Jenna Deluise is living life one day at a time. Her father died (apparent suicide) a few months prior. Her mother has become no more than a shell of her former self. Jenna has to rely on what her parents taught her. She sticks to the shadows and doesn’t draw attention. She is simply surviving. I like this about her. It reminds me a little of Katniss from The Hunger Games. At least her opening scenes do.
Then Jenna is kidnapped by her father’s former boss who believes her father faked his death. They need him to work on an antidote/cure/serum and believe that in taking Jenna they will lure her father out of hiding. Jenna thinks they are crazy, especially when she sees Wesley, her father’s former assistant. They’ve taken him too. Now the two of them have to find a way out and survive together.
There is no love lost between Wesley and Jenna. The two despise each other. Or at least Jenna despises him. Wesley sees her as a spoiled child, but quickly realizes the girl he remembers has grown up. I like Wesley. I was hesitant at first. He is using drugs when he is first introduced. In fact, it is his addiction that the company exploits to get him to work on Jenna’s father’s research. Wesley is smart, too smart for his own good. And this is how he becomes a favorite of mine.
The author immerses the reader in Jenna’s world. I became engrossed with the history surrounding the zombie outbreak and how it was eradicated. The aftereffects however are still present in Jenna’s society. The Alliance rules with an iron fist, and what was once a democracy is now a dictatorship. The mystery surrounding the illness that caused the outbreak and the company’s need to find Jenna’s father drive the plot in this fast-paced dystopian.
Overall I really enjoyed After. I like Jenna and Wesley, but it’s the world-building and plot that I love. I couldn’t read it fast enough. The suspense of being kidnapped, the discovery of the secret Jenna’s father is hiding, and the tension that builds between the two make for a quick read. And the ending….I need more ASAP. I need answers and lots of them. I highly recommend After for fans of YA dystopias.
-Smart, fully-fleshed out characters