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.
Released: January 3rd 2012 Pages:374
Publisher: HarperTeen Source: Library
Setting: ***** Why? Why do dystopians do this to me? Why do authors think they can write about all the dystopian settings they want without explaining why it's a dystopia in the first place? Ugh. Some backstory on this setting would've been nice.
There's not much here, in terms of setting, that can't be found in any other YA dystopian. Tightly controlled totalitarian society? Earth is now a barren wasteland because of some war/natural disaster much too important to mention in this book? Check. Can we have something new, please?
Characters: ***** I couldn't bring myself to like Aria--she came off as pathetic, to me. She was absolutely helpless outside her city. She breaks into pieces when she has her first period. Honestly, I handled that experience better when I was ten. Get a grip, Aria. She didn't do anything, either. She was just along for the ride. All she did, it felt like, was follow Perry around.
Let's talk about Perry...he felt more like a plot device than anything else. He was the stock hot guy, the love interest, Aria's mode of transportation. I liked what I was seeing with his love for Talon, but other than that I wasn't too fond of him. He had some semi-interesting backstory, which is a start. We'll see if this gets expanded on or not in the sequel, if I ever end up reading it.
Plot: ***** The plot interested me at first. Then it just turned into traveling, traveling, and more traveling. Do we need five chapters about Perry and Aria's exploits in the wilderness? In this case, no. I wanted to see if they could rescue Talon, or Aria's mother, and I wanted to know if or how Perry would become Blood Lord. Those things could have been interesting, had I gotten the impression that they were more important to the characters than their insta-love.
But once again, public service announcement: We interrupt this plot to bring you a massive, sappy lovefest. That's what it was. The plot came to a screeching halt and suddenly Aria's main focus was on kissing Perry without him seeing it coming. She suddenly turned into a philosopher, contemplating how wonderful love is and marveling at the beauty of everything. Like Perry. Have I mentioned that Perry is handsome yet? Because I was only reminded eight million times while reading this book.
Uniqueness: ***** This has everything you could ever want from an unoriginal dystopian book. Including the insta-love (even...*gasp*...the beginnings of a love triangle).
Writing: ***** For the most part, the writing was fine with me. There weren't any typos that I can remember, and it did a decent job telling the story. I didn't get tripped up with awkward phrasing, except...
In a few cases, this book was unintentionally hilarious. At one point, a guy punches another guy "in the kidney". Um...the punch was so strong that it bypassed the skin, ribs, and large intestine in order to hit its mark? I laughed for way too long about this. I then proceeded to share this with my younger brother, who informed me that while he understood my point, the kidney area is a rather good place to hit someone. I have no idea where he learned this, but...okay.
The other major funny one was right after Aria got her period. As she's having cramps and complaining, Perry is all "she smells like violets!" So now a period smells like violets? I'm dying of laughter over here. There were some smaller things that also made me laugh, but these were the two main ones.
Likes: Talon was rather adorable.
Not-so-great: Aria's disgust at being *spoiler--highlight to read* half Outsider *end spoiler* annoyed me a little. What's so wrong with that?
Overall: This book could have been awesome, but it didn't live up to the hype. I never cared for the main character, Aria. I felt like Perry was more a plot device than a person. The plot was mostly traveling and a major overdose of insta-love. It's more of a 2.5 star book, but I round up, so three stars it is.