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After Paperback – December 2, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up—Through flashbacks, listeners learn that 15-year-old Devon has been a good student and an outstanding soccer player, and her life is all about control and not messing up. But as the story (Viking, 2009) by Amy Efaw opens, Devon is found by the police lying on her family sofa, bloody after giving birth to a baby which was found in the dumpster by a passerby. The story moves through Devon's arrest, her confusion about what is happening to her, and the preliminary court proceedings to determine whether she will be tried as an adult for attempted murder or in juvenile court. Rebecca Soler does a fine job of varying her voice to reflect Devon's various states of consciousness and conscience. Most prominent is the flatness of Devon's voice as she responds to the demands and interactions of those around her, such as her lawyer, who loses patience at Devon's resistance to assist in her defense. Soler also captures the teen's softness as Devon recollects the romantic encounter that led to her pregnancy and then quickly switches to a harsher tone as Devon reflects that she doesn't want to be like her own irresponsible mother. This is an emotional, compelling listen, as the details of the birth are told in great detail and Devon often seems like an observer rather than a participant.—Edith Ching, Washington Latin Public Charter School, DC
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

-Efaw captures Devon+s mortification, denial, and despair, shifting fluidly between her present experiences in a juvenile jail and the terrifying night a baby inexplicably arrived.+ -Kirkus Reviews
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 700 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Speak (December 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142415901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142415900
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #451,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Amy Efaw is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, the mother of five children, and self-described "soccer mom extraordinaire." A former Army officer and freelance journalist, Amy now lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband, children, redbone coonhound, and Bengal cat. She's written two novels for young adults and plans on writing many more!

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amy Efaw's book After is thought provoking tale of innocent teenage sex spiraling into a tragedy with a complicated outcome. Devon Davenport is a teenager "on track" to being a sucessful adult. She has managed to self motivate and excel at sports and school despite absent parents. Her life is going well until she makes a stupid decision and has unprotected sex.
Despite her obvious pregnancy symptoms, Devon retreats into an unimaginable denial and avoids the reality of her pregnancy. Devon denies being pregnant until she gives birth in her apartment bathroom and, in a hazy moment of horror and panic, throws her newborn in a dumpster.
Instead of expounding on the horror of the topic, Efaw carefully explores the psychological aspects that lead up to the event. She allows the reader to make their own decision about Devon as a human being. Surprisingly, it is hard not to feel compassionate for Devon even though she has committed such a despicable act.
Efaw expertly walks the reader through the legal and moral ramifications of Devons actions. As Devon is subjected to the harsh reality of the juvenile court system and the possibility of life imprisonment, the reader is able to watch her come to terms with her actions and beliefs. After is well written and captivating. I would recommend this to young adults and parents of young adults.
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Format: Hardcover
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.

We've all heard the story before, or something similar; a child left to die in a dumpster, a child left in a public bathroom...news stories that shock us, leaving us to wonder what the world has come to.

What we don't usually hear about is the story of the would-be mother, the girl who left the baby behind. We all have our own ideas, based on our own experiences about who this ruthless woman could be and what would motivate her to commit such a heinous act. What do you think?

Once you've read this book I'm betting you might just change your mind. As an educated mother of two teenage daughters, I even surprised myself at some of the preconceived notions I had about these desperate girls.

The author does a great job of tackling this controversial topic in a sensitive yet honest way. This book will definitely resonate with teen girls who, for the most part, can only imagine the horror of finding themselves in a similar situation.

Believe it or not the books main character Devon, is very easy to relate to. She deals with issues that a multitude of teens face and like many, she has no real support system. My heart broke for Devon in her many struggles as she faces the repercussions of her actions...
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Format: Hardcover
Devon Davenport is the perfect student, teammate, and daughter. Responsible, talented, and hard-working, she has a bright future ahead of her, and is determined to not be like her mother, who gave birth to her at age sixteen. Because of these reasons, it's unbelievably hard for her family and friends to accept that she was pregnant, and didn't even know it, and that when she gave birth, she left her baby in the trash to die. But Devon did...and now the question is, is she guilty of attempted murder?

After is a heartbreaking novel that is simultaneously hard to read and intensely compelling. The book starts out briskly and suddenly, offering an unflinching look at Devon's situation and mental state as she is discovered, and then shuffled through the legal system, is assigned a lawyer, experiences juvenile hall, and is forced to appear in court. Accompanying her is a wide array of conflicting and complicated emotions, from shock to fear to indignation as Devon is forced to face the facts by her pushy and passionate lawyer, a believer in "tough love". Efaw's writing is detailed and precise, and her prose haunting and throughout Devon's tumultuous journey, she carefully reveals to readers Devon's past and the situations that led to her deeply ingrained denial, until readers can't help but feel deep sympathy for her, even as they face their own doubts and question Devon's behavior. Skillfully written and highly affecting, After is an emotional rollercoaster of a novel that explores the complexity of human nature and is sure to leave a mark on readers.

Cover Comments: I like this cover, it is simple yet striking, and it also very subtle--I was halfway through the novel before I realized the difference in the reflection. I think it is very fitting for the topic--carefuly neautral, but eye catching as well.
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Format: Hardcover
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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