The Whimsical Mama

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*ARC Review* After the End by Amy Plum May 4, 2014

***I was granted permission to read this by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to HarperCollins!***   

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

Rating:3 stars
Pub date:6 May 2014
Publisher:HarperCollins
Genre:Young Adult Fiction, Science-Fiction
Format:ARC provided by the publisher
Status:Book one of the After the End series

Summary:

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.

My thoughts:

This has been another review that has been difficult to write. I absolutely adored Amy’s Revenants series and I was so excited when After the End was announced. This was an ARC I wanted hardcore. When it went up on Edelweiss, I requested it THAT DAY. I hoped and prayed for it. Approval for it and autoapproval from Harper came. There were other books I wanted to read now that I had approval and I wanted to wait until a bit closer to publication date to read. April rolled around and I was read to read. 

Going into it, I knew there had been a few bloggers who didn’t care for it, but I didn’t pay it any mind. A new series from Amy Plum had to be spectacular, right?! How wrong I was. There wasn’t anything wrong with the writing itself. Amy’s writing style was as superb as it had been in Revenants. I just couldn’t get behind the story. They idea sounded fantastic. The execution – though filled with several predictable and cliche moments was well done. Some of the characters were fantastic. Some…. were not. 

Juneau had such great potential, but I really didn’t like her. She’s very ignorant of the modern world, but that’s to be expected.She just didn’t come off as I was hoping. I really wasn’t expecting the creepy cult magic that was thrown in. I couldn’t get into the “Yara” stuff at all. It weirded me out more than it intrigued me. I think she’s supposed to come off as naive, but it doesn’t come across like that for me. 

I did enjoy reading in the point of view of Miles. I connected with him and liked him more than I liked Juneau. I could understand some of his actions, especially after how Juneau treated him most of the time. I didn’t like how she ordered him around and expected him to do things for her.

I was so confused by what was supposed to be happening. I understand that there’s a sequel, but I feel like I’m as in the dark about what caused the group to be in the wilderness as I was when I started reading. 

Things are proven to be false, but still used to find answers. Um. No. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. That really got on my nerves after that revelation happened, but the practice was still kept in place. I understand she felt comfortable doing it, but if it doesn’t work, IT DOESN’T WORK. 

All in all, I’m more confused than anything. It was an interesting story, but I wouldn’t say to go out of your way to read it. It obviously does nothing but set up for a sequel. The ending is beyond cliche. There are some actions that didn’t make sense and there’s a lot of info not told. I’ll probably check out the sequel just to know what the hell is going on. I didn’t hate it, but I certainly didn’t love it like I was hoping. A big let down after being excited for months for sure. In book two, I would like more ACTION action, and not filler action. Without the filler, this totally could’ve been a standalone and it would’ve gone a much higher rating from me for it. 

About the author

Amy Plum is the author of the International Bestsellers DIE FOR ME (Indie Next List pick, Romance Times top pick, and recipient of a starred review from School Library Journal), UNTIL I DIE, and IF I SHOULD DIE. The books have been translated into eleven foreign languages. The trilogy is accompanied by an eNovella entitled DIE FOR HER.

Amy grew up in Birmingham, Alabama before venturing further afield to Chicago, Paris, London and New York. An art historian by training, she can be found on most days either daydreaming or writing (or both) in a Parisian café. Visit her at http://www.amyplumbooks.com and check out http://www.youtube.com/user/revenantc… for videos and extras.

After being raised in Birmingham, Alabama, in a rather restrictive environment, AMY PLUM escaped to Chicago to an even more restrictive environment at a university that expelled people for dancing. (And where she was called to the dean’s office for “wearing too much black”.) After all of that restrictiveness, she was forced to run far far away, specifically to Paris, France, where she only wore black and danced all she wanted.

After five years in Paris, she ventured to London, where she got an M.A. in Medieval Art History, specializing in Early Sienese Painting (1260-1348) mainly because it promised almost no hope of finding a paying job afterward.

Amy managed to find work in the world of art and antiques in New York. But after almost a decade of high-pressure lifestyle in the Big Apple, she swapped her American city for a French village of 1300 inhabitants.

After signing with HarperCollins for the DIE FOR ME series, Amy left her job as an English professor at Tours University to write full-time. She now lives in Paris with her two kids and big red dog Ella.

She is a huge fan of Edward Gorey and Maira Kalman (and collects both of their books/art), as well as David Sedaris, Amadeo Modigliani, and Ira Glass.

Check out videos and extras from Amy at Revenant Central.

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*eARC Review* Infinityglass by Myra McEntire October 27, 2013

Rating:  4 stars
Pub date: 6 August 2013
Publisher: Egmont USA
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Format:e-ARC via Netgalley
Status: Book three of the Hourglass series

Summary:

The stakes have risen even higher in this third book in the Hourglass series.

The Hourglass is a secret organization focused on the study of manipulating time, and its members — many of them teenagers -­have uncanny abilities to make time work for them in mysterious ways. Inherent in these powers is a responsibility to take great care, because altering one small moment can have devastating consequences for the past, present, and future. But some time trav­elers are not exactly honorable, and sometimes unsavory deals must be struck to maintain order.

With the Infinityglass (central to understanding and harnessing the time gene) at large, the hunt is on to find it before someone else does.

But the Hourglass has an advantage. Lily, who has the ability to locate anything lost, has determined that the Infinityglass isn’t an object. It’s a person. And the Hourglass must find him or her first. But where do you start searching for the very key to time when every second could be the last?

My thoughts:

After the spectacular blow up of action in Hourglass and Timepiece, I was a bit disappointed how this started slowly. I didn’t stay disappointed for long. Since this was an eARC, the formatting was a bit off, which as a bit irritating with the dual POV. That has nothing to do with the actual story, and more a personal preference.

Dune was a very likable character from the first two books. I  was glad i finally got to see more of him. He did feel a bit randomly thrown in at times in Hourglass and Timepiece, but I as pleased to see him get his own chance to tell his story. His loyalty to the Hourglass and his desire to protect Hallie are very well done.

Hallie is a difficult person to get a read on in the beginning. She’s so closed and standoffish that it almost makes it hard to like her. Until Dune breaks down her defenses. the way she was raised – almost like a prisoner doesn’t help her way of feeling like she doesn’t need anyone or any help.

The realisation that she is the Infinityglass that people start fighting over really throws her off her game. She quickly adjusts and accepts Dune’s help. Against both their better judgements, they find themselves falling for each other.

Dune is such a gentleman even though he is very much a teenage boy. It’s a refreshing change from reality. I wish more teen boys had the respect and mannerisms that Dune has!

The fight against Hallie’s mom (the head of Chronos) is heart wrenching and I wish Hallie didn’t blame herself for the events that come to pass. Despite the darkness from the threat and fighting with her momand Hallie’s penchant for relying only on herself,  it’s great that she lets herself accept help from the other members of Hourglass.

This series was a great one to find via recommendation and I gladly pass on the recommendation! I definitely plan to revisit this wonderful series again in the future!

 

 
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