After – Amy Efaw

Title: After
Author: Amy Efaw
ISBN: 9780670011834
Pages: 350
Release Date: August 11, 2009
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Genre: Teen, Contemporary Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary:

Who could do such a thing?  How could a mother be so heartless, so cruel as to leave her baby to die?

When a baby is found in the trash, the police begin doing a routine sweep of the apartments around the dumpster in order to see if any of the residents know anything about the abandoned child.  There they find Devon Davenport, a straight A student and soccer star, bleeding because she’s just had a baby.  All of a sudden, Devon’s life changes irrevocably, with one decision she isn’t even sure she made.

Review:

After was a difficult book in a lot of ways.  The subject matter, abandoned babies, is simply horrifying.  Whenever people see these stories on the news, they often think, “How could someone abandon a helpless infant to die?”  In her YA novel, Amy Efaw takes us into the mind of a pregnant girl deeply in denial, and helps us see the thought processes that can lead to such a horrible decision.

Devon was a difficult character to like.  For much of the book, she doesn’t seem to care about what happens to her.  Devon is in serious trouble, and her lawyer is trying to help her, to put forward the best defense she can, yet Devon doesn’t even seem to have the will to help herself.  It’s incredibly frustrating.  However, as the reader gets deeper and deeper into the book, it becomes clear what Amy Efaw is doing with her main character.  Devon is in denial about what has happened.  She can’t face the ramifications of abandoning her child because she hasn’t acknowledged the fact that she did it.  It’s a difficult thing to do, write a character with a psychological issue, yet Amy Efaw does it incredibly well.

What’s even more impressive, though, is that Amy Efaw makes Devon a sympathetic character.  She isn’t a monster or a person with no conscience or ethics.  She has the same desires and needs as any other teenager.  While it would be difficult to fully understand the psychology behind the decision to abandon your baby, Efaw does a very good job in making the reader think about the issue without making her main character a horrible person.

After is a novel you simply can’t put down.  It hooks you from the very first sentence, taking the reader on an incredible yet horrifying psychological and emotional journey.  The book is a difficult one to read; from the graphic descriptions to the consequences of badly made decisions, it’s a serious and weighty book that will make the reader think.

Comments

  1. What a powerful subject, and certainly not one that I have ever given thought to before.

  2. What a powerful subject, and certainly not one that I have ever given thought to before.

  3. I remember reading some news stories like this so the subject matter is somewhat timely. It’s a good book for all of us to read to remember how our decisions set us on a certain path.

  4. I remember reading some news stories like this so the subject matter is somewhat timely. It’s a good book for all of us to read to remember how our decisions set us on a certain path.

  5. This is a book that I want to read at the same time as it sounds so sad. The subject matter is sad at the same time as I know that it happens (I knew a girl who did this, the baby survived) and that it is important to understand what actually goes on in their heads. I also have a professional interest in reading it. I work with teenagers and I think that trying to understand their minds is very important.

  6. This is a book that I want to read at the same time as it sounds so sad. The subject matter is sad at the same time as I know that it happens (I knew a girl who did this, the baby survived) and that it is important to understand what actually goes on in their heads. I also have a professional interest in reading it. I work with teenagers and I think that trying to understand their minds is very important.

  7. Thanks for a great review, you make this book sound like a must-read. It sounds like a hard subject, but one that we should all think about.

  8. Thanks for a great review, you make this book sound like a must-read. It sounds like a hard subject, but one that we should all think about.

  9. Wow, it sounds like there’s a lot going on in that one. I like books that make me think, so I’m adding this to the wish list.

  10. Wow, it sounds like there’s a lot going on in that one. I like books that make me think, so I’m adding this to the wish list.

  11. A very sensitive subject indeed. I have already put it on my ‘To be checked out’ books list. Nice review

  12. A very sensitive subject indeed. I have already put it on my ‘To be checked out’ books list. Nice review

  13. Sounds like a tough read, but worth it.

  14. Sounds like a tough read, but worth it.

  15. I really liked this book too. And I liked how even though she didn’t make the main character a hateful one, she also didn’t make it so she was an amazing character that everyone falls in love with. I thought she was very realistic.

  16. I really liked this book too. And I liked how even though she didn’t make the main character a hateful one, she also didn’t make it so she was an amazing character that everyone falls in love with. I thought she was very realistic.

  17. I have this book at home but haven’t read it yet. I had to pick it up because everyone is saying what a good job Efaw did with Devon’s character. Glad to hear it was so good.

  18. I have this book at home but haven’t read it yet. I had to pick it up because everyone is saying what a good job Efaw did with Devon’s character. Glad to hear it was so good.

  19. This is an amazing book, one of the best ones I’ve read this year.

  20. This is an amazing book, one of the best ones I’ve read this year.

  21. I just reviewed this book within the last few weeks. I loved it and I agree with you–I think it was an amazing feat for Efaw to portray Devin in such a sympathetic light.

  22. I just reviewed this book within the last few weeks. I loved it and I agree with you–I think it was an amazing feat for Efaw to portray Devin in such a sympathetic light.

  23. I’m on the waiting list for this book at my library, can’t wait to read it! I’ve heard a lot of praise for it.

  24. I’m on the waiting list for this book at my library, can’t wait to read it! I’ve heard a lot of praise for it.

  25. You are not going to get me to read this one 🙁
    I cannot read about such subject matter 🙁

    Simply horrifying!

  26. You are not going to get me to read this one 🙁
    I cannot read about such subject matter 🙁

    Simply horrifying!

  27. OMG! This books sounds so good! Definitely a must read! I’ll have to check it out soon. Great review!!

  28. OMG! This books sounds so good! Definitely a must read! I’ll have to check it out soon. Great review!!

  29. Between you and Amanda, I seriously can’t wait to read this.

  30. Between you and Amanda, I seriously can’t wait to read this.

  31. This sounds like something I should read. There seems to be a lot going on and I like books that make me think.

  32. This sounds like something I should read. There seems to be a lot going on and I like books that make me think.

  33. I’ve wanted to read this ever since seeing a review on another blog, now I really want to! I’ll have to look into it.

  34. I’ve wanted to read this ever since seeing a review on another blog, now I really want to! I’ll have to look into it.

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