In the After by Demitria Lunetta
Book One of the In the After series
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: June 25, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
Summary (from Goodreads):
They hear the most silent of footsteps.
They are faster than anything you've ever seen.
And They won't stop chasing you...until you are dead.
Amy is watching TV when it happens, when the world is attacked by Them. These vile creatures are rapidly devouring mankind. Most of the population is overtaken, but Amy manages to escape—and even rescue “Baby,” a toddler left behind in the chaos. Marooned in Amy’s house, the girls do everything they can to survive—and avoid Them at all costs.
After years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope, a colony of survivors living in a former government research compound. While at first the colony seems like a dream with plenty of food, safety, and shelter, New Hope slowly reveals that it is far from ideal. And Amy soon realizes that unless things change, she’ll lose Baby—and much more.
What I Liked:
I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, to be quite honest. I've had an eARC for months, and never could seem to bring myself to read it. The synopsis was a little chilling, and I don't really do well with post-apocalyptic reads or the end of the world or those sorts of thing.
But I enjoyed this book! Half of the book is spent in the world, and the other half is spent at New Hope. I liked this balance of the book. Some books spend very little time on the "outside", and way too much time in the dystopian world. I'm glad we got to see so much of Amy's world "After", and then we get so much from New Hope.
Amy's narration is very different from what is expected of most YA books. She knows the world before it was overrun by Them, and she survives the perils of the world After. Her voice is so unique! I admire her ability to survive, and how she used her surroundings to work to her advantage (the fence, grocery, basement, etc.).
I thought the addition of Baby was an interesting one. Baby is a toddler that Amy found in the grocery. Amy takes in Baby, and they live together in the After - for three years I believe. Amy and Baby do not speak, for fear of attracting Them, so Baby never retains the ability to speak (though Amy can). Instead, they come up with a modified version of sign language, and are able to sign into each other's hands.
I was never bored while reading this book - there is no way anyone could be bored, with so much action page after page! There were some boring passages that I glossed over, but nothing too long or detrimental to the story. The plot of the story is somewhat confusing, but in the After, and at New Hope. In the After, Amy describes both Before, and then she describes After. At New Hope, it switches between what is currently happening at New Hope, and what is in italics - something that we will get to see by the end of the book, that hasn't happened yet. I know, it sounds confusing even after I've read the book. But once you read the entire book, everything comes together.
If you couldn't tell already, New Hope is a dystopian society. Basically, people gravitated to this abandoned college campus and started building a carefully constructed society. It's weird there, because they have school, and work, but they also have forced impregnation and testing on Them (the creatures). It's implied from the introduction of New Hope that it is a dystopian society, and it really is.
There is a hint of romance, but nothing romantic really happens, and I don't have a ton of hope for this romance. I really don't think Amy and Rice are the greatest pair together, and they definitely do not have the strongest chemistry or attraction or romance. I guess the author didn't do a good enough job of convincing me that the romance is something. Because it felt really... meh.
I had a hunch, just from reading the synopsis, what the creatures were and where they came from and whatnot. My hunch was correct. It's so scary to think that this is something that could actually happen! The concept is very, very plausible. Think biological warfare.
The ending is expected, as soon as Amy and Baby reaches New Hope. I didn't expect the twist with Baby and her skills. I did expect Amy to do what she did at the very end. But I expected someone (not saying who) to come with her. But that's okay! We shall see in the next book.
What I Did Not Like:
I think I already mentioned this, but in the first part of the book, there were some passages that were slightly boring, and I skipped over them. Readers don't need to know so much about Before, or After. It gives the novel really solid worldbuilding, but then, for me, it makes the book less interesting because I get bored with huge paragraphs and no dialogue.
I also didn't like how the romance was almost non-existent. It's like the author waved it in front of our face and then hid it behind her back. I really felt nothing towards Rice and Amy. Their relationship, romantically, seemed very forced.
I was confused with the switches in the second half of the book. Obviously, there was a reason why the parts in italics were in italics. But it took me two of those italic passages for me to figure out that those passages were in the future (sort of). A cool aspect of the book, but a confusing one.
Would I Recommend It:
Yes, I would! I'm so pleased that I liked this book, but kind of annoyed that I didn't read it sooner. It's scary to think what could happen to our world!
4 stars. It's not necessarily an OMG-huge-favorite-of-mine, but I really, really liked this book - a lot more than I was expecting! I mean that in the best way possible!
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