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The Ballad of Ami Miles

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Raised in isolation at Heavenly Shepherd, her family’s trailer-dealership-turned-survival compound, Ami Miles knows that she was lucky to be born into a place of safety after the old world ended and the chaos began. But when her grandfather arranges a marriage to a cold-eyed stranger, she realizes that her “destiny” as one of the few females capable of still bearing childr ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published December 1st 2020 by Swoon Reads
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell
I love books about cults lol
Samantha Hastings
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A compelling, post-apocalyptic story where the emphasis is firmly on the heroine.

Ami has been raised in a survival compound her whole life with the knowledge that it is her duty to have babies. When the world “broke” most woman had become in fertile. Ami’s mom was fertile which means she might be too. But when Papa Solomon brings an older stranger to impregnate Ami, she goes on the run... to find her mother. To find herself.

Ami’s character development shines in this story as she sorts out the t
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could’ve read this book when I was a teenager. I wonder how different my life might have been. A beautiful story that will make life a little better for young people finding their way in this very confusing world.

Thank you for telling this story.
B.R. Myers
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Part coming of age story, this YA dystopian tale is told through an authentic voice that’s as gritty and compelling as the main character herself. After escaping her family compound to avoid an arranged marriage to an older man, seventeen-year-old Ami desperately searches for a sanctuary and her long lost mother. Well versed in survival skills Ami manages to find safety only to discover that the world she knew was based on lies. With revelations that will keep the reader turning pages, the unexp ...more

Really surprising. I couldn't stop reading about Ami! Her story shows just how easy it is for kids to share the beliefs of those who raise them and what can happen once those kids step out into the real world. It's a coming-of-age story set in a post-apocalypse future where most women have gone sterile and having babies has become women's most important job but Ami's not sure that's what she wants.
Ami's been raised on a compound (with cult-like qualities) founded by her great-great-gra
Bridget Waters
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If anyone has seen or read anything about cults, IE: Escaping Polygamy, Jeff Warrens, FLDS, etc, it’s clear that’s the type of place we are talking about. It doesn’t seem to be on that large of a scale but the same idea was still there. (I don’t see any signs of polygamy it is clearly a cult none the less). Ami is 16 years old and what seemed very suddenly to her, a stranger named Zeke came to the compound. She put two and two together and seen that they expected her to do “God’s Will” and have ...more
I have a soft spot for post-apocalyptic novels that center everyday life, so I liked this one. It's not a revolutionary book. It's not full of a huge amount of fast paced adventure. It's about a girl who leaves her fundamentalist childhood and discovers that things were not as she had been told. Not revolutionary, but quite satisfying. Particularly like the positive LGBTQ message, and the fairly utopian lake community.

Advanced reader's copy provided by Edelweiss.
(Belleand_books) Isabella Valentine
Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Ami grows up in a compound following some type of end times in which women are very lucky to have children. We start with Ami coming in from the woods and finding some man in front of her house with whom she is supposed to “breed” with. Ami’s aunts and uncles then manage to get her out of that compound and send her to her mother.

Her mother is five days away living in this safe haven of shorts and Ami’s life is torn apart when
Mandi Murphy
Content: profanity, mature themes, non graphic sexual situations

A fresh new approach to post apocalyptic lit in my experience. The story deals with A LOT of difficult themes, and I think it handles them well.

I wasn't really satisfied after having finished the book, though. I lacked a real connection with the story or characters. The first third of the book really drew my in, but after that it kind of lost me.

Low three stars for this one.
Joni Thomas
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book almost reminds me of The Forest of Hands and Teeth- minus the zombies.

I really felt invested in the story of Ami and cared about her story.

She was very naive but that was expected due to how she was raised. The book is about her growing up in a cult and escaping and breaking free after her grandfather arranges a marriage for her with a man old enough to be her father.

Ami leaves and goes in search of her mother who left the family when Ami was a baby.

She finds much more than she knew
Katie Steele
Check out the original review and more on NovelKnight!

This book was provided by the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Oh my, I didn't like this book. It's pretty rare that I don't have anything good to say about a book, and I don't like doing that, so while I type this review I'm going to try and find at least one good thing to say. But that might be hard, because I really didn't like The Ballad of Ami Miles.

The first thing I noticed, afte
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. Thank you so much, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group and Swoon Reads, for the chance to read and review it.

TW: racism, homophobia, bigotism

Ami is a young girl who was raised in isolation with her family at Heavenly Sheperd, her family's trailer-dealership that became a survival compound. Safe and cared for, her life changes when her grandfather brings home a stranger and makes clear her "destiny" as one of the few female st
Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I didn't have a lot of expectations, going into this book, but it was still completely different from what I imagined. Opening up with the history of Heavenly Shepherd, an outpost and colony of people who fled during the government breakdown, these people reverted back to historic and bigoted practices: racism, sexism, homophobia, and general isolation. What I didn't expect though, was the fact that Ami was meant to be breed like an animal. 

This book is only 262 or so pages long and yet so much
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
The Ballad of Ami Miles by Kristy Dallas Alley is a recommended young adult novel that follows a teen girl on a quest to find her long-lost mother in a post-apocalyptic future.

In this changed world, many women of child bearing years are unable to have children. Ami Miles mother met a traveler and was miraculously able to conceive her, but then her mother had to leave her after her birth to keep Ami safe. She has been raised by her grandparents at the family compound, Heavenly Shepherd. When Ami
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020arc, 2020e, a3e, a2, swoon-reads
It's an honor to live in the Compound, the only safe place left after the barren plague swept the world. Ami knows that, just as she's always known her destiny is to procreate as soon as she's able. But when the time comes, she finds it hard to allow it.

It's hard to summarize this book, because it is so many things. It's a look at a world a long way from here, a hundred years into an almost total plague of barrenness. It's a look at women in cults and how hard it can be to forget the lessons we
May 09, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Ballad of Ami Miles is a post-apocalyptic story with a cult feeling to it.
Ami is a young girl who lives in isolation at a survival compound with her grandparents.
When her grandfather tries to arrange her marriage to an older man she knows she has to run. And so the story of Ami begins.

I’ve been wanting to get my hands on this books for a while! Dystopian novels was something I used to read daily. It’s been a while since I picked one up so I was very excited to get this one.

While this is
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
This compelling debut novel is set in a post-apocalyptic America and centers the experiences of a teenage girl who wants to escape her repressive, cult-like family and search for the mother she never knew. The first half of the book is absolutely riveting — I could not put it down. In the second half, which focuses more on Ami’s education and psychological growth, I found that the narrative slowed down a bit and sometimes became overly didactic. Although I thought that Ami had an authentic and e ...more
May 24, 2020 rated it liked it
"...only one in every ten thousand women could still produce a child."

The pandemic had been devastating to the world but the worst effect was making most women barren. 16 year-old Ami Miles lives in a "religious" compound run by her grandfather. When he makes arrangements to marry her to a much older man, Ami takes off in hopes of finding her mother, who left the compound years ago

I enjoy most post-apocalyptic books and I mostly enjoyed this one. It centered on Ami and the changes in her life es
Courtney Pate
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Omg. If you love a good cult story, PLEASE read this one! It's part cult, part dystopia, and everything I've ever wanted.

The Ballad of Ami Miles follows Ami, who is part of a cult. Her great-great-grandfather started this cult in a trailer park when a virus swept the nation, rendering most females barren. Ami comes from from foraging to find a strange man standing in her yard - her new husban
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Set far in the future, this was am interesting story of a young girl who escapes from the compound where she has been raised. In a world where the birth of babies is societal norm, Ami may be one of the only females left that can carry a child. When her grandfather decides it is time for her to "breed", Ami takes off to find out if there is more than the world she knows. This is a well written story about self discovery and society. It grabbed my interest and I was intrigued by the world the aut ...more
Caro Reads
Nov 22, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a very fast read, and it certainly kept me engaged. However, I found it difficult to connect to any of the characters, and they fell a bit flat for me. I found the MC to be unbelievable- she seemed very easily persuaded to change all the views and beliefs she had been taught her entire life. Even though as a reader I naturally wanted her to break free of the brain washing she'd grown up with, this all happened too easily. I did not feel much conflict or tension from her, which would hav ...more
Nov 18, 2020 rated it liked it
One of the things I liked best about this book was the conversations that revolved around perspective. Ami really has to contemplate her upbringing and sense of self when confronted with people and ideas that contradict what she knows and believes. I also like how the queer aspect of this story subverted some of those societal expectations that Ami thought were rigid.

I think the story wrapped up a little too quickly, but I was satisfied with the ending. Although I couldn't fully immerse myself i
Nov 18, 2020 rated it liked it
This book tells the story of Ami Miles, who grew up sheltered on her grandfather’s compound. The fertility rate has declined, and Ami comes home to find that her grandfather has brought in a man to breed with her. Luckily she is able to escape and goes to search for her mom.

This was an interesting and enjoyable read, but I felt the characterizations seemed kind of shallow. There were no shades of gray. Ami seemed to quickly embrace her new life, which seems odd in the face of being raised in suc
Angela Branham
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thoughtfully written. Interesting glance at a future piece of America. Ami is leading a sheltered life, being raised on a family compound that holds an extremely narrow view of the world. After her grandfather introduces Ami to the man intentionally chosen to get her pregnant, Ami runs away in search of her mother, who left the compound when Ami was a young child. What Ami had predicted is not what she finds, but it is definitely a bigger view of the world.
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
At some point in the future, women are unable to procreate the same as today. This creates a post-apocalyptic world, one where Ami Miles grows up in a type of religious cult.

Relatable and poignant themes, including current human rights issues. We don't have to stretch our imagination to conceive of a world where your life is not your own.

More hopeful than A Handmaid's Tale, and a fast read. Check it out!
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I loved the title. I liked the idea of this book, I liked the commune on the lake, I liked many of the characters. The thing that got me was, Ami Miles adjusted SUPER fast to life outside her compound. I imagine it takes a bit longer for deprograming and dedoctrination to process and adjust. She did it in a week, maybe two, not quite believable. I could be faulting it by comparing Ami Miles too much to Minnow Bly (The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly) but I don't feel like I am wrong.
Madison Milaszewski
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
Thankful for receiving an ARC giveaway!
I loved this book! An intriguing YA fiction about a young girl, Ami, leaving her family’s cult and embarking on a world different than what she was told it would be. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and found them believable and likable (when we’re supposed to like them!). An easy and exciting read, I finished it in 2 days because I couldn’t put it down.
Olivia Hinebaugh
Nov 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was pulled in by the post-apocalyptic, close-knit religious community vibes. But then you add in a dash of survival story and a heaping helping of found family, self discovery, and romance and I was totally sold. I loved this one. It was so honest and realistic about feeling completely out of place and learning the world is not what you've always thought it was. It's a coming of age story a lot of people can relate to, but, you know, post-apocalyptic. What's not to love? :P
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It seemed like it piggy backed off of handmaids tale but I was okay with that. The beginning was really interesting and engaging. I felt like the end was too picture perfect and Ami forgave her mom way too fast. This is random, but the font was weird... not a fan for some reason.
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