Friday, December 30, 2011

Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

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Under the Never Sky
Veronica Rossi
Release date: January 3rd, 2012
by HarperCollins

Goodreads / Purchase

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 abarbarian, 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

*A copy was provided by HarperCollins for review purposes*

After reading the synopsis did your expression resemble this: o_O ? Because that was mine! So let me help. In a dystopian future, everyone lives “virtual lives” through an eyepiece. They go where they want and do what they wish – all virtually. It’s actually pretty neat. Aria, however, gets expelled from this life and is forced to the outside world – the real world. Aria who has known nothing but a disease free virtual life where you can’t be harmed, is now alone in a real forest full of dangers and death traps. She is not alone for long though. She soon meets Perry who has lived with his tribe in the real word his whole life. His nephew has been taken by Aria’s people and he’s left his tribe to try to find him – which is when he stumbles upon Aria and they team up. This is the gist of it!

As we’re thrown into the story without any sense of what kind of world this is, it’s pretty confusing and a tad hard to follow. On top of the excessive use of pronouns, there are a lot of terminologies and semantics that are thrown in for us to figure out. I had a bit of a hard time with this at first. It does take a good one third of the book to start making sense of it all. After that it gets more interesting and less imposing, but it still makes it hard to really get into the story because while the introductions were happening, I was pondering what I had just read. There is also a lack of explanation towards their present world and why it’s evolved to where they are. Furthermore, why are there Outsiders? Why can’t they join the pod of the virtual realms? It made it difficult to understand who the villains were and who/what we should be afraid of in this world.

Now onto the positives: I did find myself quite surprised with the addition of some paranormal elements within the story, which is seldom seen in dystopian novels. In this book’s future, there are Aether storms that manifests from fire and water coming together in the sky and “shoots” down on earth (fun, huh!?). The appearance of the Aethers also brought some new genetic modifications that give heightened senses to some humans. Some can hear from miles away while others can feel emotions, for example. I found it really original and it added an extra fresh twist to the dystopian genre.

The POV in Under the Never Sky alternates between Aria’s and Perry’s so we get acquainted with both of them, which I really enjoyed. We’ve got Aria, strong-willed and perceptive, then Perry who’s stubborn and reserved. They make quite the interesting pair. I found Aria’s character very well written. You see her grow and evolve from this apprehensive girl oblivious to the new world she’s thrown in, to a strong and resourceful young woman that could take on anything. I really admired her.

Even though it didn’t blow my mind, I still enjoyed it and will certainly continue with the series. I’m curious where the story is going to take us from here and going by my assumptions, there’s a pretty good chance that I will like book two much more.

3 Hot Espressos

Happy New Year Giveaway hop

Posted by on 12/30/2011 • 40 Comments

Xpresso Reads is starting the new year with a bang! I’m taking part in the Happy New Year giveaway hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Babs Book Bistro with over 200 other blogs participating. Which means, you have tons of chances to walk away with some winnings!

What’s up for grabs? Your book of choice at The Book Depository up to a value of 10$.  Open Internationally as long as TBD ships to you (Is your country on the list? Click here) Giveaway ends on January 3rd, 2012 Use the form below to enter.

Make sure to hop on over to the other blogs for more chances of winning!Click here for links to all participating blogs This giveaway was made possible by…

Cover Reveal: Before I Wake

Posted by on 12/29/2011 • 27 Comments

Before I Wake(Soul Screamers, #6)Rachel VincentReleased July 2012by Harlequin Teen

Add it to your Goodreads

Synopsis currently unavailable

The Soul Screamers series:

I’m a huge fan of all the covers in this series and this one does not disappoint! What do we all think?

Hushed Tour Stop

Posted by on 12/29/2011 • 26 Comments

I have the pleasure of welcoming Kelley York as she stops by Xpresso Reads for an interview today as part of the Hushed Blog Tour, which is a book that I really enjoyed. Also, there is a chance to win a copy.

Before we get started with the interview, let’s take a look at the book and what people have to say about it.

Hushed Kelley YorkRelease date: December 6th, 2011by Entangled Publishing

Goodreads / Purchase

He’s saved her. He’s loved her. He’s killed for her.

Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn’t protect his best friend, Vivian, from what happened when they were kids, so he’s never stopped trying to protect her from everything else. It doesn’t matter that Vivian only uses him when hopping from one toxic relationship to…

Cover Reveal: Unfurl, Black Dawn, Channeler’s Choice & Spark

Posted by on 12/28/2011 • 23 Comments

Unfurl (Ripple, #3) Cidney Swanson Release date: December 25th, 2011 by Williams Press Add it to your Goodreads

Against all expectations, Samantha Ruiz has survived attacks by two of Helmann’s deadliest assassins. She’s alive, but she’s far from safe. Helmann is planning a second Holocaust and wants Sam to play a starring role. Will, meanwhile, separated from Sam by an ocean, seeks a way to prevent Helmann’s apocalypse. Along with Sir Walter and Mickie, Will plays a deadly game sneaking into Geneses’ facilities, discovering unsettling clues as to Helmann’s plans. The clock ticks down as Will and Sam discover just how much they must be willing to sacrifice to stop Helmann. UNFURL, the powerful conclusion to The Ripple Series, will leave fans breathless.

The Ripple series

Black Dawn(The Mortganville Vampires,…

Waiting on Wednesday (16)

Posted by on 12/28/2011 • 55 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  My pick this week:

                                    Glitch                                     Heather Anastasiu

                                    Release date: August 7th, 2012

In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.

When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.

As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she…

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Posted by on 12/27/2011 • 49 Comments

The Statistical Probability of Love at First SightJennifer E. SmithRelease date: January 2nd, 2012by Poppy

Goodreads / Purchase

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. She’s stuck at JFK, late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s in seat 18C. Hadley’s in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that…

Dusty Reads (14)

Posted by on 12/27/2011 • 21 Comments

Dusty Reads is a weekly meme, hosted here, featuring a book that has been sitting unread on my home shelf for some time. To participate, add your link at the bottom.  If you wish, you can grab the button and find more information here.

My pick this week:

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DeliriumLauren OliverReleased February, 20011Goodreads / Purchase

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love — the deliria — blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is…