Release Day Review + Giveaway: In the After


In the After
Demitria Lunetta
Series: In the After, #1
Release Date: June 25th, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Number of Pages: 400
Rating: 4 stars
Word Rating: Awesomely Intense
Reviewed by: Blythe

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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.

Rebellious, courageous, and tender, this unforgettable duo will have you on the edge of your seat as you tear through the pulse-pounding narrow escapes and horrifying twists of fate in this thrilling debut from author Demitria Lunetta.


What is it that generally seals the deal for you when you're reading a post-apocalyptic or dystopian read? Do you strive to find that eerie feeling of inevitability that comes with the concept that the post-apocalyptic world you're experiencing through pages is one that you could possibly experience in real life? Or do you not care about the authenticity of the world and whether or not it is reasonable for our world today to reach the havoc to the point of the world in the novel? Where all you're really looking for is a quick and chilling read to pass some time, perhaps with a little, "What if?" lingering in the back of your mind? 

I am the former type of post-apocalyptic/dystopian reader. As odd as it may sound, I love feeling so horrified that the complete and utter cataclysm presented to me in a fiction post-apocalyptic could possibly be a reality at some point in the future. That thrill of, "What if this actually happens?" adds such an inexpressible and thrilling ambience that immerses me into the novel more than anything else could be able to, and from then on I imagine that it's not only the characters in the novel fighting for their life in the post-apocalyptic, dystopian barren wasteland, but also me.

And that is why In the After is such a remarkable read for me. Although I may not have found the particular alien scenario to be one I see happening, Lunetta crafted her world in such a way that I couldn't help but picture myself in the world and have myself experiencing the apocalypse along with the characters. The novel itself does undeniably have some issues concerning pacing and the dystopian world represented in the latter half of the novel, which left me feeling rather detached at select times, but for the vast majority of the novel, In the After was nothing short of a thrill-ride for me, wherein I was experiencing every single occurrence in the novel along with the characters themselves. 

The first quarter of In the After firmly establishes the of electrifying and wild world that is the After. Throughout some of the beginning of In the After we follow Amy as she finds herself one day dealing with the trivial things of everyday life in the Before, whether those actions are looked upon by Amy in flashbacks or dealt by her in the present, to her scavenging for food and struggling to survive in the harsh world overrun by the monsters--Florae--that have ravaged practically everything she once knew and loved from the Before. The juxtaposition of these two vastly different perspectives from the Before and the After made a huge impact on me and my reading experience as I started the novel, and I soon found myself thrust into the dangerous world of In the After along with Amy. 

As well as that, character and relationship development takes center stage in In the After alongside the horror and suspense that accompanies the Florae. Similarly to T. Michael Martin's The End Games, In the After features a strong central, family relationship between Amy and Baby. However, I have to say I like the relationship between Amy and Baby in In the After more than the one between Michael and Patrick in The End Games for a few reasons, one being that Amy and Baby aren't directly related, but look to each other as sisters, and another reason being that I feel the relationship between Amy and Baby is met with much more depth and poignancy than Michael and Patrick's. 

Lunetta's use of silence and its key role throughout most of the former half of the novel, as well as how Lunetta used silence to depict her world is both effective and downright chilling, and the placement of a touching relationship in a crude world brought out a brilliant and breathtaking contrast throughout the novel. Although there were quite a few parts that dragged as the somewhat dystopian society of the novel was introduced, In the After redeemed itself with surprising twists and thus I am able to say that, shocking, thrilling, suspenseful, and smart, In the After is an exceptionally impressive debut from Demitria Lunetta, and I have trouble thinking of a better and more exciting read to start off the summer. 

Release Day Giveaway for In the After

To celebrate In the After's release today, I am offering up one hardcover copy to my blog readers! You can also think of this giveaway as a compensation for having to sit through my mess of a review above. (That is to say if you read it and aren't just jumping here for the giveaway.) This giveaway is US and Canada only (sorry international readers!). Good luck to all who enter!

35 comments :

  1. I've been waiting for In the After for a while now and am so glad you found it amazing. Thank you for the giveaway and I can't wait to read it for myself!

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  2. I am listening to the audiobook of this now and I really like it so far!! I love the relationship between Any and Baby. I'm only a little over a third of the way done, but I will be getting back to it later today! Great review. I did read it. I wasn't here just for the giveaway. ;)

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    1. I'm glad you really like it! And yeah, Amy and Baby's relationship was fantastic. I can't wait to see what you think of it once you finish.

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  3. I just finished this one and I totally agree with your review! That's not odd sounding at all - I love feeling horrified/disgusted by the situations in these post-apocalyptic worlds. Honestly, they're one of the better things in those kinds of books. I enjoyed the flashbacks, too, and felt that they further impacted what Amy's world had become. Lunetta put her own spin on the PA genre with the silence part, that's for sure. Lovely review, Blythe!

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    1. Oh, glad to see that you liked this one as well! And yes, feeling horrified at post apocalyptic/dystopian reads is the best, ha.

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  4. I love books that provoke an emotion of horror or sadness. Sometimes, I pick a book that I know I'll cry in for the sake of crying. Good to know I'm not the only crazy person out there. :P I'm always a sucker for close brotherly/sisterly relationships in rundown worlds so I am very intrigued now.

    Fantastic review, Blythe! <33

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    1. Yes, exactly! I love crying while reading a book.

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  5. Great review as always Blythe! I sometimes feel like a bad person for loving to read about people in bad situations. I feel like one of the residents of the Capitol cackling at the misfortunes of dystopian characters.
    -Scott Reads It!

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    1. Thank you, Scott! And ha, I feel the same way, but I'm shameless in being a sucker for reading about people struggling to live in an apocalypse. *shrug*

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  6. This is such a wonderful review, Blythe!! Seriously. I love when a dystopian world is something that I could see happening to us- that adds such a level of depth and chillingness that it enhances a story so much for me. The juxtaposition that you mentioned between the Before and After scenes also seems fantastic. It seems like this author has some real talent. And the relationship between Amy and Baby seems so touching. I love deep relationships between characters, so it's fantastic that you were really able to feel for these two.

    Gorgeous review, Blythe! <3 This really was beautiful.

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

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    1. Thank you, Aneeqah! And yes, there's nothing better than the chilling feeling of, "Wow, this could actually happen to us..." while reading a dystopian or post apocalyptic read.

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  7. I really enjoyed this one too. I found it a total thrill ride though I did enjoy the first half more than the second. Great review (not a mess at all!)

    My Friends Are Fiction

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    1. Glad you enjoyed this one, too! And yeah, I definitely did prefer the first half to the second, but ultimately as a whole it was all awesome.

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  8. I wasn't too sure about this one after I read a 'meh' review about this but I'm such a die-hard post-apocalyptic/dystopian fan I really think I need to try this out anyways. Fantastic review too!

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    1. It seems people either really like this one or feel meh towards it. I hope you like it!

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  9. I'm looking forward to reading this. I need an edge of your seat kind of read.

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    1. Then this is what you're looking for!

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  10. Great review!! I really enjoyed this read. I'm so excited for book 2 :D

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    1. I'm definitely excited for book 2 as well. :)

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  11. "What is it that generally seals the deal for you when you're reading a post-apocalyptic or dystopian read? Do you strive to find that eerie feeling of inevitability that comes with the concept that the post-apocalyptic world you're experiencing through pages is one that you could possibly experience in real life? Or do you not care about the authenticity of the world and whether or not it is reasonable for our world today to reach the havoc to the point of the world in the novel?"

    It could be one or the other. I love the inevitability that this book seems to capitalize on, but I also love it when the world is not that authentic but used to shed light on aspects of our world today.

    It's wonderful that the family relationship takes center stage. You don't see that happening a lot in YA novels and in a dystopian thriller nonetheless. It's wonderful that you enjoyed this so much. It sounds rather thrilling, and I could definitely imagine watching the world come to an end on t.v.--watching the apocalypse... Nice cultural twist. (Maybe the book answers both of your intro. questions).

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    1. Agreed, it could be one or the other for me, too, but I really love it most when it's the former. And I like how you put it.

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  12. Honestly, I am definitely the kind of reader who looves the creepy. When i'm paranoid in a book i find it the best! Great review and thanks for the giveaway!

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  13. I'm glad you bought out the similarity between this book and THE END GAMES, particularly the trope of mc-as-protector of a child/little sister/little brother. Your review was very well-balanced and insightful. Thanks! :-)

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  14. This sounds like a great book. Can't wait to read it! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  15. I'm not a huge zombie/undead fan, BUT I have read such awesome things about this book that I don't think I can pass it up. Zombies or no zombies.

    Also, I liked Warm Bodies so who's to say I won't enjoy a zombie book of a different nature?

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    1. The Florae are like a zombie/alien hybrid, so they're awesome.

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  16. Great review! I can't wait to read this! I'm happy you liked it, and I hope I do too. It's nice to hear the characters and relationships were good. I don't like books where they're not.

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  17. I am so excited to read this book. It was a former Waiting on Wednesday pick of mine!

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  18. The book sounds really good. Thanks for the giveaway!!

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  19. I am SO bummed I found this giveaway at the last minute!!! I have been wanting to read this for so long!!

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