Length: 374 pages
"Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland--known as The Death Shop--are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild--a savage--and her only hope of staying alive.
A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile--everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky." (Goodreads)
Under the Never Sky and I have a history. I bought it from Anderson's when I went to the Spring into the Future signing the night before RT Teen Day in Chicago. It was in 2012, but I swear it was just last year! Anyway, I bought it and had Veronica Rossi sign it without having read it, just assuming I'd like it. I tried reading it for the first time during a readathon and quit after 100 pages. I was completely lost and just wasn't getting into it at all. I was especially bummed because I loved meeting Veronica and thought she was hilarious and fun to listen to.
Fast forward to last month when we had a two snow days to start the week and I'd run out of books to read, having brought home and read Starters and The Caged Graves from my classroom library. Nothing sounded good on my kindle, so I was looking through my own books, hoping something would jump out at me, when I decided to give UTNS another shot. Amazingly, I got really into it and loved it!
The beginning of Under the Never Sky is really confusing, to me at least, and if you are thinking about reading it, just push through and keep going. Once you get about a third in, things really click and it becomes hard to put down. I read it over 2 days and was happy I picked it up when I didn't have to work--it would have been hard to stop reading! I was sucked into the story and found it to be a fresh take on the dystopian/futuristic science fiction genre. I still have a lot of questions about the world building, but I'm hoping they will be answered in Through the Ever Night (which I am currently reading).
I used my experience with Under the Never Sky as an example to my students of reading the right book at the right time. The first time I tried to read it, it didn't work out at all, either due to readathon burn out or just not feeling the genre. After a long break and needing a new book though, UTNS clicked! I definitely am wondering now if I should go back to any books I DNFed to try again...