Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











After the EndFrom Goodreads: 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.

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I didn’t have access to the internet when I started reading this novel on my Kindle, so I couldn’t refresh my memory about the synopsis before I plunged in. But truth be told, I actually think not knowing the synopsis made After the End even more interesting for me because early on, when the truth hit about WWIII for Juneau and Miles, I was shocked and totally riveted to the spot. It’s always fun to go into a book without knowing the premise, and generally I am always surprised by what I learn along the way, having no expectations going in, and so I feel like I should do it more often, especially after absolutely falling in love with this novel.
I will admit that the first chapter didn’t reel me in right away. I wasn’t sure what was going on, and this is why people write a synopsis for books in the first place—to give a little background. Juneau’s story was a bit interesting, but not riveting, and I was definitely thinking Hunger Games throughout that first chapter, but then Miles came on the scene and changed everything for me. I can’t express how exciting it is to figure something out before a character does; to have an “aha” moment before the entire picture becomes clear, but as Miles’ story began to evolve, I definitely had a moment where everything suddenly clicked and I was hooked, line and sinker.

If you haven’t read the synopsis above as of yet, well, I’m about to ruin it for you. The whole idea of a society gone into hiding after WWIII, only for the truth to come out that there never was a WWIII, well… genius. Just. Genius.

Can you imagine finding out that the entire world you know and understand, or thought you knew and understood, was a lie? That everyone, mentors and parents included, have lied to you since birth? It’s mind boggling, yet this is exactly what Juneau experiences as her world deteriorates around her. Thrust into the unknown, a world she was taught to fear, she must trust the most unlikely allies in order to find her family, and it’s definitely a bumpy and intense ride the entire way.

Filled with elements of the paranormal, Plum’s latest novel is epically fun. I especially love that it’s told from two different viewpoints, allowing readers inside the minds of both Juneau and Miles as they make decisions and choices that could ultimately end with their death if they aren’t careful—but to not take risks means ultimate failure and the death of others. Locked between a rock and a hard place, unsure just how much trust to put in the other, both Juneau and Miles have many choices to make, and lots of growing up to do. Five amazing stars.

5 stars

In exchange for an honest review, has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on May 6, 2014.

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The Hunt Project Paper DollsFrom Goodreads: Ariane Tucker has finally escaped GTX, the research facility that created her. While on the run, Zane Bradshaw is the only person she can trust. He knows who-and what-she is and still wants to be part of her life.

But accepting Zane’s help means putting him in danger.

Dr. Jacobs, head of GTX, is not the only one hunting for Ariane. Two rival corporations have their sights set on taking down their competition. Permanently. To protect Zane and herself, Ariane needs allies. She needs the other hybrids. The hybrids who are way more alien and a lot less human. Can Ariane win them over before they turn on her? Or will she be forced to choose sides, to decide who lives and who dies?

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In an inhospitable world where aliens are hidden away in the depths of research facilities, experimented on and treated terribly, Ariane has escaped. Away from GTX, proving her mentors wrong about her ability to feel emotion and love, Ariane falls even harder for swoon-worthy Zane. But with her newfound emotions and fierce loyalty to Zane, she can’t shake the feeling that she needs to let him go in order to truly save him. Luckily for us, Zane is just as stubborn as Ariane, refusing to let her leave him by the wayside, even if it is the best course of action.

In this intense game of cat and mouse, with Ariane and Zane versus GTX, who will come out on top? Filled with action packed sequence and anxiety promoting events, I couldn’t help but be drawn into the novel as it unfolded. Picking up immediately after the conclusion of The Rules, Ariana and Zane share some steamy romance while also attempting to protect themselves from the incoming threats on all sides. And though it seems that Ariane and Zane are always one step ahead, GTX slowly bides it’s time only to come forth with a most amazing and sinister plot to draw Ariane back to them…

I really enjoyed the first novel in the Project Paper Dolls series, The Rules, and The Hunt turned out to be just as fun. With the advent of the other hybrids, Kade spurs readers on as we learn about the other threats to Ariane’s safety. And though I didn’t agree with all Ariane’s plans to free herself once and for all, I liked her guts. My one complaint of her, though, is that she needs to be a little more trusting of those who love her, (aka. Zane). As it all comes to a head, this lack of trust is what will cause Ariane’s plans to fizzle at the worst opportune time. But in doing so, other events are set in motion concerning Zane’s person and, even though left with a little cliffhanger, evidence points to Zane coming out of this altogether different—a feat I am dying to read about in the next installment.

Overall, this is a great middle novel, full of intense moments, deadly games of hide-and-seek, and ultimate betrayals… but who’s? Four stars.

4 stars

In exchange for an honest review, Disney-Hyperion has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel prior to it’s release tomorrow, April 22, 2014.

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble

 



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