Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Pub. Date: August 11, 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Who would leave their own baby in the trash to die?
Certainly not someone like Devon--a straight-A student, soccer player with Olympic dreams, more mature than her own mother. But desparation and panic drover her to do what most people can't even imagine. Now Devon's in a juvenile detention center, charged with attempted murder. If she's tried as an adult, she faces life in prison.
Does Devon deserve that punishment? Your answer depends on whether you believe her story--that she didn't even know she was pregnant. Was she buried in a denial so deep that she was unable to register the seemingly obvious signs of pregnancy?
On the acknowledge page Amy claimed her book to be clique since we have too many novels on teen pregnancy that it becomes a usual thing; however, to me, After clearly stood out. Because it didn't just tell a story of a mother at an inappropriate young age, but also about one that, as we all say, is heartless enough to abandon her own baby.
When I first read the synopsis I knew that this story was going to be very intense and haunting so I braced myself for everything that could happen in this. On the contrast, I wasn't really ready for all the heaviness, anguish and the likes. Don't get me wrong, I love it a lot. After is one of the rare books which grab you at first look, force you to turn page after page and leave you with a void of dry sadness. And that's just great.
The main character, Devon, presented two so-called kinds of women - those who get involved in sex when they're definitely not prepared to deal with the consequences and ones having the heart to throw away their babies. Surprisingly, I didn't find Devon devilish or despicable at all. There's something kept in the dark from the very first words that will give you hints of what actually happened to this girl and make you want to read more and more to find out why she did such a cruel thing, to figure out if she's guilty. Or if she's worth being forgiven at all. I think the author was really brave. At first I was really worried since I had no idea if she would manage to convince readers the fact that Devon didn't even know that she was pregnant could occur in real life at all. Turned out that I was worried about nothing. The reason came out slowly, it was logic though a bit vague, accompanied by the reality that Devon and her baby had absolutely no connection.
Amy Efaw's writing was fantastic. I got carried away with the story all of the time. What I loved about it was that even though it seemed really fast and breathless, I had time to explore the whole thing step by step and didn't get confused at all. The descriptions were creepy in an excellent way, especially those about the fateful night. I also liked the flashbacks. I thought they had the strongest impression of all.
I was glad I read this book because it gave me an inside look of the juvenile detention center like how the teens lived, what they learned from the staff and how they interacted with each other. Karma was my favorite character of the bunch, she was someone who could like bring out the worst in you.
I wouldn't have rated this book higher had it not been for the sudden ending. It left me kinda shocked and disappointed. If the author had written one chapter to elaborate Devon's realization it'd have been much much nicer. I wanted to know more about the guy too since he was responsible for this situation too. And maybe it's just me but I'd love to see the mother-baby unite and some growth of affection between them.
After was truly realistic and compelling. It help me get rid of my prejudice and hatred towards irresponsible teen parents and ones who left their babies. Everyone had their own stories and hardship so we people aren't in no situation to judge, and at some point, they can be forgiven for whatever they've done.
P.S This post is published by my friend Debbie. Unfortunately my internet is acting up (again) so I think I cannot put up any reviews/comment on your posts for one or a few days. Bare with me, I'll be back soon ^^