After the End (After the End #1) by Amy Plum
ebook, HarperTeen, 352 pages
Published May 6th 2014
I have read a lot of mixed reviews when it comes to Amy Plum and her first series Revenants. People either really loved it or hated it; I am in the first group. I loved the books for whatever reason and the covers are pretty much the most gorgeous covers I have ever seen. But despite loving the series, I tried to go into this book without any bias or high expectations because the plotline for this book is so completely different from Revenants so it would be unrealistic for me to assume I am automatically going to love this series as much.“Life is easier in black and white. It's the ambiguity of a world defined in grays that has stripped me of my confidence and left me powerless.”
Remember World War III? No? Well that's because it has not happened yet in our lifetime. However, that is not what our protagonist Juneau was taught to believe her entire life. Juneau is part of a small clan in Alaska (easy to see where she gets her name about that little tidbit) and in this clan, Juneau was told that they were the survivors of World War III, a war that ended the world as we know it in 1984. According to her clan, the world ended about a decade before I was even born, so I guess if it were true, I probably would not be here. This turns out to be a big fat lie though which is pretty crazy to think about; how one's life was built entirely of lies. Learning the truth would be a huge shock, which it was for Juneau.
Juneau's tribe lives away from civilization and technology, depending on their strong connection with nature. Now, while pretty much everything else about her life as been a lie, the connection to the natural world does seem to be true, as Juneau can do some pretty impressive things.
Our male lead is Miles, the son of a pharmaceutical mogul. He is your typical spoiled rich kid who goes off on a crazy adventure to try to get back in his father's good graces. This adventure of his is of course his going after Juneau, though he does not really know what his father wants with her.
Miles and Juneau are so completely different. They radiated animosity for each other for quite some time. Eventually, their relationship progressed, and it was done so wonderfully; no insta-love, which is refreshing to see in YA. Through most of the book, Miles actually thinks Juneau is insane because her behavior and how everything seems so new to her is something he just does not understand. Their constant banter made them very entertaining and I did like them as a couple.
“I'm lying here in a tent, pretending to be asleep but actually fearing for my life as I watch a bunny murderer have a conversation with our campfire.”
One problem I had with this book was that problems seemed to become resolved pretty quickly. Things just resolved too conveniently or there was sometimes a lack of any kind of build up, things just happened because they did, not for any reason. Also, the book is from both the perspectives of Miles and Juneau which I both liked and did not like. It was great seeing both their sides, but it made it harder to connect with each individually and their growth at times felt too abrupt. Miles also got some really short chapters at the beginning which I felt just ended and began suddenly and was just a tad awkward.
The book ends on a dreaded cliffhanger. I see why authors choose to use them, but I do detest cliffhangers SO much! While I did not love this book, I did very much enjoy it. The concept was intriguing and I cannot wait to see what else lies in store for this series. I would definitely like to learn more about Juneau's clan.
“I want to be someone she respects. Admires. But in order for that to happen, I'm going to have to change. To become stronger. As strong as her.”
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