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In the After Hardcover – June 25, 2013

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Editorial Reviews Review


In the After doesn’t have a lot of music in it, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a soundtrack. Songs have so much power, they can be so vital to experiencing raw emotion. This playlist is full of songs that echo a character’s emotion/mental state. To represent the apocalypse I chose a lot of the gritty nineties songs I love, but acoustic versions that seem more honest. I also picked a few covers that made me rethink a much-loved original, making it new and fresh and fitting.

1. “Sweet Dreams” by Marilyn Manson: “Sweet Dreams” makes you feel out of place, in a horrifying dream world that you don’t really understand. It’s perfect for Amy’s first experience of the After, when normality is shattered and all she’s left with is the horror that remains.

2. “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons: “Radioactive” makes me think of a harsh post-apocalyptic world, but also of dealing with and surviving in that world. Its grainy beat pummels your senses, but also comes off as somehow hopeful.

3. “Black Dove (January)” by Tori Amos: For me, this song represents Amy and Baby in the After together. They only have each other.

4. “Down in a Hole (unplugged)” by Alice in Chains: “Down in a Hole” is so full of pain and anguish. It shows desperation and despair, which visits Amy just before the end of part one of In the After.

5. “Here Comes the Sun” by Yuna: I chose a version of this song that was eerily haunting. There is hope, but also fear. This song is for Amy, when she literally steps back out into the sun and feels real hope for the first time in years. This song also represents the appearance of Rice.

6. “Rebel Girl” by Bikini Kill: This song makes me think of all the kick-butt girl characters, Amy, Kay, even Vivian and Amber. It’s about being who you are, not what everyone else wants you to be.

7. “Machine Gun” by Portishead: This song represents Amy’s feelings of confusion and agitation when she first arrives in New Hope. Amy is so used to living in the After, with just Baby for company, that the change to New Hope is jarring. Even though she should feel safe, all she feels is wary.

8. “Mad World” by Gary Jules: For me, this song perfectly represents the Ward. The lyrics are dark while the music feels uplifting. It presents itself as one thing, but when you dig deeper, it’s something different.

9. “Hurt” by Johnny Cash: This song is so full of despair and depression, it’s for the bad time Amy has in the Ward.

10. “Save Yourself” by Stabbing Westward: Leading from despair, this song also has just the right amount of anger. I think it represents when Amy finds her fire again.

11. “Woke from Dreaming” by The Delgados: This is Amy’s full realization of her situation, when the flashbacks catch up to the present. Amy remembers everything that she’s discovered in New Hope and has to deal with the emotional pain that entails.

12. “Uprising” by Muse: Amy rediscovers her resolve. She’s found the answers she sought and now knows that she must fight for what she knows to be right.

13. “Happiness is a Warm Gun” by The Breeders: The haunting sound of The Breeders lends a spine-chilling aspect to this classic Beatles song. It represents determination but also struggle.

14. “Runaway” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs: This song makes me think of Amy leaving everyone she loves, including Baby, Rice, and Kay.

15. “Sounds of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel: As with the first song, this song represents the After. I love that this song is more than just a song about silence—it’s about social change and standing against the established powers.

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up–Readers barely have a chance to meet 14-year-old Amy before the world ends, which means that, like her, they are thrust into a terrifying and confusing urban wasteland with next to no warning. The general consensus is that aliens attacked Earth, but Amy doesn't understand how these creatures, who can barely see and are single-mindedly driven by their appetite for human flesh, could have created the technology necessary for space travel. She doesn't have much time to muse about it, though, as she spends most of her energy figuring out how to survive along with Baby, a toddler she found miraculously alive in a grocery store. But when Amy and Baby are dragged into a helicopter and transported to New Hope, the largest human settlement on the continent (governed by her mother, who survived thanks to her government job), Amy begins to learn the truth about the predators and the world her mother is trying to rebuild. The story is incredibly fast paced with tight, clear prose and interesting dialogue. The characters aren't particularly well developed, but the plot is gripping and suspenseful. Apocalyptic fiction is a crowded field but this title, particularly the final revelations, stands out.–Kyle Lukoff, Corlears School, New York Cityα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Product Details

  • Series: In the After (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 1ST edition (June 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062105450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062105455
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (248 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #310,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Demitria Lunetta is the author of the YA Sci-fi duology, IN THE AFTER and IN THE END. A Chicago native, she holds a BA in Human Ecology and has spent countless hours studying the many ways in which people are capable of bringing about their own destruction. In case the end is near, she always carries a good book and a chocolate bar--the two items essential for post-apocalyptic survival.

IN THE AFTER is her debut novel and is an ABA (American Booksellers Association) 2013 ABC Best Books for Children and has been chosen as an Amazon Top Twenty Teen Book for 2013. Find her on her blog, twitter @demitrialunetta and on Facebook facebook/demitrialunettaauthor.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Wendy L. Hines VINE VOICE on June 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When THEY attack, Amy is home alone, her father went to the store and her mother to work. Most of the world is dead, but Amy quickly learns how to survive. Thanks to her dad's way of green living, she has water, a rooftop garden, power and an electric fence. She learns to scavenge without being heard, and she hasn't spoken a word in years. When scavenging at a grocery, she finds an injured toddler and takes her home. She names her Baby, and they create their own sign language and live like that for years. Then the meet Amber.

They try to help Amber but she brings others to the house, and Amy and Baby escape. But their journey is short-lived when they are captured by the alien-craft. They soon find themselves in New Hope, a colony of survivors starting over trying to rebuild society. At first, it seems like there was safety, food and shelter, but Amy is a curious person and delves deeper into their secrets. It's not long before Amy is fighting for herself and Baby, and something has to give if either of them is to survive.

In the After is a page-turning dystopian thriller with a compelling heroine. The bond Amy and Baby form is strong, yet tender and I was hoping for a great outcome for them both. A romance is alluded to for Amy but it doesn't really go anywhere, so if you're looking for the cookie cutter love triangle, you won't find it here. The world building is riveting, the pace fast and the plot tense and hopeful. I can't wait for the next one!!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Shawn Kovacich on June 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Amy is a young teenager when THEY attack. Both of her parents are out of the house and she is home alone. Thank goodness her mother was prepared and had an electric fence and solar panels installed into their house. When THEY start destroying everything, Amy still has something to protect her. But when the food runs out, Amy has to learn how to survive and forage. Amy then finds three year old Baby in a grocery store. Although she debates not taking her, she decides to rescue her.

Years later, while Amy and Baby are foraging, they come across another survivor. They are then rescued and are sent to New Hope, a survivor's colony where they should be safe. Of course, nothing is as it seems and New Hope isn't as great as they first thought.

I liked the concept of this book. You get dropped into great action from the first page. I liked how you learned about the back story without having to slog through those pages before things get interesting.

I wished Amy's mom would have done more training for survival situations. Why have a house that is all decked out if you are not going to have everyone on the same page about what to do in the even of an emergency. Anyway, personal pet peeve, I loved how it was set up.

And we always have to have some kind of love interest even if it could have been left out and not made a difference. There was also the predictable New Hope isn't as great as you first think. I liked the aliens and they reason they were there.

The book ends with a big cliffhanger. There will be more books and I can't wait to see what happens next. But it is also done in a way that this book could be a stand alone.

This is one that you will want to read. If you like post apocalyptic books, where with zombies or aliens, you will want to read this one.

Shawn Kovacich
Author and Creator of numerous books and DVD's.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Blythe Harris on June 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
What is it that generally seals the deal for you when you're reading a post-apocalyptic or dystopian read? Do you strive to find that eerie feeling of inevitability that comes with the concept that the post-apocalyptic world you're experiencing through pages is one that you could possibly experience in real life? Or do you not care about the authenticity of the world and whether or not it is reasonable for our world today to reach the havoc to the point of the world in the novel? Where all you're really looking for is a quick and chilling read to pass some time, perhaps with a little, "What if?" lingering in the back of your mind?

I am the former type of post-apocalyptic/dystopian reader. As odd as it may sound, I love feeling so horrified that the complete and utter cataclysm presented to me in a fiction post-apocalyptic could possibly be a reality at some point in the future. That thrill of, "What if this actually happens?" adds such an inexpressible and thrilling ambience that immerses me into the novel more than anything else could be able to, and from then on I imagine that it's not only the characters in the novel fighting for their life in the post-apocalyptic, dystopian barren wasteland, but also me.

And that is why In the After is such a remarkable read for me. Although I may not have found the particular alien scenario to be one I see happening, Lunetta crafted her world in such a way that I couldn't help but picture myself in the world and have myself experiencing the apocalypse along with the characters.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on June 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
While not without its flaws (and I will get to those later in the review), the book is an adrenaline rush. It is action-packed and "white-knuckle scary" at points. The prose is fluid and highly readable -- the book almost reads itself, which is helpful, because the reader will not want to put it down until he/she is done! Amy (the main character) is likable and believable, as is her sister. The villains (especially the female villain) are complex and their motivations are understandable, though not excusable. Lots of questions are resolved in the first book of a series, but many remain, and I am eagerly awaiting the second book.


I am giving the book five stars, but I realize that it has some problems -- as virtually every book in this genre has. First, there are some logical holes in the story. I cannot go into great detail about them without giving away spoilers, but here is one example: "Them" (the living-and-breathing killing "machines") eat all animal life but will eat their own kind only if their own kind is injured; after they have gorged themselves on most of humanity, what are they now eating, and why haven't they turned to cannibalism? Another logical problem is the pitiful protection that one surviving city has from Them; anyone would know that their plan is ridiculously inadequate and yet nothing is done. A third problem relates to when Amy sees Them getting out of the ship; why that event happened was never explained. Finally, there is the problem of the oceans and transportation (I am leaving this example vague intentionally).

Second, other problems center on motivation and ethical dilemmas. I will be a bit vague to avoid spoilers, but why is Amy worried about whether Paul will live or not?
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