Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review: After - Amy Efaw

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 350 pages
Publisher: Viking Juvenile; 1 edition (August 11, 2009)

    An infant left in the trash to die. A teenage mother who never knew she was pregnant . . .
    Before That Morning, these were the words most often used to describe straight-A student and star soccer player Devon Davenport: responsible, hardworking, mature. But all that changes when the police find Devon home sick from school as they investigate the case of an abandoned baby. Soon the connection is made—Devon has just given birth; the baby in the trash is hers. After That Morning, there’s only one way to define Devon: attempted murderer.
    And yet gifted author Amy Efaw does the impossible— she turns Devon into an empathetic character, a girl who was in such deep denial that she refused to believe she was pregnant. Through airtight writing and fast-paced, gripping storytelling, Ms. Efaw takes the reader on Devon’s unforgettable journey toward clarity, acceptance, and redemption.

    I don't know what prompted me to pick up this book, but I did.  It wasn't a happy book, or in anyway comical.  I remember when I was younger the news telling a story about two local teens who threw there newborn in a dumpster, and another newscast about "Prom Mom", at the time I didn't have any kids and couldn't understand how or why they could do something like that.  Even after becoming a mother in a not so ideal situation I still didn't understand what would drive someone to do that.  We start our story with an almost unconscious Devon, and we are quickly introduced to our story her mother comes home telling Devon that a baby was found in a garbage can behind there building, and we take off from there down the road of peacing together how Devon a star soccer player and great student  could have been pregnant and no one knew, and what lead her to the choices she made.  We go to the hospital with Devon who is in danger of bleeding to death after her delivery, then to the juvenile detention center where we watch Devon try to figure everything out and come to terms with what happened. We eventually go to trial where we learn the most about Devon as a person.  This book ends with Devon making the most adult and responsible decision possible.  I can't say that this book made me understand why some people feel that this is there only option, but I believe it has helped me be able not to judge them without knowing there story.  I'm giving this book 4 stars.  I wish I could say I liked this book but I really can't.  It was a well written and presented, but it was a tough subject.  I will say that I didn't dislike it, and I am glad I read it, but my gushy feelings of book love are sitting somewhere in the middle. 


  1. I'm with you. I gave this book a high rating because the writing was amazing. But the story was heartbreaking. I really want a sequel or something. I felt like this story just ended.

  2. Hey ladies. I'm working on it's spin-off. The baby's daddy, when he hears about what happens, decides to take custody of the baby . . . how does a 17 year old wrap his young mind around the news he learns -- that this girl who he really liked but freaked out after they had sex (wouldn't return texts and calls), then having to go back to Denver (because he only spends the summers with his dad) without any kind of closure. Fast forward 10 months later, and he learns that this girl who he liked had gotten pregnant . . . and that she says that baby is his . . .then throws it in the trash?

    Keep your fingers crossed that I can pull it off!

  3. I really would like to see what happens with the babys father, and I would like to hear more about Devon as well. Maybe about what happens when she is done serving her time.


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