Book Title: After the Fear
Author: Rosanne Rivers
Number of Pages: 314
Genres: Romance, Action, Dystopian
Books like it: Hunger Games, Legend
My favorite quote:
"No one ever told me that in order to ignore someone, you had to be painfully aware of everything they are doing all the time."
Brief Synopsis from Goodreads:
You have not attended a Demonstration this month.
In Sola’s city, everyone obeys the rules. Stay away from the trigger cameras and regularly update your Debtbook, and you just might survive. But having to watch the way criminals are dealt with—murdered by Demonstrators in the Stadium—is a law Sola tries to avoid. When a charming Demonstrator kisses her at a party, however, she’s thrust into the Stadium and forced into the very role she despises.
Armed with only natural resourcefulness and a caring nature, Sola narrowly survives her first bout. Her small success means she’s whisked off to a training camp, where she discovers a world beyond the trigger cameras and monitoring—a world where falling in love with a killer doesn’t seem so terrible.
Yet life as a Demonstrator has no peace. Sola must train her way through twenty-five more Demonstrations before she can return home to her father. At the end of each battle, only one survivor remains.
Sola could face anyone in the Stadium . . . even a loved one.
My Summary: When I read the synopsis on the back of this book (see above) I thought, great, this is going to be another wannabe Hunger Games. But, if you will keep reading this review, it was not at all like Hunger Games! The plot was similar, but After the Fear had its own writing style and I felt that it was very unique. I loved the heroine, Sola, and also the gorgeous Irish Demonstrator, Dylan. Get ready for this review of an amazing book!
In Sola's world, the country is in great debt to other countries. To help pay off the debt, the country hosts Demonstrations where Demonstrators battle and kill criminals and traitors to the country. To become a Demonstrator, you are selected to "pay your debt to your country" and sent to the arena. There, the group of people who have been selected are split into a blue group and a red group. The game ends when every single member of one team is dead, and the survivors on the other team become Demonstrators and must go on a Tour, going throughout stadiums and killing the people they are thrown into the arena with until the Final Demonstration.
Sola has always obeyed the rules. Stayed in the shadows, kept her head down, and gone to watch the Demonstrations. But when she attends a party and kisses a handsome Demonstrator, she is caught and condemned, or "selected" to pay her debt for her country. When Sola survives, she is made a Demonstrator and must go from arena to arena, killing people she doesn't even know in order to survive. Much to her shock, when she arrives to the training camp, the Demonstrator she kissed, named Dylan, is her instructor.
Sola starts having problems when she keeps fainting in the arena. She doesn't know why, only that as soon as she steps through those doors, her knees buckle. She is also the only one who refuses to use a gun. As she discovers secrets about her society, her life is on the line. And although she can't stop falling in love with Dylan, he has interests in another girl and is constantly getting angry at her for reasons she can't figure out.
Between killing in the arena and trying to figure out her feelings for the boy who dragged her into it, Sola must survive the fights, and the dark truths of her world.
This book was intense, and I loved Sola. She was one of those heroines that just amaze the reader.
You will not want to ever put this book down until you have finished the last page.
I've learned that being afraid of something does not stop it from happening.
I fell in love with Dylan. Just kidding. But I did love his character, mysterious and a lot to learn. And of course, he was supposed to be handsome and he has a cute accent. Plus, throughout the book he has just a touch of sarcastic humor, which is always refreshing.
"Well." The leaves rustle once more. The trampoline dips slightly. Risking a glimpse over, I see he's leaning both elbows on the surface, palms cupping his face. "I saw you jumping around with all those leaves and I thought you were being attacked by some sort of bush monster."
In conclusion, this was one of the best dystopian novels I have read in months. It is intensely and painfully suspenseful and page turning. I was pleased that it was stuffed full of so much action. But, for all the girls out there into the romancey Chick-Lit, this definitely had some gooey romantic relationship stuff. I would recommend it to anyone who likes anything, and I would like to say thanks to all the people who recommended it to me. Put this near the top, if not on top of your TBR list.
Pros: I basically just listed a whole bunch above, but I will give you some short sentence information. Action-packed. Great plot and character development. Humor. Suspense. Betrayal. Surprises. Cliffhangers. Romance. Twists and turns. Uniqueness. And thank heavens that there was NOT a love triangle. I am getting so sick of those, authors! They are getting cheesier and worse with every book. And they are in every freaking book! Except for this one, which was a relief! Anyway, I could write the whole book down in this section as a pro because that's how good the book was. It is definitely a wonderful read for Hunger Games and dystopia fans.
Cons: As far as I know, I am pretty sure there is not going to be a sequel. Huge disappointment! Ugh. Well, you get what you get and you don't throw a fit. Also, I would have liked some more info about some certain things in the society.... but whatever, I guess.
Overall Review: 5 stars.
Cautions for parents: I said I was going to start doing this but I keep forgetting to..... parents there are some scenes where brief language is used, but that is pretty much it. I would say ages ten and up can read this book. It is clean as far as "adult" scenes and very foul language. Since they do fight in the arena there are a couple scenes of violence, but nothing too descriptive.