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Life, A.D.: Life, After. Dez.

(Atman City #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  17 reviews
In Life, A.D. you have two choices: join the program or face the consequences.

Seventeen-year-old Dez Donnelly crashes headlong into fate on the side of a rural highway, her life ending in a violent collision of steel and screaming brakes. The train that delivers her newly departed soul to the crossroads of the afterlife won’t be carrying her to the sweet hereafter until sh
Published December 10th 2013 (first published December 1st 2013)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  57 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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(maaaybe 2.5)

I received this book by winning a diverse book giveaway maybe a couple years ago, and I'm not sure why it took me so long to read it. Unfortunately, it wasn't as good as I'd hoped it would be. And . . . it's painfully obvious that this book (about a black girl--and sometimes about her experience being black raised by two white parents) was written by a white woman. Google searching Michelle Reed and seeing that she's white was absolutely not a surprise at all.

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Nov 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
(This review can be found on my blog The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl).

When I first read the blurb to this book, I knew it was a book that I had to read! A young adult book that takes place in the afterlife? Yes, please! Lucky for me, it was an amazing read.

The title suits the book quite well. It is life after Dez (the main character). The title is one of the things that caught my attention even if it does sound a bit like a historical fiction novel, at least I thought so.
Aug 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-arcs, young-adult
Life, A.D. is really one of the most unique books that I have ever read. Within the pages, we are introduced to Desiree, or Dez as she calls herself. Dez has died in a car crash, and is sent to Atman, a place of limbo. There, she is subject to rules and regulations in order to help her transition from the life that she knew to the death she must get used to.

Dez is pretty resistant for the entire novel. She refuses to believe that what has happened to her is real, and refuses to accept any of the
Nicole (Reading Books With Coffee)
I don't read many books dealing with the afterlife, but this is definitely a more unusual and refreshing take on it. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the next book!

At first, I wasn't sure what was going on, because Dez is on a train that will take her to Atman City, the place where she'll work through her life and transition to death after her unexpected death. I didn't realize at first that she was dead, but once things started to be explained, it was a lot less confusing. I like that
S.A. Larsen
Nov 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Growth is an ongoing process even after we die.

A favorite aspect of this story for me is a rather simple one. I love, love how appropriate the title is. And it does not represent what you might think. It fits on so many levels. The cover is pretty sweet, too.

The opening scene is powerful. It instantly pulled me into the inner character of Dez, who she is, how she reacts, and what she is feeling. Her confusion, denial, admissions, and doubts as she grips what's happening to her are touching and v
Dec 19, 2014 rated it liked it
What I liked: The premise of this story is incredibly interesting, and dare I say unique to me in the fact that I haven’t read a series that deals with this in the manner that Reed has done it, which was superb. While she introduces us to a new world, a new realm that souls go after sudden (and likely tragic) deaths, the world building is done just enough, there’s no over amount of information for us to follow. Dez is realistic in the way she acts (I mean, c’mon, she just died without warning, s ...more
Roberta R. (Offbeat YA)
Rated 2.5 really.

Excerpt from my joint review for Life, After Dez and Missing in Atman - originally published at Offbeat YA.

Pros: Fresh spin on the afterlife trope. Teen POC adopted by white parents and in an interracial relationship. A side character gets an imaginative, interesting story.
Cons: The lead has a pattern of repeating the same mistakes and is cut a lot of slack regardless. Also, in Book 2, love triangle rears its head...
Will appeal to: Those who love stubborn heroines, romance and a
Olivia (Bookcomet)
Dec 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blog-tour
Life A.D was a really good book. no - A REALLY GOOD book. It was just so...great. I will probably find myself repeating that word a lot in this review. I mean it had a GREAT beginning, middle and end. There can't be much more you could ask for.

I read this way quicker than I anticipated. The GREAT characters definitely made that possible though. I got really attatched to them and keep on thinking about them. Dez was obviously my favourite character but her aside, I really liked Bobby (I think th
Joy D. Fanning
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
* I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*

I freakin' loved this book!! I thought it had such a cool concept, and I really can't think of one thing I didn't like about it!!

I thought the idea of what happens after life, and basing a story on that was brilliant! There is no religious theme to this book, which to me, makes it all the more interesting. Can you imagine having to process all the emotions knowing you're dead and your life is gone? All your plans, all your aspir
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

What a concept! Many of us believe in life after death, of course, but Michelle E. Reed has a whole new idea of what it could be like. Even though I hope she's wrong, I enjoyed this book. It was easy to read and hard to put down.

From the beginning, you feel Dez's confusion and anxiety. It's easy to see why she rebels, not just because she's a teen, but also because of the circumstances. I liked her strength and the obvious strong bond she'
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. it takes on the aspect of death and afterlife, transforming it into a character driven story. Dez the MC has to adapt to her new surroundings, after her death in a car accident she is transported to the afterlife by train. There she is meant to remain in the Jhana Park in a state of limbo until she has overcome the various obstacles that are preventing her from letting go and moving on to heaven.
What makes this story exciting, is that everyone is dead and once you're dead you
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading Life, A.D.: Life, After Dez and must say I really enjoyed it. This was extremely outside of my genre of books that I read. We read it for book club. I found the book to be well written and gave enough details but was not overly wordy. I honestly was not sure I would want to read any further than the first book but I look forward to the second book coming out so that I can find out all the questions I have as to what happens to Dez. I think she was/is an interesting charac ...more
Stephanie Thomas
Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am obsessed with the idea of what happens to someone after they die. So, when I saw this book, I had to snatch it up, and I am glad I did! It was very interesting to be in the minds of teenagers after they have died, and to bear witness to their raw emotion.

I felt as if some of the plot was forced at times (like the love interests/triangle), and the ending was very quick and not very fulfilling. That's not to say it was bad, because it wasn't, but I guess I was wanting some huge GOTCHA moment
Brooke Archer
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It has such an interesting concept, and i adored the characters. There was only two reasons i didnt give it 5 stars.
#1 maybe i missed it, but we never got a description of Dez. i mean, shes the main character, and i didnt really know what she looked like. i made an image up in my head, but still
#2 the slight lack of plot. while i loved seeing Dez getting used to this new world, i couldnt really see a plot. there wasnt really a climax, or anything. it was just Dez ge
A. Rolland
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Pretty obvious that I enjoy stories about death and that ‘limbo’ in between place.

I admire the world that Reed has built within these pages- she had me smiling at times, just reveling in her creativity. I loved the idea of the trains, and I kept picturing the towers as the dorms from my alma mater. Reed pays very close attention to detail (a girl after my own heart). I think she and I could sit down and have some crazy chats about our ideas of death…

The beginning is powerful and mesmerizing- I’
M Beal
Very interesting take on the afterlife. For Des getting on the train to the afterlife is not the wonderful thing we dream about. She doesn't have a ticket and is "flagged". She is stuck in a military type afterlife where there are more rules and regulation that an immigration application. ...more
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Michelle was born in a small Midwestern town, to which she has returned to raise her own family. Her imagination and love of literature were fueled by a childhood of late nights, hidden under the covers and reading by flashlight. She is a passionate adoption advocate who lives in Wisconsin with her husband, son, and their yellow lab, Sully.

Other books in the series

Atman City (3 books)
  • M.I.A.: Missing in Atman (Atman City #2)
  • Dead to Rights (Atman City #3)

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