Book Review: After

Thursday, August 13, 2009

After by Amy Efaw

Released: August 11, 2009
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Pages: 350
Rating: 5 stars
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.

When I first heard about After and what it was about, I just knew I had to read this book. I have heard a couple of different stories about mothers who have abandoned their newborn babies and I just don’t understand why someone would do something like that? What are their reasons for doing it, or do they even have a reason?

I honestly don’t even know where to begin with this review. After was such a powerful story, so raw, but honest and terrifyingly real. It moved me in so many ways; made me think about the larger picture. About life in general.

While reading this, I could see an even bigger message brewing beneath the actual “dumpster baby” story. A message that anyone, teen or adult, could relate to or learn from. For example, you make your own decisions. Yes, you have your parents to guide you along the way – teaching you right from wrong and giving advice. But in the end, you make your own choice. Therefore, taking responsibility for your actions, even if you don’t like the consequences.

The writing was fabulously done. I loved how Amy Efaw chose to have the story told in third person perspective. I think it would have been harder for me to read and understand all that was going on, if I was seeing the world through Devon’s eyes. Especially in the beginning, Devon isn’t exactly in the right state of mind and a little unstable about what is going on. And I liked being able to learn about Devon’s past and what really happened That Night the same time she was remembering it.

I think Amy Efaw did a wonderful job with After. She definitely made me think about some things differently. I can’t wait to read more of her work.


1 comment:

The Obsessive Reader said...

I can not wait to read this. I entered some contest for this so hopefully I win. I love deep YA books and this is definitely touching on big issues.

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