Until The Beginning – Amy Plum (Review)

Title: Until The Beginning (After The End #2)
Author: Amy Plum
Publisher: HarperTeen, 2015
Genre: YA Paranormal

This review can be found on my BlogTeacherofYA’s Tumblr, and my Goodreads page

My Review:

First, I’d like to clarify something: when searching out this book on Goodreads, it is classified under dystopian, science fiction, and fantasy. While I don’t care what the majority of people shelve this book under, it does make it misleading to others who decide to read it. I still loved the story. And it still has very paranormal elements. But it is in no way a dystopia, science-fiction, or fantasy book. Glad we cleared that up! πŸ˜‰

Juneau manages to bring Miles back from the gunshot wound, but only because she put him through The Rite, a ceremony people of her clan undergo at 20 that keeps them from aging and disease. While she waits for Miles to come back from death-sleep, she has to hide: Whit’s people are still after her for some unknown reason. She gets closer to locating her kidnapped clan: they are being held captive by “Hunt” Avery, an eccentric billionaire that owns a ranch filled with endangered animals to hunt. While still connecting to the Yara, the spiritual force that guides the planet, Juneau communicates with Tallie, bringing her to help prepare for what will be either a quick battle or a bloody war.

Miles is in the throes of death-sleep. He is fortunate: the bullet was near fatal, but Juneau stopped it and saved his life. However, he had to promise to live the life of one that follows Gaia, nature, and all things of the planet. Miles is no hippie, but what he experiences in his near-death sheds a lot of light on Juneau’s beliefs. When he wakes, he has a new appreciation for her and for her connection to the Yara. But is it a result of Juneau’s Rite, or the drug Amrit that everyone’s been after? He’s unsure, but he knows one thing: he’d follow Juneau anywhere and feels inextricably linked to her. He realizes that he can start to do the things Juneau can: he can sense her feelings, he can read the fire. He can even take out electricity to the electric fences surrounding Juneau’s tribe…

A poignant book about the connections made between man and nature, Until The Beginning explores the theme of social change and technological dependence. Everyone is after Juneau for this miracle drug, but only for profit and self-gain. Juneau doesn’t want that and just wants her family back. But as the lies are stripped away by Whit, she realizes he is just as bad for turning his back on his people and her. He tells her that her beliefs have nothing to do with the Yara and everything to do with the “side effects” of having Amrit in her blood. Is the Yara real? She’s sure she can feel it. But coupled with Miles’ skepticism and Whit’s creation of the drug, Juneau has no idea where she belongs. 

Is It Classroom-Appropriate?

Definitely. The concepts of the Yara and Gaia are from a 1970s theory and following called The Gaia Movement. This would make an excellent resource for the classroom. The students can see the Symbiotic relationship between the earth and mankind, and it brings up lots of ethical questions, such as,”How far would you go to get something you want?” Something that would literally give you youth and immortality. There are a lot of good themes here to explore, am I plan on making a lesson plan using the book.

Age Range:

There’s nothing that us objectionable for children to read. I would give this to my niece, who is 12. So I would comfortably say 12 and up. Wasn’t listed on Lexile.com, so I had to guess, and I would think the range is what I’ve suggested. 

End Result:

 β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…. A definitely entertaining read! Please read After The End first, or you’ll be all sorts of confused. But give this book a chance: I did!

13 thoughts on “Until The Beginning – Amy Plum (Review)

    1. Thank you! I was worried it would sound funny because I wrote it really early this morning after I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep, but I got sleepy as I was finishing it, so I kinda worried it might have had all sorts of errors. I’ve reread it a couple times and caught some typing errors, but I was still tired.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great review, and I’m really glad you enjoyed this book as well. It sounds interesting so I’m definitely going to add it to my to-read list, although I will make sure I pick up the first book first if not I think I will be really confused by the whole story.
    I may have to look into Amy Plum’s Die for Me series as well, are you planning to pick that up at some point now you’ve read this book?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I certainly hope so! I hate reading a book I don’t enjoy…it feels like a waste of time.
      But then again, I tend to have a low bar set for greatness…I like a lot of books others don’t…maybe I’m a book pushover?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I know that feeling all too well. There’s been a few books I haven’t enjoyed and I always just feel so let down.
        I don’t think that’s a bad thing, you know there’s a good chance you’re going to love a book and that’s a great thing. I find I enjoy a lot of books as well but sometimes the hype is too much for a book to live up to and I end up really let down!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh, I completely agree with that! Hype is such a dangerous thing!
      I try to wait on a hyped book until the din quiets down…then I make my move.
      But with Twilight, there was so much hype that I almost didn’t read it.l.but when people started saying Meyer was a bad writer, I felt like that was the perfect time to read it…people had moved on so whether I liked it or not didn’t matter so much.
      So I think it’s best to wait until hype blows over, you know?
      Speaking of hype, I am so bummed I waited too long for a Fairy Loot box, because the theme Magic and Mayhem is all sold out, and the next box is Steampunk Rebellion (not really my thing), so I’m totally kicking myself!
      They should do ARC boxes! You want to start a company with me like that? (Lol, I just want free books, and books that no one has read…) πŸ˜† Jk. I wouldn’t be able to do that!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve done that with a few hyped books and I think I enjoyed them a little ore letting the hype die down before I started reading them.
        Twilight I got into right as the hype was starting, I was probably one of the people responsible for hyping it up as well, now though I’m not keen on the books. I think the more I’ve read the more my tastes have expanded and left Twilight behind.
        Oh that’s a shame, and yeah I’m not sure about the Steampunk Rebellion theme either so I may give that a miss. I’ll go back to owl Crate for the month because their theme (Darkness) sounds amazing.
        It probably takes a lot of work to do something like that, but I guess it would be a huge reward as well! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

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