Harmony Book Reviews

After by Amy Efaw

Posted on: July 16, 2009

After

Title: After

Author: Amy Efaw

Rating: 9.5/10

Good If…You’re looking for an emotional and eye-opening book.

Summary: (Taken from Amazon)

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.

My Thoughts: Before I heard about this book, I had never given much thought to people who left babies in the trash. They were evil and they were murderers. End of story. Except it turns out that it’s not quite that simple because really, what in life is?

In all honesty, I had a tough time reading this. It made my stomach churn because the thought of a baby left to die in a dumpster just makes me want to puke. Not only that but a few of the scenes where she is remembering the birth are slightly graphic. But then, you have Devon who, for some reason, is extremely easy to like. I wanted her to succeed. That’s not to say I wanted her to get away with nothing because she did leave her baby in the dumpster but I didn’t want her to…I don’t know. Spend the rest of her life in jail?

The ending of the book was slightly unexpected to me. It seemed to come out of nowhere. But, I felt it fit the novel well and it was better than several alternatives I had been expecting.

After is a heartbreaking novel but one that I think everyone should read. I look forward to any upcoming books by Ms. Efaw and highly recommend this one. 

 (I also love the subtle changes of the girl on the cover. It definitely fits in with how Devon sees herself vs. how everyone else sees her.)

This is reviewed as part of the 1 ARC Tours.

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6 Responses to "After by Amy Efaw"

I heard about this one a couple weeks ago, and was so lucky to find an ARC of it at the ALA Conference this past weekend. I grew up in a place where tons of girls were pregnant as teens, so this is an issue that I care a lot about. I’m glad to hear a review of it. I hadn’t heard one yet.

I have this one in my pile and I’ve been wondering how it would be received. Good to hear it’s worth reading!

I’m curious about the ending now. This book looks amazing, and I want to read it. 😛

Wow, this book sounds intense. Books about abandoned/abused children always make me cry since I’ve had my own daughter but I’ll have to check this out.

Hi there–I’m the editor of AFTER. Thanks for this terrific review. If anyone would like to add comments to the Web site we created for the book, just go to http://www.after-book.com. We’d love to hear whatever you have to say.

I have it now! This is just the book I needed to get over my slump!

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