February 8, 2012

After by Amy Efaw

Title: After
Author: Amy Efaw
Pages: 350
Publisher: Viking Juvenile

From the flap:  
Who would leave her own baby in the trash to die?  Certainly not someone like Devon - straight-A student, soccer player with Olympic dreams, more mature than her own mother.  But desperation and panic drove her to do what most people can't even imagine.  Now Devon's in a juvenile detention center, charged with attempted murder.  If she's tried as an adult, she faces life in prison. 

Does Devon deserve that punishment?  Your answer depends on whether you believe her story-that she didn't even know she was pregnant.  Was she buried in a denial so deep that she was unable to register the seemingly obvious signs of pregnancy?  Or were her actions the result of a more devious, premeditated plan?

With the utmost empathy and precision, author Amy Efaw carefully peels back the layers of Devon's past as she faces a possible future behind bars.  The result is a gripping page-turner that will challenge your beliefs about conscience and consciousness.

This book opens on Devon staying home from school because she's not feeling well.  What we come to find out is that she has just had a baby and put it out with the trash behind her apartment.  When the police come to ask questions about the baby, they discover it is Devon's and we then follow her to the hospital and onto a juvenile detention center where she spends the time leading up to her trial.  Throughout the book we take on the task, along with Devon's lawyer, of figuring out what happened, how Devon got to where she is now.

This was another book that wasn't exactly a pleasant read.  It's been on my to-read list forever, and I'm glad I finally got to it, but it's definitely not lighthearted.  I would have loved to see the before Devon that was talked about all through the book.  I take this to mean Efaw did a great job constructing the character.  I would have read all about her straight-A, soccer playing, high school non-adventures.  Meeting the boy and changing the way she sees things.  Not instead of the events of After, but in addition to them. 

All along, I was trying to figure out how After would end.  I really wasn't sure how it was going to.  I will say I was a fan of how Efaw chose to end it.  In fact, it was the only way I could have seen it ending while staying true to who Devon was before.  I'm glad I finally read this one.  It's been on my to-read list forever.

1 comment:

  1. I've never even heard of this before, but it looks absolutely amazing. It's gone straight onto my wishlist, although I just know it'll break my heart!

    Thanks for reviewing it :)