Friday, May 30, 2014

Book Review: Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

Title: Say What You Will
Author: Cammie McGovern
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publishing Date: June 3rd 2014
Length: 352 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, friendship, love, cerebral palsy, OCD
Source: Publisher

Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can't walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.

When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other's lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.

Summary by Goodreads

Amy and Matthew both have their issues to deal with. Amy was born with cerebral palsy and Matthew's days are defined by his obsessive-compulsive disorder. They both tell you about their school and home lives, and their blossoming relationship from their own perspectives. These alternating chapters were definitely important to the story because what shapes their relationship and determines their actions and feelings is made up of very complex processes. You learn what it means to have OCD or cerebral palsy, the varying levels of them, how they can develop and ways of therapy.

Matthew comes into Amy's life in form of a student aide. I wasn't even familiar with that concept before I read SAY WHAT YOU WILL. I learned a lot reading Amy and Matthew's story and it sure helped me to think myself in the position of students who are affected by anything like our two main characters.

SAY WHAT YOU WILL kicked off with a very strong first half in which I was absolutely invested in Amy and Matthew's stories. Then something happened that threw me and the characters completely off course and after that I didn't really get into the original mood of the story again. I can't say anything about the events that led to a turn in the story and practically put a buffer on all my cheering for Amy and Matthew's love story. Not sure how other readers dealt with the last part of the book, but I'm sure not everyone sees what's happening as critical to the story as I do.

Cammie McGovern's first YA novel is set in high school. It's Amy and Matthew's senior year. And SAY WHAT YOU WILL is about all the usual stuff that is high school, but it's also about the things that are different for our two characters and why. There are even chapters on Amy and Matthew's lives after high school. In general I really like when the end of high school isn't the end of the story.

Amy and Matthew. Friendship and love. Their lives are made up of clear boundaries. Things people think they can't do or even things their illness keeps them from doing. And now when it comes to two of the most important emotional investments in life, the boundaries that have been ever-present in their lives before are blurring. Considering Cammie's writing technique and her easing the reader slowly, first into Amy and Matthew's friendship, and then into their possible love scenario, SAY WHAT YOU WILL is an amazing read.

3/5 *** SAY WHAT YOU WILL - Messy, enabling and very beautiful in parts!

This could be one of the most real and inspiring stories you are ever going to read. Amy and Matthew's love story is unpredictable in many ways, some you'll like, others may be somewhat infuriating. One thing is clear though, this story is one very challenged love story in many aspects. It will draw out your emotions and may as well steal your heart.

"Everything changed for Amy after that conversation with Matthew.
For most of her school life, Amy had felt a little like Rapunzel, locked in the tower her walker created when she walked down hallways. In eleven years, no one had ever called up to her window or asked for her hair. No one had ever tried to be her friend.
Impossible, you might say. Everyone has some friends.
No, Amy would have to say. Not everyone." p. 21

SAY WHAT YOU WILL you might enjoy WONDER by R.J. Palacio. You'll love this Middle Grade story about brave Auggie who was born with a facial deformity. FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB by Antony John tells the story of deaf Piper who has to manage a rock band. And GIRL, STOLEN by April Henry is about the kidnapping of the blind Cheyenne. These books have protagonists who are challenged in some way, and I'm sure you'll enjoy all of them.

* How do you like the UK cover for Amy & Matthew's story?

* Want to meet Cammie McGovern? Check out her event schedule.

* For more information about Cammie and her books visit

* Thanks to Harper Collins International for the ARC of SAY WHAT YOU WILL!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Behind The Pages #5 - Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

Welcome to my new Behind The Pages post! You can find last month's post of this feature, with Jennifer Salvato Doktorski and her debut novel How My Summer Went Up In Flames, here. Today I'm sharing annotated pages from UNRAVELING by Elizabeth Norris with you, a fast-paced and thrilling read!

What is Behind The Pages all about? I asked some of my favourite authors and a bunch of promising 2014 debut authors to annotate a scene, page or more of one of their books. I see the feature as a chance to show readers what's behind a page. Authors can share their favourite writing memories, the music that influenced a certain scene or anything else that comes to their mind. We might get hints to what the characters were thinking and feeling that exact moment or other fun details about their story. Hope you enjoy Behind The Pages as much as I do. I'm intending this feature to be a monthly post here on the blog.

Thanks to all the incredible authors who took the time to annotate a page or scene for us, your comments are always so insightful and fun to read. When readers can't get enough of a book and its characters it only shows how much the author's work means to them, to us. Thank you! 


Sixteen-year-old Janelle Tenner is used to having a lot of responsibility. She balances working as a lifeguard in San Diego with an intense academic schedule. Janelle's mother is bipolar, and her dad is a workaholic FBI agent, which means Janelle also has to look out for her younger brother, Jared.

And that was before she died... and is brought back to life by Ben Michaels, a mysterious, alluring loner from her high school. When she discovers a strange clock that seems to be counting down to the earth's destruction, Janelle learns she has twenty-four days to figure out how to stop the clock and save the planet.

About Elizabeth Norris: "Elizabeth Norris briefly taught high school English and history before trading the southern California beaches and sunshine for Manhattan's recent snowpocalyptic winter. She harbors dangerous addictions to guacamole, red velvet cupcakes, sushi, and Argo Tea, fortunately not all together. Her first novel, UNRAVELING (Balzer+Bray, April 2012), is the story of one girl’s fight to save her family, her world, and the one boy she never saw coming." (Author bio found on Goodreads.)


Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris


 Snap Shots 

Here are pictures of Sunset Cliffs. Photo credit goes to Jaime Arnold from Two Chicks on Books (she took them after reading the book).



The song that was Elizabeth Norris' romantic inspiration for Ben and Janelle was "All I Need" by Within Temptation.


Friday, May 23, 2014

Mini Review #24

Today I'm sharing three mini reviews of two sequels I should have reviewed a long time ago and an omnibus edition. A MILLION SUNS by Beth Revis, WINGS OF THE WICKED by C.A. Moulton and SOUL SCREAMERS VOLUME ONE by Rachel Vincent.

A Million Suns by Beth Revis

Three months have passed since the events of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. Elder rules Godspeed and Amy is still adapting to life on the spaceship. When a revolution starts building and mysterious clues about the ship's history appear, the chance for a happy landing is dropping rapidly. A MILLION SUNS is practically a big hunt for clues as to what happened on Godspeed many years ago, what the future holds and how the past might still have the power to influence the present. 
The story was fast when I needed it to be fast and reveal many details at once. And when it came to my favourite moments and I wanted them to last longer, my wish was granted. Beth's writing is in an unique sync with her reader. The chapters alternate between Amy and Elder's point of view, both fabulously written! Amy and Elder's romance is even better than it was in the first book (and that was one book I loved to pieces!). So I'd say A MILLION SUNS has everything you expect from a great sci-fi space adventure.

5/5 ***** A MILLION SUNS - Beth Revis's Godspeed appears like a whole new YA world of its own.

A MILLION SUNS is one of the best sequels I have ever read. I'm considering myself very lucky to have been introduced to the sci-fi genre by Beth Revis' excellent trilogy. I have already read all three books in the series. Wish I could get a do-over and read this trilogy for the first time again.

Publisher: Razorbill
Publishing Date: January 10th 2012
Length: 386 pages
Keywords: YA, sci-fi, thriller, romance, spaceship adventure
Source: Bought
Author's Homepage

Wings of the Wicked by C.A. Moulton

ANGELFIRE was one of the first great book loves in my early blogging life. The reason I loved it so much was the sharp contrast between Will and Ellie's love story and the dangerous and harsh demon hunting life. Demons we encounter plenty in WINGS OF THE WICKED, too. And the action and fights fit the story. It was the romance between Ellie and Will that confronted me with too many silly back and forth situations between wanting each other and knowing they couldn't be together.
Almost a year passed after ANGELFIRE until I read WINGS OF THE WICKED and I could hardly remember anything about the story. And now it's been a while since I read WINGS OF THE WICKED. I might have to re-read both books before SHADOWS IN THE SILENCE so that I can really enjoy the end to Will and Ellie's story with all the background knowledge and details of their history needed. I'm still curious how it's all going to end!

3,5/5 ***/* WINGS OF THE WICKED -  A tough second round in the battle against evil!

Ellie and Will's fights against demons are as furious and dramatic as in the first book in the ANGELFIRE trilogy. There's just too much teenage drama going on in WINGS OF THE WICKED for my taste. Hoping for a more mature love story in the third book!

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publishing Date: January 31st 2012
Length: 516 pages
Keywords: YA, action, angels, demons, romance
Source: Bought
Author's Homepage

Soul Screamers Volume One by Rachel Vincent

Kaylee is a bean sidhe and hers is a very old power. Whenever someone dies she screams. Together with the two brothers Nash and Tod she's trying to come behind all the secrets about her beansidhe existence and special talent.
So the story is told from Kaylee's perspective who is your average YA narrator with a love story that was good in some scenes, but nothing breathtaking either. A relationship conflict between Kaylee and the two brothers is insinuated. I really don't want to deal with the whole impact of that and think it best to stop right here before I start the next five books and am disappointed again. The background info on bean sidhes, female and male, about them singing to the dead souls was something new, something I hadn't read about before.
SOUL SCREAMERS VOLUME ONE includes the first two books in the series and a prequel to Kaylee's story that's about 60 pages. MY SOUL TO LOSE, the novella, was actually my favourite part of the entire story. MY SOUL TO TAKE and MY SOUL TO SAVE both had promising beginnings, too, but fast became tiring and too tedious to hold my attention for more than a few pages every time I tried to get back into the story.

2,5/5 **/* SOUL SCREAMERS VOLUME ONE – Despite the very cool bean sidhe story construct, the soul screamers couldn't enchant me.

While I was reading this very lengthy SOUL SCREAMS VOLUME ONE I was wondering when I would be finally done with the book. And that clearly is a warning signal to keep my hands off the other books in this series. For everyone who can get into the story, I bet the seven books in this series plus various novellas will be much fun.

Publisher: Harlequin
Publishing Date: November 22nd 2011
Length: 570 pages
Keywords: YA, bean sidhe, romance, paranormal, brothers
Source: Bought
Author's Homepage

Friday, May 16, 2014

Book Review: Tease by Amanda Maciel

Title: Tease
Author: Amanda Maciel
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date: April 29th 2014
Length: 336 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, bullying, suicide, friendship, love
Source: Publisher 

Emma Putnam is dead, and it's all Sara Wharton's fault. At least, that's what everyone seems to think. Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma's shocking suicide. Now Sara is the one who's ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media. In the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment—and ultimately consider her own role in an undeniable tragedy. And she'll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.

Summary by Goodreads

TEASE was a book I hadn't originally planned to read. Then a copy showed up on my doorstep and I decided to give it a try. I wasn't blown away by the story, but was more often engaged than I thought I'd be. TEASE tells the story of Sara who is accused of bullying fellow student Emma. A girl who is dead now. Chapters about Sara's current situation and the months before Emma's suicide alternate. They are about ten pages each which makes it easy to read short chapters in between your daily activities.

The 'now' chapters consist mainly of lawyer and therapist visits. Sara is worrying about the upcoming trial and is trying to sort out her feelings about what happened with Emma and figure out her role in all of it. I wasn't always happy with her and her learning curve was kind of slow. It was almost immediately that I knew I wouldn't be able to get inside her head, wouldn't get to close too her. But Sara's new relationship to a boy from summer school was why I wanted to keep on reading, making the 'now' chapters those to look forward to. 

Bullying, the actual important and central part of the story was the aspect I was least interested in. Sara, her best friend Brielle and other friends were really mean to Emma. Their schemes were repetitive and circling around the same thoughts of hatred and resentment. When I pick up a new YA contemporary novel I want to read a story that's basically positive, someone looking for love, building new friendships, rekindling old friendships. I guess I just wasn't in the mood for such a negative and problematic story like Sara's. Her family life isn't looking too harmonious either and all her friendships are practically nonexistent. I know that the story of a girl who kills herself because she's been bullied is tragic and is mostly made up of dark thoughts. This kind of story is important to prevent bullying and alert people who see it happening and have decided to ignore the symptoms until now. But how about a little more perspective and hope for the future? 

Also, I can imagine that additional chapters from Emma's perspective could've worked for TEASE, too. They could've given us a more complete picture of the whole story. 

3/5 *** TEASE - A dark and tragic teenage drama with an important message.

Amanda Maciel's debut novel is a read for everyone who is into the more problematic and tough kinds of stories. If you follow Sara's case you'll learn what it means to be on the bully side and to be confronted with the legal effects of your actions. The story strongly concentrates on all the incidents that lead to the suicide of one girl. Sara and Emma's case is based on a true story, making it all the sadder and most unfortunate. It should be read as a cautionary tale.

"Natalie heaves a big sigh. 'I know, but it's just not. People are sad and angry and they just want to see how sorry you are.'
But that's the thing right there.
I'm not sorry.
Emma was a boyfriend-stealing bitch right up until the day in March when she killed herself.
I didn't do anything wrong, but she totally ruined my life." ― p. 9

TEASE you might enjoy WICKED GAMES by Sean Olin, about a few very mean intrigues and games that are getting out of control. VIVIANE DIVINE IS DEAD by Lauren Sabel is the story of a girl who is threatened and has to go on the run. This one sounds like a very fun story if you are looking for a lighter read. And you could also like THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher, a touching story about a girl who committs suidice. 

* Click here to read an excerpt of TEASE!

* Want to meet Amanda Maciel? Check out her event schedule.

* For further information about Amanda and her books visit her Facebook page.

* Thanks to Harper Collins International for sending me an ARC of TEASE for review! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Book Review: The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel

Title: The Break-Up Artist
Author: Philip Siegel
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publishing Date: April 29th 2014
Length: 336 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, friendship, break-ups
Source: Netgalley

Some sixteen-year-olds babysit for extra cash. Some work at the Gap. Becca Williamson breaks up couples. 

After watching her sister get left at the altar, Becca knows the true damage that comes when people utter the dreaded L-word. For just $100 via paypal, she can trick and manipulate any couple into smithereens. With relationship zombies overrunning her school, and treating single girls like second class citizens, business is unfortunately booming. Even her best friend Val has resorted to outright lies to snag a boyfriend.

One night, she receives a mysterious offer to break up the homecoming king and queen, the one zombie couple to rule them all: Steve and Huxley. They are a JFK and Jackie O in training, masters of sweeping faux-mantic gestures, but if Becca can split them up, then school will be safe again for singletons. To succeed, she'll have to plan her most elaborate scheme to date and wiggle her way back into her former BFF Huxley’s life – not to mention start a few rumors, sabotage some cell phones, break into a car, and fend off the inappropriate feelings she’s having about Val’s new boyfriend. All while avoiding a past victim out to expose her true identity.

No one said being the Break-Up Artist was easy.

Summary by Goodreads

Becca has set up an elaborate break-up business and she's convinced she's only helping couples to make the right choice when she breaks them up. YA contemps are naturally about playing matchmaker, people falling in love, and not about making them fall out of love. So because of Philip Siegel's idea for a YA contemporary book of the different kind, I just had to read THE BREAK-UP ARTIST. I liked how defiant and funny it sounded.
In the end, Becca isn't as understanding and sensible as one would like her to be. She often has a very childish, onesided perspective on matters of love. She considers herself so very mature managing her emotions and not falling prey to her hormones like other girls her age. And maybe that stubborn way of hers was the fault I didn't ultimately connect with her. 

Love and friendship are both equally important parts in THE BREAK-UP ARTIST. On the one hand Becca has her friendship with Valerie. A friendship with honesty and irony and good fits of giggles. And on the other hand there are the feelings she's having for Valerie's boyfriend Ezra. Her idea of relationships, actual love and the inner conflict caused by her feelings for Val and Ezra are a major issue in Becca's story. 

The kind of love triangle between Val, Becca and Ezra was a total downer. That's because Becca didn't get what she actually needed from the beginning of THE BREAK-UP ARTIST to get her off her anti couples attitude. She would have needed someone to throw her off her feet, showing her what true love means. Becca really deserves a much kinder love story.
This is a debut novel that I didn't end up liking as much as I'd hoped I would. But this should be no indicator of how good an author Philip Siegel is. His writing was perfectly fine and I really enjoyed his humour and his overall story idea. I guess I just wasn't okay with the way things were happening and how Becca and Ezra and all the others kept acting crazy and irresponsible, not understanding what truly mattered until the very end.

What did entertain me were the break-up techniques and the persona Becca created in order to run her break-up business. That she even came up with the idea in the first place. Becca has dealt with break-up cases before but now she has to deal with the most popular couple at school. Here Philip Siegel comes up with a few pretty hilarious ideas and break-up schemes.


3/5 *** THE BREAK-UP ARTIST - Sassy & artistic! A fun read for all the juvenile anti-relationship rebels out there. 

Becca's story is like a competition between singles and couples, an examination of all kinds of relationships, lots of complicated relationships, too. You should definitely enjoy Becca's break up plotting and trying to help her find the weaknesses in this annoyingly sweet couple's relationship that's her main target at the moment. Just for fun, you know. For those who loved Philip Siegel's debut novel, there will even be a sequel to THE BREAK-UP ARTIST.

"I may not be an angel in all this, but I'm certainly not the bad guy either. If you can't handle my line of work, then go read the latest bodice ripper. I'll leave you with this: How many lives have been ruined because of love? Who's really the bad guy here?"

THE BREAK-UP ARTIST you might enjoy THE ART OF LAINEY by Paula Stokes about Lainey who is dumped by her boyfriend and then tries to get him back. Tia in BIGGEST FLIRTS by Jennifer Echols is like Becca, she doesn't believe in relationships either. THE DUFF by Kody Keplinger is a fun anti-relationship read, too.

* Click here to read an excerpt of THE BREAK-UP ARTIST!

* Want to meet Philip Siegel? Check out his event schedule.

* For more information about Philip Siegel and his books visit

* Thanks to Harlequin Teen and Netgalley for the chance to review THE BREAK-UP ARTIST!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Teaser: The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

She paused, nursing that glow of a laugh that remained inside her, the question she had posed to herself unanswered.
Someone ― a man ― came up behind her and snaked an arm around her waist.
Not flirtation. Aggression.
Kestrel sidestepped and spun, pulling her dagger from its sheath.
Irex. His dagger was drawn, too.
― p. 75

Friday, May 9, 2014

Coveresque feat. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

       US                                  Italian                                  German

Here you see the first US paperback edition of OBSIDIAN by Jennifer L. Armentrout, and the Italian and German editions. I'm no fan of the green in the US cover, the cover models or the title graphic. I like it better than the second US paperback edition which you can see below, but would buy neither. 

    US                       Spanish
The Italian cover in the middle looks a little colorless, completely in grey. Only the title shines in a dark green. I haven't read OBSIDIAN and don't know which cover fits to the story best. Still, if I had to choose one it'd be the German cover. I'm really liking the glittery highlights all over the image. 

What do you think? Do you have a favourite cover?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Book Review: The Taking by Kimberly Derting

Title: The Taking (The Taking #1)
Author: Kimberly Derting
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publishing Date: April 29th 2014
Length: 368 pages
Keywords: YA, thriller, mystery, contemporary, aliens, romance
Source: Edelweiss

A flash of white light . . . and then . . . nothing.

When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day.

Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men.

Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?

Summary by Goodreads


What I love about Kimberly Derting's writing is that she can introduce you to the most ordinary scenario in a teenager's life, with sports, boys, best friends and a great family, and make you feel most welcome in her protagonist's life. And then it doesn't take long and she pushes you out of that contemporary comfort zone and throws you to the aliens. That's not even much of an exaggeration because Kyra really gets abducted by aliens.

One moment Kyra is on the road with her father and the next she wakes up somewhere else, five years later. How scary is that? We don't get any information or learn what really happened. It's the complete and utter mystery about the lost five years that made me turn the pages of Derting's THE TAKING until late in the night. It was like a compulsive need to get an explanation for everything behind her disappearance. Some details we get in THE TAKING, for some we have to wait to be revealed in its sequel. Kimberly Derting also worked in some dicey and pretty grisly side effects that the alien abduction has on Kyra and her life after she's returned.

Five years later Kyra's boyfriend has moved on, her parents are divorced and her friends aren't really her friends anymore. Time stopped for Kyra while everyone kept living their lives, so quite some scenes are spent on Kyra coming to terms with her current situation. Kimberly Derting wouldn't be the fine writer she is if she hadn't given Kyra help on her search for an explanation.
It might sound strange that the one helping her find into her new life is the little brother of her now ex-boyfriend. But Kimberly Derting sure knows how to write an engaging love story. Tyler was the best, and I absolutely loved the little brother part! Kyra has to find out that he isn't so innocent and childish anymore but has become a man who is willing to do anything to protect her. Let's start a Tyler fan club!

During the search for clues about Kyra's alien abduction it becomes clear there are actually two parties working against each other. There are the people who believe Kyra and want to help her. And the people who want to see her and her story be contained from the public. This conflict definitly steps up the action factor in THE TAKING. So much is happening towards the end and I can't believe I have to even wait a single minute to find out what happens next.


4/5 **** THE TAKING - Suspenseful & sexy! A mysterious alien abduction and falling for a much younger man are the new YA ins this spring!

First Jay and Violet from THE BODY FINDER series and now Kyra and Tyler from THE TAKING. Kimberly Derting should be made responsible for many swooning readers. That's because she writes some of the best YA romances!

"All I knew was that one moment I was in the middle of a deserted stretch of highway, arguing with my dad about scholarships and boys, and the next minute my limbs were tingling and I felt weightless and dizzy. 

THE TAKING you might enjoy THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer. The first alien book I fell in love with years ago. I AM NUMBER FOUR by Pittacus Lore is an equally action-packed and romantic alien read. And then you could also like RUSH by Eve Silver. I'm planning to read it soon and see if it's a match for fans of Kimberly Derting. 

* Have you read THE BODY FINDER yet?

* Click here to read an excerpt of THE TAKING!

* Want to meet Kimberly Derting? Check out her event schedule.

* For more information about Kimberly Derting and her books visit

* Thanks to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for the chance to review THE TAKING!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Book Review: After the End by Amy Plum

Title: After the End (After the End #1)
Author: Amy Plum
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publishing Date: May 6th 2014
Length: 336 pages
Keywords: YA, fiction, Alaska, romance, magic, nature
Source: Publisher

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.

Summary by Goodreads


As a big admirer of Amy Plum's REVENANTS series, AFTER THE END was a definitive must read for me. And Amy's new book is totally different than anything I've read by Amy Plum so far. Juneau's story takes us to the frozen, barren tundra where she lives a very primordial life with her tribe and their animals.

Juneau is this very tough wilderness girl who hunts and can survive anywhere. And she has to prove herself only a few short days later when her tribe is kidnapped by a shady organization. She's so brave and independent that she sets out to save them all, sees big cities like Anchorage and civilization for the first time. How would you feel? Her emotional commotion is something you can understand even if you are no professional caribou hunter who grew up in Alaska. When a character loses something so dear to him or her and sets out to get it back, the story practically tells itself, especially with Amy Plum's exceptionally good writing.

Did you know that AFTER THE END is told from alternating point of views? Juneau you know. And then there's Miles. Miles had me on his side from page one. He's this smug and arrogant rich kid who believes he can get out of everything. He is a character one could dislike but I always want to give such a character the chance to prove himself. And I couldn't wait for Juneau to come along and change him radically. One would absolutely be expecting her to do that, right?
They also go on a kind of road trip, not voluntarily because they are trying to find Juneau's people but they grow closer and make great experiences together. It's just that some parts of their trip were not that captivating because they kept dragging on for some chapters. 

The Alaskan setting in the beginning is kick-starting the story like a rocket. I could easily feel myself into Juneau's nature-loving life and wanted to learn everything about their routines and how they believe that they are the only people left after Word War III. There are huskies, too, and they were so adorable, stole my heart right from the start! Reading the summary one could expect a dystopian read but it's more of a contemporary with magical and a few light supernatural influences.   

4/5 **** AFTER THE END – A pretty wild first book in a new adventurous trilogy by Amy Plum. 

Readers who liked Amy Plum's writing in her REVENANTS series will definitely be into her new series as well. It's spiritual, it has car chases, a big portion of cultural exchange and magical elements. Alternating point of views, a light romance between Juneau and Miles and a beautiful Alaskan setting make AFTER THE END an exciting new release!

"From the cracking of branches to my right, I know that another foe lurks nearby. I can't see the inevitable scars and pockmarks from nuclear fallout, the radiation damage. But it's there. I'll have to take my chances. You have to be tough to survive an apocalypse."

AFTER THE END you might enjoy SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo, SNOW LIKE ASHES by Sara Raasch or UNEARTHLY by Cynthia Hand. They don't have exactly the same feel to them but they are all wintry reads with their own qualities like magic and angels.

* Liked AFTER THE END? Then you should read Amy Plum's debut DIE FOR ME!

* Click here to read an excerpt of AFTER THE END!

* Want to meet Amy Plum? Check out her event schedule.

* For more information about Amy Plum and her books visit

* Thanks to Harper Collins International for the chance to review AFTER THE END!