Let me just say three things first:
1. Thank God there wasn't a love triangle--It's so hard to find a YA novel that doesn't have a love triangle. Some authors can pull them off, and others just make me want to tear the book to shreds and kill the main character because she (because it's always a woman) can't make up her damn mind.
2. The book is written in third person. Also another annoying occurrence for me, where so many YA novels are in the first person, so you only get one person's perspective. I love having that other character's perspective.
3. The writing was at a level of maturity that I've been missing in other YA novels. In most YA novels, the conversations and thoughts don't always seem real and flowing. And sometimes the writing is just really sophomoric and high school-ish. It's a little grating.
If you're like me, the fact that Under the Never Sky has those three things already makes it one of the better young adult novels. But there's so much more to this book, and so much more that I love about it, that makes it one of my favorite books ever.
Let's start with Aria. She's a strong female lead and able to hold her own (girl power, yeah!). Since she's been living in the Reverie her whole life, there's a lot that she doesn't understand about the world outside of it. She's got these preconceived notions and is utterly naive about what is going on. I was waiting for that to get on my nerves, but it never did. Even in a world that scared her and confused her, she kept up her nerve and didn't back down. THAT is something to revel in nowadays. We need more heroines like Aria. And I love how she challenged Perry and didn't just let him call the shots.
Now onto Peregrine. Oh, Perry. How I love that bad boy. He really had me swooning with his love for his nephew, Talon, and his constant battle to be a better person and help the people of the Tides. He has many layers and depths, and past secrets that I just want to unravel. He's that typical tortured hero, and even though that stereotype has been used so many times, it's not the same old type of story with Perry. He's got room to grow. Oh, and did I mention he can shoot a bow and hit his targets dead-on with arrows? That Robin Hood persona is dangerously sexy. :)
The love that formed between them was sweet and beautiful to see unfolding. It didn't happen quickly, or instantly; it was slow and real and utterly charming. The book had just right amount of romance, mixed in with suspense and fantastical elements. The secondary characters, like Roar, Cinder, and Marron, were great additions to the story, and I want to learn more about them. I can't wait to read Through the Ever Night!