Review: In The After (In The After #1) by Demitria Lunetta

Book Title: In The After (In The After #1)
Author: Demitria Lunetta
Published Date: June 25th, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA/SciFi
Series: Book 1 of In The After duology
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

Disclaimer: This was a personal purchase.

Review:
This book was mindblowingly epic. Oh my goodness, it was fantastic, fabulous and all other positive words you could think of. I am so very picky about my Sci Fi, but this one blew me away completely.

Amy and Baby were a dynamic duo, one that was quite unique to me. They were essentially sisters by circumstance and they looked out for each other, they protected each other. Despite her age, Baby seemed to be quite mature and resourceful for her age. I think that was due to circumstance as well. She was mute, never spoke a word as long as Amy had known her. A mute toddler adds another layer to this fantastic book.

Amy and Baby live in silence, communicating only through modified sign language, which again, was awesome. They think they’re the only ones still alive…but they’re not…

When they are rescued by New Hope, everything seems like it’s a dream. There’s enough food, water and all other supplies necessary and they learn that they aren’t alone and that other survivors exist. But things at New Hope aren’t what they seem and Amy begins to realize that she can’t be there and that the safety is a facade. She is scared for Baby though as Baby has secrets that only she knows and if anyone finds out, Baby will be in grave danger.

I really liked that it focused so much on the science fiction stuff and there was only a small sprinkling of romance. I think that made the book much stronger. The book didn’t drag at all which is one thing I really loved. Often, when a book is over 400 pages, there are lulls in it, but not with this one. It was action packed throughout the entire thing. If you like science fiction, I think you’ll like this book a LOT. I am giving it 5 stars and I am excited to dive into the conclusion of the duology.

Review: Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn

Book Title: Charm & Strange
Author: Stephanie Kuehn
Release Date: June 11th, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: YA/Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
When you’ve been kept caged in the dark, it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. It’s impossible to see anything, really. Not without bars . . . 

Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself. 

He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost.

He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable. 

Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles both the pain of his past and the isolation of his present. 

Before the sun rises, he’ll either surrender his sanity to the wild darkness inside his mind or make peace with the most elemental of truths—that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying.

Disclaimer: I received this book for my birthday from a fellow blogger.

Review:
This book is going to be so difficult to review for multiple reasons. It took me on a wild ride that had so many twists and turns and no real answers until the very end. Throughout most of it I was confused, not sure exactly what was going on and sometimes it read much like E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars Not the writing itself but the tone and the location.

This book is written in alternate time periods. Flashing back to that fateful summer and then flashing ahead to current time. Unlike other books, this time period switching was easier to keep track of. It didn’t confuse me. Maybe because the setting was different and the people were different, I’m not quite sure.

I had questions throughout the entire book. I was sure that the secret that Andrew held was something and by the end of the book I had been taken in a completely different and unexpected direction. As I thought about the book and how little clues had been dropped throughout, I realized that the clues were all there, I just was focused on some other reason for Andrew’s behavior. This book requires you to be completely open minded and aware that things aren’t always how they seem.

I thought the character development was well done and that we got to see each of the characters have their own voice and personality.I do wish we had seen more of Siobhan, as she ended up being more important than I ever thought she was.

It was a good book and overall I really did like it,but I think making it longer would have helped. As much as I liked the ending, it sort of seemed rushed to me.I understand not wanting to make it too long and bore the reader, but making it too short can leave some things lacking.

I also didn’t have the feels in this book. Normally I would have expected some sort of feels but nothing this time around. Which is weird as I normally cry during pretty much any book. Not this time. This time I spent most of the book completely confused which makes sense given the way this book was laid out. So I’ll be giving this book 4 stars. Was it great? Yes. Was I pretty damn confused through most of the book? Yes. Would I recommend it? Yes I would. It was an enjoyable book that forces you to keep your mind open.