Book Review–After by Amy Efaw



This is the 37th book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.


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After by Amy Efaw
Published August 11th 2009 by Viking Juvenile


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.



After is one of the most intriguing reads that I’ve come across in a long time. The subject itself is controversial–women who abandon their babies in dumpsters and other such places. While it is very tragic, I have always felt that the majority of these women did so because they were desperate. It’s very easy to judge when you haven’t been in a desperate situation. I’m not excusing the actions, but it is a valid concern.

The author did a superb job of making this book feel realistic. Even though there were times I found myself annoyed with Devon and her inability to sometimes react, it felt real. I felt bad for Devon, and also her baby. Devon hasn’t had an easy life and it was sad at how she had to take care of herself and how everything she’s strived for might be gone because of a really bad decision.

The settings, characters, and plot seemed realistic. This book made me feel so many different emotions–shock, horror, sadness, sympathy, etc. There was a scene in which people in Devon’s life made it known that they would have supported her that especially almost brought me to tears.

I recommend this book for everyone. Too often I see people react to these stories without knowing the full story. Yes, it is terrible. No, I don’t think women in these situations should all serve the same sentence.

Stories like this make me realize how much our society needs to be aware of Safe Havens and where they exist. While it may not keep this from happening all the time, I believe awareness would help these desperate women and their babies. I’ve encountered many people who didn’t even know what a Safe Haven was and that’s sad in itself.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book was the ending. After all Devon has put me through as a reader, I just felt like she didn’t deserve what she thinks she does. I really hope the author has plans to continue this story because I’m dying to know what comes next. While I don’t believe she should go without some kind of sentence, I am also not in favor of her being charged with intent to murder because I don’t feel she intended that at all.

This is one of those books that is going to stay in my mind. There’s so much to consider that I’m not even sure I can wrap my mind around what all I’m thinking, but definitely check this one out.









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