After the End (After the End, #1)

After the End by Amy Plum

the first book in the After the End series
published on May 6, 2014 by HarperTeen
fantasy | science fiction |romance

find the author on
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find the book on
Goodreads | Amazon

She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.

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.


Someone, tell me, how unique is this premise? How often is it do you read a book about a girl who thought she lived in a postapocalyptic world only to find out that there was civilization elsewhere? This is unheard of (well, at least for me), and I was really intrigued and decided to get to this ASAP when I got the chance. And Khnah loved this one, so of course I had to give it a go. (Believe me, four stars is high praise from her.)

Let me start off by saying I was really disappointed in this one. I expected a rich world with a badass heroine, friendly guy and an interesting voice. While I did enjoy the plot and the world, everything else felt flat for me. Let’s get into that, shall we?

Our heroine is a girl named Juneau. She was brought up thinking that World War III killed off most of the human race, but some of them managed to escape into their little town in Alaska. They were raised in a more earthly manner, Reading things through the Yara, which was their connection to the earth. This was my favorite aspect of the novel–the Yara, the Readings and all those things that made the book unique. (It was like fortune telling plus reading the past plus a personal GPS and a bunch of other cool stuff!) 

But then Juneau’s kidnapped and is forced to flee their village to find her clan. And she discovers that there was never a World War III. Her parents and teacher, Whit, lied to her. People are after her–particularly, people want to find out how the people in her clan never age and are immune to disease. Interesting, right?

But the characters and flat voice kind of took my interest away from the story. Juneau and Miles, our hero, were just okay characters. I never really felt a connection with them. I didn’t feel any chemistry between them, either. It was like they were just there but not there, you know? No tears. No feels. No squeals. Just some boring narration.

Wait, let’s talk more about Miles. I have so many mixed feelings about him, both good and bad, but I’m starting to think that the bad is coming out as the winner.

The pacing was my main problem with the novel. I felt like Juneau was too quick to realize and get over things. It felt unnatural how easily and quickly her steps advanced. Sure, she’s described as pretty smart, but it wasn’t just that. Even the romance felt quick and forced. One minute, they can’t stand each other and in the next they’re trying to “escape from their feelings” and all that. It disturbed me a bit, honestly.

Overall, if the characters had been better developed and the pacing had been fixed, this would’ve been a fantastic novel. I did like the action, the suspense and the twists. Although I myself didn’t enjoy this one as much as I wanted to, I would still recommend it to anyone looking for a unique postapocalyptic (maybe) read.





Other Ratings

Khanh @ Bookistry gave it four stars | Lucia @ Reading is My Breathing gave it three stars



Let’s discuss! Have you read this book? If you have, what did you think of it? If you haven’t, will you be picking it up anytime soon?

42 thoughts on “Review: After the End by Amy Plum

  1. I completely agree with you! I loved the whole fake apocolypse story and the Yara stuff, but the romance just did not do it for me. It seems to me like authors think all YA books ‘need’ a romance, while they would usually be better without it :(


    1. Yes! I do feel there are a lot of novels like that. Shadow & Bone is one of my main examples. It would’ve been a beautiful novel without the romance.


  2. If this were a standalone, I’d understand the quick pacing/development between the characters, but seeing that this is the first book, the author could’ve chosen to slow build the relationship between Miles and Juneau. I will check this out and see how it fares for me. Thanks for the review, Aimee!


    1. They actually had this hate-turns-to-love thing, but I felt like the transition from enemies to lovers just wasn’t smooth. It felt rushed and it pissed me off for the most part. I hope you enjoy it better than I did, Dre!


  3. This one was one that I have been anticipating but you and a couple of others have rated it kind of lower than expected. I’ll be checking this one out from the library than buying it right off the shelf! Thanks for your review! xoxo


  4. This did sound so promising, too bad it didn’t quite live up to that! I read Die for Me by Amy Plum and while I enjoyed it, I did have a lot of issues with it, so I guess I’m not surprised that this is not a perfect read too. Great review though Aimee!


    1. Die for Me was… cute, I guess. It wasn’t really memorable so I can’t say. :/ I think I liked it better than this one, though. Thanks, Charlene!


  5. Hah! I started this one and I was caught off guard by the fact I thought it was post-apocalyptic and then it was not. I remember being so confused that I put it aside for a while. I’m sorry that this didn’t work out for you, Aimee :( I think I’ll have a problem with the unrealistic reaction as well. Accepting things so easily like that is a lame way to write character development imo :x if I were her, I’d go ape-shit for a while :P


  6. Well…the “I thought I was living in THIS place but oh man, THIS is actually what’s going on” has been done before. I’m not sure I wanna spoil them for you if you haven’t read the books, but I can think of at least a few, and there’s also a pretty well known film that does the same thing.

    I am sorry you were disappointed by the book. I had mixed/indifferent feelings towards DIE FOR ME, but I was still curious about this one since the premise is so entertaining. But it sounds like it would be a rathre frustrating read.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden


  7. Hmm hmm hmm … I seriously contemplated this one, but decided against it. Now I really have no urge to read it. May sometime in the future, but not anytime soon.


  8. Dang, that’s disappointing! I was interested in this one…though it does sound a lot like Partials by Dan Wells (so maybe the premise isn’t that original, but lol! what IS original these days, eh?!) XD Rushing romances is almost like insta-love. It’s equally annoying.


    1. I still haven’t read Partials. :O The cover’s kind of a turnoff, lol. Yeah, originality is hard to come across! It definitely wasn’t insta-love, but the transition from enemies to lovers was just much too fast for me!


  9. Oh I’m sorry that you weren’t able to enjoy this book as much as you’d hoped Aimee, a lack of connection or chemistry with characters is usually a deal breaker for me, so I can totally understand why this book let you down because of that. I’ve read so many dystopian books lately that I decided to skip out on this book, and after reading your review, it does seem like I made the right decision here. Thank you for your honest review. I hope your next read is a lot more enjoyable!


  10. Damn, I was so looking forward to this one too, but it sounds like it’s taken bits from other books and mushed them together. Being isolated and lied to, I usually love that point where the protagonist realises they’ve been deceived and set out on their own path, but few authors do it well sadly.

    I really enjoyed her other series, the one set in France, but this sounds done already. Thanks for the awesome review, loved your honesty.


  11. Dangit, it’s a shame you didn’t enjoy this one because I have this one on my review list too. Unnatural pacing is kind of hard to get through I think. A shame that the characters were hard to connect to too, especially with such an interesting premise. Great review Aimee!


  12. This one does have an interesting premise. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it as much as you excepted, I hate when that happens /: The Yara and the readings actually sounds like a pretty aspect c: However not feeling a connection to the main characters of a book can definitely dampen your enjoyment of it. Usually leads to yourself having a ‘meh’ feeling throughout the entirety of the book.

    Great review! (:


  13. Ugh, what a shame to see this rating! The characters sound really flat and boring–I think I will be skipping this one if I see another negative review.

    Brilliant review though, girlie! <33


  14. It sucks that Juneau felt rushed to you, especially in how quickly she got over things. But the draw of a super unique post-apocalyptic setting is still looking pretty promising!


  15. Even though I’m sad you didn’t enjoy this, I guess I’m glad you’d still recommend people read it–because I really want to! :) The premise just sounds so awesome. I haven’t read Amy Plum’s other books, so I don’t know if any of your complaints are simply the norm for her. Maybe the sequel will be better?? Great review! :)


    1. I always find a way to recommend a book even if I didn’t like it, as I know everyone has different tastes. ^_^ I’ve only read one other book by Amy Plum and liked it a bit better than this one. I hope the sequel’s much better! :D


  16. Ah, yes. This book. It’s actually one of my scheduled posts for Waiting on Wednesday. Although your review is 2.5, I don’t think that’s all too bad. xD And since a bunch of other people rated it higher, I think I’m still going to give it a chance. I have a feeling my rating will end up the same as yours though, because I read Die for Me by her and…no. Just no. It was like Twilight all over again for me, and I just couldn’t.

    But regardless, beautiful review! I loved it :D I can’t wait to read more reviews from you!
    I mostly appreciate that you’re not good at spoiling, because you would not believe the amount of times I have been spoiled in reviews. It’s not cool anymore (not that it ever was).

    Tori @ YA Book Queens


    1. Of course! I’m glad your one of those people that check multiple reviews before trying a book out. :) Die for Me was actually an okay read for me. I liked it better than this one (I think). Lol, for some odd reason I enjoyed marathoning the Twilight movies, but I got bored after the second book.

      Thank you so much, Tori. :D


  17. I’ve read a few books with the idea of the MC’s perception of reality not being how things actually are. I love that story-line though it is very difficult to accomplish in a good way. I wanted this one to be wonderful. I’ve seen a few meh reviews so I’m pretty sad about that. Too bad it didn’t work out. :-(


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