Book Review: In the After by Elisa Dane

Posted 28/07/2016 by Isabelle MBTL in review / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: In the After by Elisa DaneIn the After by Elisa Dane
Series: Fighting Chance #1
Published by Swoon Romance on 02/02/2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 208
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
Buy on Amazon

Sadie Reynolds is a liar with secrets. At school, she’s part of the popular crowd known as AE, despite being broken inside. She hides it well. She has to. The slightest bit of imperfection will land her in the same shoes as her Geeky neighbor named Ian.

Ian and his only friend are the object of Sadie’s friends’ ridicule, ire, and entertainment. The AE rule the school with intimidation and retribution against anyone who would dare question their supremacy.

Sadie steers clear of most of it, terrified someone will find out her secret. She isn’t the least bit perfect. In fact, she suffers from PTSD stemming from the murder of her mother right before her eyes when she was a child. She can barely cope from day-to-day, hiding her truth and trying to fit in. But she knows it’s only a matter of time.

Hayden is a “Waverly,” a kid with the misfortune of living in the small farming town of Waverly that borders the very affluent Lexington Parrish. The AE doesn’t mix with “Waverlies.” Ever.

Desperate to get away from her oppressive friends, Sadie crashes into Hayden at a bonfire and the attraction that sparks between them is nothing short of electric. But Hayden’s an outsider and when things heat up, Sadie will be forced to choose between her friends and her new boyfriend.

Only Queen Bee Britt isn’t having it. She will not allow Sadie to cross her. Sadie can either do what Britt wants her to do or she will reveal Sadie for the PTSD freak that she is.

Sadie does some soul searching about who she is and who she wants to be. She can’t live her life like this. Not any more. One fateful night will help her see how much things have to change.

She’s determined to no longer allow the AE to rule her life. She will be strong, stand up for Ian and love who she wants in Hayden. Determined and invigorated, Sadie goes to school feeling hopeful for the first time in forever.

But, the unthinkable happens.

Shooters attack dozens of students before the two eventually take their own lives, leaving the school a decimated shadow of what it once was.

Suddenly who lives where, wears what or loves whom seems like the least of Lexington Parish’s problems as everyone and everything changes forever in the after.

IN THE AFTER by Elisa Dane is a hard-hitting and heart-warming story of tragedy, love, loss and redemption. It is recommended for readers 14+.

Series Rating: five-stars




*Warning* This has been such an emotional read that I’m still an emotional wreck right now. My review will probably reflect my mental state at the moment.




He looked like a fat heat of sin wrapped in a perfect package sent straight from heaven. And much like ice cream, cookies, and every other sweet treat I abstained from on a semi-regular basis, I couldn’t have him. Which made me want him all the more. by Sadie

Yes! This is a love story. You got two teenagers discovering each other, learning the melody of maybe their first-love dance. Their love story is beautiful and far from complete, which has me believing or maybe hoping, we will read more about it in a second book.

What I meant to say is that their romance is breathtaking, but if you are choosing this book because you are looking for a fairy tale, stop right now! 

In the After is not about romance. This story is about choices and the path they may take you. This book is about second chances, about failures and regrets. This story is about LIFE. In fact, this book is so current that I’m amazed that I haven’t read before anything like it.

Ms. Dane was an unknown  author to me and I feel so lucky to have somehow stumble upon this story and read her work. Her writing style reminded me a lot of Ms. Colleen Hoover, which means in my case at least, her writing hit me in the gut and I’ve cried a lot while reading this book.

… part that grew larger every day that would rather face the wrath of a bunch of over-privileged teenagers than spend another day hating myself for the company  I kept and the horrible things I did because of it. by Sadie

Sadie is the heroine of this story. In fact, In the After is her book. She is not this perfect teenager that never messed up and has people bullying her. No, she is real, she makes lots of wrong choices, she is bullied, but she also does a lot of damage herself.

Ms. Dane’s characters are stripped down. They are real and show us their darkness. Like all of us, they are parts of good and bad. Their life’s choices pave the way for their actions which cause the reaction.

I love how Ms. Dane has written her plot. It has the perfect pace, not leaving any loopholes in the way, and growing to a crescendo at the end. The tension in the book is high and the emotions are rampant.

No, this is not a lighthearted book. In fact this book hurts! It hurts me as a mother of three teenagers to even think of the possibilities that they may be going through anything like that. In fact, I believe I have a bit of Sadie at my eldest, the popular child, and a bit of Ian at my middle son, the bullied one. OMG! How have I’ve suffered reading this story. I have laughed at the poetic feel of that first-love; I have smiled with the beauty of Sadie and Jenna’s friendship; I have cried for seeing how cruel we could be in our teenager years. But most of all, I have fallen in love with this book and this new-to-me author and I can’t wait to read more of her work!

Still believed the world was bright and full of possibilities. That was before. I now lived in the after. by Sadie

P.S: Yeah, I didn’t even talk about Hayden. Well, he is a mouth-watering, jaw-dropping, panty-wetter type of hero; but this book, is all about Sadie. Maybe we will have our Hayden’s book which I would love!

You MAY buy this book because you are looking for a beautiful romance; you SHOULD buy this book because you would like to read something very current; but you MUST read this book if you love a cathartic experience, that feels like a rollercoaster ride, and leave you with feeling good for having survived!!!





About Elisa Dane

My name is Elisa Dane, and I’m a lover of books (YA & Adult romance), chocolate, reality television, and am a proud mother to three All Star cheerleaders. Woot!

I write Contemporary YA romance for Swoon Romance. I love angsty stories that tear your heart out and sweep you away with a touching romance. It’s my hope you find exactly that with my work.

I’m represented by the fabulous Brittany Booker of the Booker Albert Literary Agency. My Diamond Girl trilogy is published with Swoon Romance. IN THE AFTER (Book #1 of my Fighting Chance Trilogy) is out now!

My husband is a police officer. He worked as a Resource Officer in a high school for eight years and is very passionate about school safety. His work inspired my Fighting Chance trilogy. Bullying is a problem that’s not going away. IN THE AFTER is a fictional telling of what could happen if we all looked the other way when we see someone suffering under the hands of a bully. It’s my hope that readers will take away the knowledge that they aren’t alone, and that there is help to be found.
#dontsufferinsilence #youarenotalone

Rating Report
Overall: five-stars
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