About the Book:
Title: Under the Milky Way
Author: Vanessa Barneveld
Page Length: 400
Publication Date: Aug. 10, 2021
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Synopsis: Nothing ever happens in Dawson, Colorado.
Until high school senior Cassidy Roekiem’s mom checks into a “wellness center,” but nothing is wrong with her.
Then people start seeing lights in the sky and missing chunks of time, but the town insists nothing is going on.
And now Hayden, the new boy at school who keeps to himself and is more than a little mysterious, starts to notice her like it’s nothing out of the ordinary.
Suddenly, “nothing” is starting to feel a whole lot like something. And everything leads back to Hayden. The boy she’s starting to fall for. The boy with too many dark secrets for his kind heart. The boy she’s pretty sure isn’t human…
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Under the Milky Way is an entertaining young adult sci-fi romance. I love the cover of this book. It’s so gorgeous, and I was drawn to the unique-sounding story. It’s not your typical alien romance. This story includes disappearances, aliens, conspiracies, and decades-old mysteries full of intrigue and danger. The plot is pretty unique, and I like how the author wove several seemingly unrelated stories together. The story went in a few directions that I didn’t expect, and the connections are tied together well. It made for an enjoyable read.
Each chapter begins with a song title from a playlist Cassidy’s mother made for her, which is another intriguing element of the story. Are these possible clues left by her mother, or are they something else? The story also includes snippets of news articles, memos, reports, and more throughout the book. These, as well as the song titles, offer insight into the several mysteries in the story. It’s interesting to see how everything ties together and how information that seemed unrelated or unimportant became significant as the story unfolded.
The characters are also interesting, though I wish some were a little more layered. Cassidy’s friends and aunt and Hayden’s family are so interesting, and I could easily see some of them being the focus of future books by the author. Cassidy is a great protagonist. She is resilient and determined, and she shows such courage throughout the story. I like that she trusts her instincts and never gives up on the people she loves. She’s also really intelligent, curious, and accepting.
The love story in this book is sweet and complicated. Cassidy and Hayden have a great connection, and I love how behind his athleticism and unbelievable good looks, Hayden is awkward and a bit bumbling with Cassidy. You can tell how taken he is with her, which is very sweet. Cassidy feels the same way, and their growing relationship, though complex and riddled with problems, is great.
Secrets, lies, betrayal, conspiracies, abductions, and more make for a suspenseful and entertaining read. Part sci-fi, part mystery, the intrigue definitely propels the plot. I became easily engrossed in the story and didn’t anticipate many of the surprising twists and turns. It’s an interesting and enjoyable read that will appeal to readers of ya sci-fi romance. Thanks so much to Entangled Teen, NetGalley, and the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
- The romance.
- The intrigue.
This is a good read for people who like ya sci-fi with aliens, government conspiracies, and romance.