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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

After by Amy Efaw: A Darn Good Teen Read (even for an "older teen" like me)

From www.amyefaw.com

Who would leave her own baby in the trash to die?

Certainly not someone like Devon—straight-A student, soccer player with Olympic dreams, more mature than her own mother. But desperation and panic drove 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? Or were her actions the result of a more devious, premeditated plan?

In my never-ending quest to get caught up, for cryin’ out loud, here is my review (finally) of Amy Efaw’s young adult novel After. (Which I read last October…yep…I said OCTOBER. I’m so ashamed……sigh….)

Being an, *ahem, slightly more “mature” woman, I don’t read much young adult or teen fiction. (Oh yeah, Twilight cured me of that urge….) But I picked up After mostly because of the subject matter. Not only did it seem timely, since it seems like even with Safe Harbor laws, there are still babies found in dumpsters all over the country, but like everyone else, I wondered how a girl DO such a thing.

Efaw addresses those questions very well in this book. Although we find Devon’s behavior incomprehensible, we are slowly lead to the place where we can understand it. The book is an empathetic study of the expectations that we and all of society often place on our teen-aged daughters. I had an appreciation for the person that Devon was trying to be, and by the end of the novel was almost saddened by the outcome. It was refreshing, in this day of, “it’s not my fault..” to see a character assume the burden of personal responsibility.

After is a well-written and interesting book. The subject matter begs for a follow-up discussion when your teen reads it, and it is well worth the time spent to read it yourself.

After is available now in hardcover and will be available in paperback in December of this year.

(Review copy provided by Viking)

My rating:


bermudaonion said...

If an author can make you empathize with a character like that, her writing must be wonderful.

Kristin Ann said...

This book is amazing. Efaw describes Devon's situation well but not to the point where the whole thing is a pity party for Ms. Teen Mom.