all that’s going on, she doesn’t always make the smartest moves. I would have liked the author to explore resolving conflict and taking personal responsibility instead of running away. The only other glitch I struggled with was that the book ending was abrupt-completely open ended, mid scene. I am very curious to see how book two takes shape and I will be picking it up! My recommendation would be a little more editing to smooth out the rough edges. Overall, I enjoyed Watched enough that I stayed up all night to finish it and I’m very glad Cindy asked Fire and Ice to be a part of her blog tour. She’s done a great job getting her book out there.

Content: Recommended for older teen readers due to very graphic and traumatic violence, decisions which involve teen drinking, making out and one reference to the “b” word.

Buy Watched through Brigham Distributing , Barnes and Noble

Visit the author’s blogs at and

Visit all the stops on the Blog Tour
July 18th – Lisa Ann Turner
LDS Women’s Book Review
Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
July 19th Canda’s Inkblast
July 20th Teen Book Guide
July 21st Fire and Ice
July 22nd Star Crossed Book Reviews

The Giveaway: Author Cindy M Hogan has generously offered the readers of Fire and Ice two signed copies of her book, Watched. To enter to win one fill out this form. Giveaway will go through August 21, 2011.

Book Review- Possession by Elana Johnson

07 Mar, 2011 by in Possession, simon schuster, utah authors 6 comments

By Elana Johnson
Expected publication: June 7, 2011
by Simon & Schuster
ISBN 139781442417618
5 stars
Summary: Girls don’t walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn…and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi’s future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they’re set on convincing Vi to become one of them…starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can’t leave Zenn in the Thinkers’ hands, but she’s wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous–everything Zenn’s not. Vi can’t quite trust Jag and can’t quite resist him, but she also can’t give up on Zenn. This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

I first picked up this book from Simon Schuster as an E-ARC and then last week when I got a paper copy in the mail you know what I did? Something I’ve only ever done with a handful of books…I read it again. The paper in my hands and the awesome cover was too big a temptation to pass up. I loved Possession even more the second time around with it’s layers of meaning and depth. Once you know what’s going on with the main characters and reach the surprise ending, I’m sure you will want to do the same.

I felt an immediate draw to Possession’s protagonist Vi with her sarcastic, fiery personality. She is one strong 15 year old who stands up for herself and isn’t afraid to throw punches. Victoria Schoenfeld is a water worker living in the Goodlands with mom after her father went missing and sister died working in the hands of the government. Vi’s a free thinker who’s had more than one brush with the law. So when she’s caught crossing borders to meet her match Zenn, a newly recruited special forces agent, the Greenies want consequences for Vi. They wish to rule a society where their model citizens, Goodies are “walking paper dolls” devoid of personality. All must plug into transmissions including messages about not lying and sticking to the rules. But Vi has stopped plugging in and has a mind of her own. Those in charge have an upper hand with advanced technology capable of modifying memories, scanning fingerprints and tracking identities. Vi can feel the tech in her bones and though her father invented it, she’s not convinced it’s not all that it seems. In the end it’s a choice for Vi between “control or don’t control, alone or together, Zenn or Jag, duty or death.” (p.366)

Jag…oh Jag. Bad boy who likes to read, leader of the Resistance, lover of wicked hair and distributor of hair gel & illegal tech. He stole my heart with his laughter, calmness, and laid back personality. He’ll snag yours the first time he utters the words “nice” and shrugs his shoulders. But readers beware that Jag is not alone in his efforts to win Vi and freedom, Zenn is fighting behind enemy lines.

Elana Johnson is genius. She’s crafted characters that push and pull you in all directions. There is not a clear cut line between what is bad and what is good. The last 1/3 of the book feels like a choose your own adventure quest for the truth, full of action and suspense. Possession is an ingenious mix of dystopian, paranormal and science fiction that had me thinking long after I finished the book. If you’re a fan of Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series, prepare yourself for something even more mind blowing. Control or be controlled? Join the Resistance.

Outside In by Maria V Snyder

07 Jan, 2011 by in maria v snyder, outside in 5 comments

Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: March 1, 2011
by Harlequin Teen
ISBN 0373210116
series; Inside Out #2
4.5 stars

Summary: Me? A Leader? Okay, I did prove that there’s more to Inside than we knew. That a whole world exists beyond this cube we live in. And finding that led to a major rebellion – between worker scrubs like me and the snobby uppers who rule our world. Make that ruled. Because of me, we’re free. I thought that meant I was off the hook, and could go off on my own again – while still touching base with Riley, of course. He’s the one upper I think I can trust. But then we learned that there’s outside and then there is Outside. And something from Outside wants In.

In this second installment of Maria V Snyder’s Inside Out series Trella “the pipe queen” has led a rebellion against the uppers and the Trava’s. Divisions between the two are supposed to be smoothed over by a committee of 19 leaders but things aren’t going so hot. No one wants to work, old prejudices abound and squabbles turn into more, bombs begin to rock the Inside. Their lives may be in danger as they hurdle through space in a giant cube and systems are down. It’s up to Trella, Riley, Logan and their crew to find out who is threatening them and bring order t0 their community.

Trella has some important decisions to make about who she is and how much responsibility she wants to take on. Her character is forced to do a lot of growing up to shift into position as leader. All the old cast is back but you’ll be on the edge of your seat trying to figure out who is sincere and who is evil. Plus we meet a fun new character named Bubba Boom. Duplicity and high tension is riddled throughout Outside In. We learn more a lot about Dr. Lamont and grow to see a different side of her. But, my favorite character this time around is Logan, TechNo extraordinaire.

Outside In had me hooked despite the technical descriptions of quadrants and time which I had a hard time with in the first book. Snyder does an excellent job of crafting personalities and pitting them for and against each other. She adds much more sci-fi to the mix which makes it more than just dystopian.

The climax caught me completely by surprise. I had NO CLUE who was controlling things on the Inside until it was spelled out to us. The only set back for me in the book was the two sex-y scenes that seemed to literally come out of the sky. One minute Riley and Trella meet, then they barely have time to spend any time together. The next thing they are fighting and two seconds later comes more than I think the plot suggested they were ready for. Unfortunately, this makes for a mature teen read of 16 and over.

Overall, I thought the writing of Outside In was ingenious. Maria Snyder captures details and creates a world like no other we have seen. Thanks so much to HarlequinTeen and NetGalley for introducing me to book two. I enjoyed it more than the first, Inside Out, and I fell head over heels for Riley’s sheepy. So, here’s your chance below to win one or get your own beacon device just like Trella’s….