Friday, November 20, 2009

Review: After by Amy Efaw

Found via: BBYA 2010 Nominations

I had a bit of a hard time getting into this book, and a few pages in I realized exactly why: it's written in the third-person. I've been reading so much first-person stories lately, both in fiction and in memoirs, that trying to get into a third-person narrative threw me a bit!

Devon is a star soccer player and dedicated student with dreams of becoming everything her mother is not. Her mom is a bit flighty, very flirty, and had Devon when she was only 16.

But now Devon, 15, finds herself on charged with attempted murder - of her own baby. Devon never realized - or maybe never admitted? - that she was pregnant, and when faced with the birth wrapped the baby in a garbage back and threw it into a trashcan behind her apartment. She's placed in a juvenile detention facility, with strict instructions from her court-appointed lawyer to be cooperative, until the hearing which will decide whether Devon's case remains in the juvenile system - or if the attempted murder on her baby was a crime so heinous only the adult justice system, with its sentence of life in prison, can handle her.

This novel completed my week of depressing reads - I was so desperate for something happy that I picked up a picture book reviewed by Lynn and Cindy for Nonfiction Monday at the library Monday night! But I absolutely don't regret picking this one up - Efaw, who spent time observing girls in the real life version of the detention center the novel is set in, has created a dark and disturbing narrative, filled with intriguing characters. I loved Devon's lawyer, and while some of the girls in the detention center seemed a little cookie-cutter at first, most of them get fleshed out, at least a little, by the novel's end.
Related Posts with Thumbnails