Title: In the After
Author: Demitria Lunetta
Publisher & Release Date: Harper Teen, June 2013
The Hook: You had me at aliens, but it was the smartly-written dystopia that really won my heart.
The Lowdown: Amy is an average teenager until the day They arrive. In the blink of an eye, she’s left all alone as humanity is decimated by monsters straight out of a nightmare. Thanks to her parents’ foresight and her own intelligence, she has the skills and tools necessary for her survival, but it’s not till she rescues an abandoned toddler that she finds a reason to keep on living. She and Baby, as she names the girl, live relatively comfortably in their little fortress until a stranger breaches their defenses. Miraculously, they survive long enough to be picked up and taken to New Hope, a community that promises to beat back the invading horde and rebuild humanity. But New Hope has its own dark corners, and Amy’s unanswered questions about her new home and those who control it lead her to a terrifying discovery.
Overall Impressions: Just when I was ready to give up on dystopias for awhile, this fabulous book came along and restored my faith in YA lit’s ability to imagine truly chilling futures for society. This dystopia was written on a small scale, but it was sharp and frighteningly believable. I found myself thinking, more than once, “This is EXACTLY what would happen in this situation!”. I loved Lunetta’s descriptive-but-straightforward style, and while I didn’t always like Amy, I had a lot of respect for her by the end of the book. I’ll be on the edge of my seat waiting for the sequel.
The Highs: I’m a sucker for aliens, and Lunetta’s aliens were as creepy as could be. The swiftness and brutality of their invasion was frighteningly realistic, as were the effects on humanity’s surviving members.
Buzzkills: It only enhanced the story for me, but be warned that the violence in this book is pretty graphic, and the descriptions of the invasion and its aftermath are brutal.
The Source: Advance Reader Copy from publisher
Disclaimer: No chocolate or shiny things were provided by the publisher for this review.