Sunday, September 27, 2020

NetGalley ARC | The Ballad of Ami Miles


I received a free digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I have long identified as a cover-snob and I don't really try to hide it at this point. I was obsessed with this covers as soon as I saw it. Fellow bloggers have read and reviewed it and the story was interesting enough that I requested it and was surprisingly approved.

I don't typical do dystopian post-apocalyptic stuff. But I am endlessly intrigued by cults and that is how this one hooked me.

First up, the only negative for me is that the ending felt a bit rushed. Even so, I really enjoyed the story.

Ami has been raised in complete isolation within the "safety" of her family's survival compound/trailer dealership. I put safety in quotes because now that she is old enough, it has been decided she will marry a man chosen for her in order to bear children. Most women are sterile in this new world and Ami is one of the few who can still become pregnant.

Ami's mother left long ago, though Ami has been lied to about how and why. Once her chosen husband-to-be arrives and Ami realizes what is going on, she is aided by one of her aunts and escapes her 'destiny' - it was comforting to see that despite her aunt choosing to stay (and she did not really have a choice anyway), she did not want this life for Ami any more than Ami wanted it for herself.

Alone and unsure, Ami heads toward the place her mother might be, searching for this missing part of her life and hopeful that she will find something better than what she left behind - despite that being all she has even known.

Despite being this dystopian/post-apocalyptic world, this is very much a coming-of-age story and we are privy to the day-to-day happenings once the old world has completely gone and the brave new world is upon us. This is the new normal, and it is treated as such. I found this to be helpful in my case specifically, because I don't much care for the battles/world-falling-apart parts, they simply do not appeal to me. It is not an action/adventure story so if that is what you are after, this is probably not one that you would enjoy.

Ami finally reaches the community where her mother has, at least at one point, found refuge. I do not want to say a whole lot because I do not want to give away the story. It is in this hodge-podge community that Ami feels a sense of belonging and meets people so vastly different from her. She has to reconcile the thoughts drilled into her head by her horribly racist and misogynistic grandfather with the reality of what she finds with those who have taken her in.

Ami learns so much about herself and what she wants out of life, and that growth is not without setbacks and bumps in the road. But she never gives up, and knows that she could never return to her life before these discoveries. This is a story full of both hope and heartbreak, and I enjoyed it immensely.



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