Thursday, May 01, 2014

Review: After the End by Amy Plum

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I received this book for free from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: After the End by Amy PlumAfter the End by Amy Plum
Series: After the End #1
Published by HarperTeen on May 6th 2014
Genres: Sci-Fi, YA
Source: HarperCollins
Buy on Amazon

"I have no idea what is truth and what is fiction. I'm all I've got now. I can't trust anyone."

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.

With an incredibly exciting premise and a unique magical twist, After the End could have swooped me off my feet, but instead I found myself getting increasingly bored as the book went on. What started as a fun adventure involving a girl who finds out that her whole life is based on a lie, ended up being nothing but a dull road trip with flat characters and an artificial romance.

I admit to being compelled at first, however. It begins on a high note when we learn all about Juneau’s way of life as a “survivor” after WWIII – or so she thought. Even though it only lasted a few pages, the survivalist lifestyle they had been living was intriguing, and the inclusion of a magical aspect made it all the more fascinating. I enjoyed learning about the Yara and how she could use it to her advantage during her escape. It also had me wondering what eventual twists this story would throw at me. Unfortunately this is where it stopped being fun, or even realistic.

Juneau soon finds out that there was no WWIII, and the world is actually as it is for us today. She does a double take, takes a night to take it all in, then adapts to it all as if she had not, in fact, been raised in a secluded life away from any kind of civilized modernization. To make matters worse, the dual POV makes us spend time in Miles’ dull perspective while Juneau is off acclimating herself to a new world without us. In a matter of a few pages with Miles, a couple weeks have passed and Juneau is already passing as a regular ol’ homeless teenager. It was a bit too unconvincing. Then, mid-way through the book, this girl who has seen a car for the first time in her life drives one across state by herself like it’s nothing. Right.

Most of the book consisted of them mindlessly driving from one detour to another, while Juneau droned on about how she was misled and deceived. All without any kind of emotional or psychological depth, of which we merely scratched the surface throughout the whole book. It was just a painfully boring trip. Furthermore, to no one’s surprise, a romance to bloom between the two; a dispassionate and forced romance that felt like nothing more than a plot device to try and lend power to his betrayal and eventual plot developments. On that note, the plot does introduce a few twists that are intriguing, but not especially interesting. Likely due to the lack of character depth and development; I couldn’t have cared less about any of them.

After the End ended up being a drawn-out, tiresome book that lacked the emotional punch it clearly needed. As a result, instead of being entertaining, the plot came off as stale and contrived. Evidently, I was not one with this Yara!


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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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25 Responses to “Review: After the End by Amy Plum”

  1. Amanda @ Book Badger

    I knew you hadn’t enjoyed this but wow, you really didn’t did you? It does sound like a good premise, but the execution sounds terrible, lack of emotion, relating to the character, unrealistic attitudes, romance and actions, I’ll be avoiding this one the future. A good, honest and raw review, thank you for the heads up!

  2. Maddy @Symphony of Words

    Oh no! This was one of those 2014 releases I was highly anticipating, even though I didn’t like Plum’s Revenant series at all. It seemed like an amazing plot was on its way, but now I just don’t know…

  3. Jenea @ Books Live Forever

    Well, this sucks. I loved The Revenants series, and was soo looking forward to this one. The characters sounds kinda blah, but the plot sounds like it would be okay. I’m not going to be in a hurry to pick this one up though. Sorry it wasn’t a great read for you, but thank you for sharing your honest thoughts on it.

  4. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    I’m sorry to hear that this was a disappointing read for you, Giselle. There were a few things that bothered me in this book, but I still enjoyed it overall. I think it might be because it was unexpected for me. I didn’t read the blurb so I was expecting a dystopian so I was surprised when it really wasn’t. I understand how the constant driving around could have been boring for you. I tend to enjoy those kinds of reads for some reason. (Clearly, I’m nuts and have no taste!) 😀
    I hope your next read is better, Giselle. Great review!

  5. Savannah

    So far with the reviews I have been reading this book is okay. I think I will still read it since I still do tend to favor dystopian books.

  6. Leanna

    Oh, dear! So disappointing that this one didn’t work out despite the great premise! I love Amy Plum’s Revenants series and this one is on my list, although I’m saving it for later as I’m must not in the mood for a dystopian right now. These days I just want to read contemp.

  7. Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction

    I enjoyed this one a bit more than you did but I had some of the same issues. It was rather slowly paced and had potential that wasn’t realized. I did find the writing to be fairly easy to read and I was interested in the story-line though I felt the characters were very shallow and I never connected to them either. I hope you enjoy your next read much more!

  8. Christianna

    Dang, I have this one for review, but now I’m wondering if I should just go back at a later time and skip it for now. It sounds like a lot of nothing really going on. Thanks for the honest review.

  9. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Seriously? Juneau gets acclimated to a completely different world within a matter of weeks? Um. It’s there that you’ve lost me. I think I’ll take a pass on this one.

  10. Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    Awww! Sorry you didn’t like this one as much as you hoped to Giselle! 🙁 I definitely don’t blame you though…whenever a book just drags on and on, it gets to a point where you don’t even care about the story, and all you want is for it to be over. Sadly, it sounds like that was the case with this one! 🙁 I’ve heard mixed reviews for this one, so I’m not sure if I’m going to read it, but thanks for sharing and brilliant review regardless! <3

  11. Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain

    I can see how the beginning would be interesting, but it seems that it crashes and burns soon after. I’m sorry the book drags on forever, that’s so tiresome and annoying, especially with the superficiality of the whole thing. Fantastic review, though, Giselle! <33

  12. Melliane

    Oh I’m sorry it wasn’t as good as you expected. I was so curious about this one, it’s sad… Well I still have Die for Me to read so I’ll try this series instead. Thanks for the review..

  13. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    I didn’t really like Plum’s other series–book 1 was a DNF for me—so I’m not surprised that this one wasn’t very good either. I was initially willing to give her another shot, b/c I completely agree with you about the premise sounding fantastic, but now I’m kind of thinking not . . . Great review, Giselle 😉

  14. Faye @ The Social Potato

    Oh, man. I can definitely see how the alternating POVs and “timeskips” were a convenient excuse to “suddenly” develop Juneau’s character and familiarity (behind the scenes, that is, which is complete and utter bullshit). That sucks mega balls and I’m not sure I wanna read this now .-.

  15. Pili

    Bummer! I’m so sorry to hear you didn’t like this one at all, cause it is one of my very eagerly awaited books!
    I still hope I’ll manage to enjoy it more and it won’t be a huge disappointment for me…

  16. Vi

    Oh no! I’m so sad this didn’t work out for you. Idk if I’d like it either, but I do like Amy Plum and will give this a try someday. Hoping it’ll at least keep me interested.

  17. Neyra

    Ah, I was hoping this one would be good, it sounds like it’d be fun. Too bad, maybe I’ll borrow this instead of purchasing just in case 😉