Under the Milky Way

Posted 08/10/2021 by Stephanie in Reviews, YA / 0 Comments

Under the Milky WayUnder the Milky Way
by Vanessa Barneveld
on August 10, 2021
Genres: Action & Adventure, Aliens, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Paranormal, YA
Format: ARC
Pages: 400

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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…

This was such a fun read, once I got past the beginning “shots”. Cassidy is a tenacious young girl and is doing all that she can to help her mom recover and return home.

The story that Nina (Cassidy’s mom) was working on is what led to her breakdown and she admitted herself to a mental institution. Cass seems to think that if she can finish and solve the Jane Flanagan case, her mom will miraculously get better and so she dives off the deep end.

The kidnapping case ends up tied to EVERYTHING that goes on in the story and when Cass solves it/finds the truth, a lot of the odd things that had been going on make so much sense.

It’s so sad that good people tend to do bad things in the name of “the greater” good. Happens in books, movies, shows, and even real life. So having that underlying driving point and mixing in the alien stuff actually helps connect to the story.

At the beginning, the story felt a little convoluted and there were things that could’ve been left out since they don’t really do much except to help set the “tone”/ambiance. An example is the little snippet of the Australian band and their encounter. That was it. No more.

Another thing I felt was a tad bit disorienting was how the flashbacks were done. There was too much jumping around and then switching POV between Cass and Hayden.

The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, it sets up things for a sequel since there are some unresolved topics AND we get a brand new mystery right at the end! Hopefully, we get a book 2!

About Vanessa Barneveld

Australian Vanessa Barneveld lives in a 19th-century house in inner-city Sydney with a 21st-century husband, two eccentric cats and one ghost—all of whom provide inspiration for her spirited novels. In addition to her writing career, she’s part of a crack team that produces closed captions for deaf TV viewers and audio descriptions for the blind.

An avid traveler, she enjoys the journeys almost as much as the destinations. She freely admits to being food motivated and will stop at nothing to find the perfect hot chips wherever she roams around the world.