After the Fire by Will Hill
Release Date - October 2, 2018
It's been a while since a book has caught my attention and had me refusing to budge. I found it and am so glad I did. I'd been on a bit of a reading slump because a number of books I picked up were okay but nothing special. This is special. It may not be easy, but it is going to leave a lasting impression.
If you were alive or know of the Waco siege, this book is going to tug at your emotions. There were times After the Fire was a little hard to read. I was pregnant when the Waco siege happened. I remember reading how a 10 year old was one of Koresh's wives. It outraged me. The second I started reading Will Hill's book, I knew where he'd come up with the inspiration from his story. I loved that it was told from the viewpoint of a surviving teen. I got her fear, her anger, and even her hope.
Moonbeam is the storyteller and heroine. She's one of the survivors of a Waco-like siege of the place where she's grown up, the Lord Legion's compound. It's her story to tell, but she's been raised to believe that outsiders are evil and only those living in the compound are trustworthy. She knows things, however, and part of her wants to reveal everything. But, to do that she must trust in strangers, and that's a hurdle only she can overcome.
I had such a hard time getting anything done while reading After the Fire. I didn't want to go do the grocery shopping, though I needed to. I didn't want to work. I didn't want to take the dog for his walks or cook dinner. I was hooked. I had to read through the chapters and let Moonbeam tell me everything.
Now that I'm done, I'm putting this book on my list of the best YA novels in 2018. It broke my heart. It made me truly happy. It had me smiling and grabbing Kleenex interchangeably. It made me angry. I felt so many emotions, but the one I liked the most was hope. I felt hope for Moonbeam as she explored her past and came to terms with what her future could be. Hands down, I loved After the Fire.