Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Review: After

by Amy Efaw

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.

First Sentence:
The TV's on, some lame morning show.

I absolutely loved After. Not only were the characters truly believable, and the writing was descriptive, but the storyline was original and covered a very important, yet little known of, problem - dumpster babies.

Even though Devon did the unthinkable by leaving her baby in the dumpster, due to Amy's writing I really connected with Devon and ended up wanting the best for her. However, my favorite character in this novel would have to be Karma, who is a complete instigator and loves to push Devon's buttons. She reminded me a lot of Lisa (played by Angelina Jolie) from Girl, Interrupted . . . actually the relationship between Devon and Karma is very similar to that in the movie, but in a good way. I am also amazed by Amy's ability to leave the ending of the novel a complete and total surprise.

I think that After is a must read for everyone, but especially for the young adult crowd. There are many life experiences covered throughout the book, besides the awareness of the dumpster baby phenomena. Some of these experiences include cutting, losing your virginity, broken homes, and disintegrating friendships. There are some parts of the book that can be pretty graphic, such as the birthing process, so I would recommend adult supervision for the younger members of the young adult crowd.

Favorite Quotes:
A pattern of raised crisscrossed scars, some old and white, others more recent in various shades of pink or red. Like the pattern of cracks on the conference room ceiling, Devon thinks. Exposing the stress of the structure underneath its paint.
Please do not let your past choices handicap you like mine have. Don't let them define who you are going to be.
When he was gone, Devon's smile fell. Taking her seat in class, she realized that her face actually hurt. As if the muscles in her cheeks and around her eyes weren't strong enough anymore to hold something as heavy as a smile.

Title: After
Author: Amy Efaw
Hardcover: 350 pages
ISBN 10: 0670011835
ISBN 13: 978-0670011834
Buy It: Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble
Review Number: 22
My Copy: ARC provided via Shelf Awareness


A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

This isn't the type of book I'd normally read, but it looks like it would be interesting...another book to add to my tbr pile. :)

Teddyree said...

I'd love to read this one, I really enjoyed your review, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

Great review. I really have to read this one - and I love the quotes you've put!

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