Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading … In the After by Demitria Lunetta

Monday, June 17, 2013

Just Finished Reading … In the After by Demitria Lunetta

Review of In the After
by Demitria Lunetta
To be published by Harper Teen
on June 25, 2013

Connect with the author: Blog : Twitter.




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.
Buzzwords: Post-apocalyptic, aliens, sci-fi.

My take: In the After is an interesting amalgam of a book -- it started out as a post-apocalyptic survival story, then shifted to a creepy psychological thriller, then to a butt-kicking sci-fi action story. I prefer my genre mash-up books to be a little more well-blended, but I still think that there is a lot here that will appeal to YA readers.

As the book opens, Amy's world is coming to an end -- aliens have landed in Central Park, and half of the people on the planet are dead. Amy's parents never return to their Chicago home, and her life becomes a lonely tale of scavenging and hiding. She's able to survive because her dad outfitted the house with solar panels and her mom insisted on an electric fence and lessons at the shooting range for her tween daughter. (Yes, this all requires quite a bit of suspension of disbelief, but I was okay with it.)

After a month of this, Amy finds Baby, an abandoned toddler, in a grocery store. The two of them develop an interesting relationship that was one of my favorite parts of the book. In order to keep the aliens at bay, they have to be absolutely silent, so they stop speaking and develop their own sign language. As years pass, the two of them become as close as a parent and child. Their relationship was both touching and a little creepy.

And then … their situation changes. I don't want to say more, because part of the fun of the book for me was the suspense. But the next third of the book kept me glued to my kindle as I tried to figure out what the heck was going on with Amy and Baby. (And I had some really out-there ideas, which you can click here and read under spoiler protection in my Goodreads review.) Let's just say that I became unsure as to whether Amy was a reliable narrator. And that I have a vivid imagination.

The final third of the book was my least favorite, as the story began to display some familiar twists and turns, with the book ended in the requisite cliff-hanger.

Still, I definitely enjoyed In the After. It was truly suspenseful and truly creepy at times. There were gruesome scenes with aliens ripping people apart that you wouldn't think I'd enjoy -- but I did. I mean, if you're going to give me aliens, please make them scary! Or …. cute, like E.T.

The psychological aspects -- Amy's oddly moving relationship with Baby and Amy's seeming unreliability -- were the best parts of the story for me. But since this book felt to me like three different stories stuck together -- post-apocalyptic+ psychological thriller + sci-fi -- I'm guessing that different readers will have very different opinions. Have you read In the After? Let's discuss!

35 comments:

  1. Loved her interactions with baby too, such a great part of the story.

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  2. I need to read this but as far as the review I've been reading, it looking pretty good. I will have to pick up this book soon.

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  3. I reeeeeally want to read this. I used to steer clear of aliens but I'm intrigued after reading The 5th Wave. :)

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  4. hmm this sounds interesting, and I like the usage of different genres! It sucks though that you didn't like the last part of the book. Great review though!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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    1. I liked the book overall, but the last part was my least favorite...

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  5. I like alien books (and totally agree on them being either scary or cute) but I have to say I do feel like I have red a LOT of them lately (The 5th wave, Alienated.) And because I REALLY enjoyed The 5th Wave, not sure how I would feel about this book, I know I would be comparing the two the whole time. Still, I like some of the parts you mentioned, like Amy and Baby's relationship and the suspense. So maybe I'll give this one a shot later on after my 5th Wave mania has calmed a bit:)

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    1. They're really different. 5th Wave is more philosophical, while this one is more of a thriller.

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  6. This is on my TBR list! Glad you (kind of) liked it.

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  7. Awesome review!! I just got the audio of this one to review and am really excited for it!

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  8. This does sound like an odd mix of genres, the whole electric fence thing seems a bit far-fetched too. How interesting to have the main character adopt a toddler though! How the hell did she manage to keep it quiet?! I think I need tips!

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  9. I love my aliens of the scary variety (though I did love E.T.),so I'm super excited to meet the aliens in this book. It's next on my list, and I can't wait to read it and see what I think about the psychological side to the story. Awesome review!

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  10. Wow, this one looks so different from anything I've read! Probably because I still haven't read The 5th Wave! I'm glad you liked it, and I think the way you described the three different "parts" makes it seem really interesting. Great review!

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    1. It did seem to me to have three distinct parts..

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  11. I recently read The 5th Wave and if I hadn't I would have marked this book as too scary for me, but since I really enjoyed it I'm kind of curious to read more alien/post apocalyptic books. And the psychological part of it I'm VERY curious about. It sounds like I'll have to give this one a try!

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  12. From the looks of it, the relationship between Amy and Baby sounds very weird. I read the spoiler from Goodreads and now, I'm very confused yet a little curious to know his identity. In the After wasn't really in my radar, but I may end up liking it. Thanks for the wonderful review, Jen :)

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    1. Well, ALL my theories were way out in outer space…..

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  13. Itsounds like a bit of a hot mess, but that kind of makes me want to read it. I chuckled when you wrote about enjoying the violent scary aliens. Also I couldn't help but thinking if those aliens had landed in central park during are book blogger picnic . could have totally defeated them!

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  14. Enjoyed this one! Really?! I trusted Amy the whole time. It was her mother and New Hope I didn't trust. I wanted to bitch slap her mom. I so saw the twist with the Floreas coming!

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  15. I'm torn between wanting to read your spoilers to see just how out there you get and wanting to pick up the book for myself and compare my predictions to yours to what actually happens. Guess I will just have to get a copy for myself!

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  16. Another book about aliens apocalypse? Is it like, the YA trend of the year? I've just finished The 5th Wave and what you describe sounds a lot like it! The idea of Baby and Amy sounds really good, though, so I might give this book a chance.
    Great review!!! :)
    I'm an old follower

    Sapir @ Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl

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  17. Great review. I'm probably going to pick this one up.

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  18. Ok... ET was not cute! (And yes I am aware that I am probably the only person that hated the movie.)

    This is probably one I will avoid due to the fact that I avoid all aliens (except when Will Smith is involved, and even he couldn't get me to like Men In Black). I do like the cover though, it's pretty!

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  19. This is one that I would immediately have passed over, BUT the psychological aspects and promise of a possibly unreliable narrator sound fascinating! If this kid is only called Baby, i'm already creeped out. Also, I'm amazed that this child was able to maintain silence. I don't think I could instill that in my toddler! I want to read this to find out all the crazy theories. Thanks for putting this on my radar!

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  20. Huh, I don't know that I thought this one was about aliens. But I do love an unreliable narrator. And, oddly enough, I prefer my aliens to be on the scary side, too. :P I put this one at the bottom of the stack, but maybe I should reconsider...

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  21. This sounds... interesting. I'm totally going to read your spoilers. I'm totally intrigued by the relationship with Baby... that is just... fascinating. I love creepy...

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  22. I loved the first 3rd of the book. It was SO suspenseful! The middle was kind of slow for me, but the end was also really amazing! This is the first book I've read with 3 completely different tones throughout that work wonderfully together. It was deliciously unique! :) Great review, Jen!

    Sabrina @I Heart Y.A. Fiction

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  23. Hmmm. I actually have this on my Kindle, but haven't been able to get to it yet. I thought it was going to a straight alien book, but I'm intrigued to hear that it turned into more of a creepy psychological thriller. I'll have to get on this one after all. Great review!

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