In the After by Demitria Lunetta

Amy survived the apocalypse. The aliens arrived and wiped out almost the entire human race, but through using her brain and more than a little luck – she just happens to live in a house with solar panels, a water filtration system, and an electric fence (powered by the solar panels) that keeps her safe from the very fast, green, hungry-for-human-flesh creatures. On one of her outings to search for food, Amy finds and takes in a toddler she calls Baby. The two learn to communicate in sign language, since noise summons the monsters, and keep each other company for almost three years until they are suddenly rescued and taken to the mysterious survivor colony New Hope. Everything in New Hope seems perfect with a clear set of rules and tasks for everyone. As usual, nothing is as perfect as it first appears.

in-the-afterIt’s possible that I have just become tired of YA novels where the only one who notices anything about anything is a 17 year old girl who also happens to be smart but not popular, stunningly gorgeous despite the apocalypse (or trials/tribulations/whatever) and the boy (also really really ridiculously good looking) immediately falls for her without knowing anything about her. But that wasn’t the only thing I didn’t like about this book. I thought Amy had a much too easy time of it during the end of the world. Sure, her parents died and she had to deal with that, which sucked. But she also had ELECTRICITY AND RUNNING WATER!! And an electric fence that conveniently kept the creepy green creatures out of her house. She had to stay quiet during her showers, poor thing. Maybe I’m being a little dramatic. But it got on my nerves.

I was wildly unsurprised when Amy discovered what life was really like in New Hope. From the first moment, it was clear it was much too structured and everyone was too happy for everything to be as it seemed. Amy and her “Advanced Theory” class finally coming to the realization that the creature were called “floreas” because they had plant-like qualities was definitely a head desk moment. These teenagers are supposed to be the smartest of the bunch, who created the synthetic impenetrable suits the Guardians (who “fight” the Floreas) wear and they didn’t realize “floreas” meant plants?? Dude, the creatures are green and thrive in sunlight. I also wasn’t thrilled with Rice. I thought he was under-developed and clearly just a bland, unimportant love interest.

There were some things I enjoyed about the book. While there wasn’t anything surprising about the general plot, I did like the relationship between Amy and Baby. I thought it was pretty cool that they developed their own form of sign language which they used to communicate. I also noticed that Amy always told Baby female-empowering fairy tales, which was a nice touch. I also liked the way the author wrote the second half of the book, giving us hints about the terrible things that were happening to Amy after she was committed to the Ward. This writing technique made this part of the book much more interesting that it would have been otherwise.

Overall, I would give this book 3 out 5 stars. Fans of The Hunger Games and especially the Divergent series will definitely enjoy it. I’m interested to see what will happen in the next book, but I won’t be running out to get it tomorrow.

May harmony find you,

-Branwen

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