Monday, March 2, 2015

Amy Plum: After the End

Amy Plum introduces the reader to girl who is about to have her entire world and belief system turned up-side-down:

Juneau is one of the only survivors left of WWIII. Her clan survives in the traditional was of living off the land, being one with nature and hiding from those who may have also survived or those who have turned. Juneau knows every inch of her clan's territory and is one of the group best hunters. When Juneau hears a strange sound overhead that is heading towards her clan's camp, she hurriedly makes her way back only to discover that everyone is gone. Juneau is about to learn that everything she has been told is a lie, there was never a war, they were not the only survivors the world has continued on. Juneau now has to travel to civilization in order to discover where her clan has been taken to but as Juneau hunts for them she too is being hunted.

It was the premise that first drew me to this book. It made me think what would I do if I found out that everything I knew and believed was false and that I had been lied to my entire life. However, I figured out about a quarter of the way through this book that this YA book is more for young adult readers age than it was for adults who enjoy the occasional YA read (but I more of a fan of new adult books), but I continued on as I do not like not finishing a book. Therefore, the rest of my review may seem negative (but I don't think too much so) to some, but it really from an adult perspective that a young adult one.

Juneau and Miles' relationship is very kid like and this mainly has to do with Juneau  being sheltered from regular society for her entire life. She does not understand the "proper" or "cool way" to interact with Miles, which I kind of liked as she is just herself with him the entire time. She does not feel like she needs to hide who she is with him as that would be a foreign concept for her. Miles is extremely confused about Juneau and questions everything that she does. He does not believe in her powers, story or clan and just wants to impress his father, even though he thinks it more of showing his Dad up. I will say that Plum allows Juneau and Miles to grow within the book, but more growth is really seen with Miles and it was nice for him to change.

Juneau has very interesting abilities that come from her connection to the Yara and nature. I think that Plum did some research into Native American traditions and culture in order to form the ceremonies that Juneau uses and talks about as well as some of the abilities that Juneau has. Plum does a good job in showing Juneau struggle with holding onto the power of the Yara when she enters civilization as well as start to question her belief in everything.

This book goes back and forth between Juneau and Miles' POV and I think that this was the best format to tell the story as Juneau and Miles react and interpret things differently. However, I was not a fan of this at the very beginning of the book as Miles had very very short POV sections and I am glad that this changed later on in the book.

I think that this book is great for a young adult, the story is interesting, both the female and male lead are strong but also have imperfections as well as trying to discover what it means to have a relationship with someone who is completely different from you. However, for an adult I felt that the book was just too young for me, from the relationship, the decisions the characters make and even the writing style. I personally wouldn't continue on in this series but if you have a young adult reader at home, I think they would like this book.

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