Let me just start out by saying, I absolutely loved this book! Amy Plum has quickly become one of my favorite YA authors.
After the End is the story of a girl named Juneau who is forced on a journey that leads her out of her secluded home territory (major understatement) and into the world beyond. She meets Miles along the way, the one whose name will take her far, the boy who needs her as much as she needs him.
“Doubt everything, Juneau. Doubt everything at least once. What you decide to keep, you’ll be able to be confident of. And what you decide to ditch, you will replace with what your instincts tell you is true.”
Even with so many young adult, dystopian themed, boy-meets-girl adventures out there, this one really grabbed me. There was a moment somewhere along the way when Juneau and Miles’ tenuous alliance and growing friendship drew me in and wouldn’t let go. All of a sudden my developing rating for the story jumped from a solid 3 stars to an easy 5.
There’s also the fact that Juneau is super badass. I love reading about strong women and Juneau is definitely that (think Katniss Everdeen with a better vocabulary and set of social skills). And Miles is totally aware of her badassery.
“My voice trails off as I begin to scramble backward. Forget the conciliatory Juneau of ten minutes ago… This girl is an irate goddess. A Fury. Five foot five inches, and she’s going to rip my head off.”
Possibly my favorite quote from the whole book:
“Even though you could probably kill me in fifteen different ways with a table fork, and even though you barbecue bunnies, I like you, too, Juneau.”
I’m actually deeply relieved I didn’t discover this book until recently because I think waiting a year for the conclusion to its cliff-hanger ending would have killed me… Thank goodness the finale of this duology, Until the Beginning, came out in May!