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Roar and Liv - Veronica Rossi

I absolutely loved the first book in this series, "Under the Never Sky". I recently purchased the second and third books, then realized I couldn't remember a lot about the world the story takes place in, the characters, etc. I know people like to hate on novellas and say they're a crappy way to make publishing companies more money, and that may very well be true, but novellas also serve another, more noble purpose in my opinion. For me, novellas are like refresher courses. They give you an opportunity to dive back into a world, a society, a group of people, and get familar again without having to re-read a prior book in a series. Given that stand-alone novels are few and far between in YA at this time, this makes novellas unbelievably useful.

Okay, now that I've ranted a bit, let's get to the book itself. I don't normally like to read romance novels, or paranormal novels which focus too heavily on the romance portion of the story, but Rossi's characters are so well-developed and their relationships feel so real that I find myself loving every page. Each character has a unique quirk to them, without feeling like the quirks identify them. The female characters in the book are by no means damsels in distress. Brooke and Liv hold their own, speak up, and kick total ass. They aren't defined by their gender, nor do they need their male counterparts to survive. They stand on their own two feet and make their own decisions, defend themselves in the face of danger, and face fears head on, just like the men do.

The characters aren't the only things to love about this book however. Reading this novella reminded me how unique and interesting the "Under the Never Sky" world really is. I don't think I'll ever cease to be fascinated with the social structure and abilities of Perry's tribe.

This novella was short and sweet. The characters are wonderfully well developed, the world and societal structure in which they live is interesting, and the interactions between the characters make the whole story come to life. If you've read the first book in the "Under the Never Sky" series, I would recommend shelling out a few extra dollars to enjoy this mini prequel. If you haven't read any of the books in the series, this novella is a nice, cheap way for you to try the series out before investing. I really loved this and look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series as soon as possible.