Saturday, February 18, 2012

Review of After by Amy Efaw

Title: After
Author: Amy Efaw
Published by: Penguin Audiobooks
Length: 9 sound discs (ca. 10 hr.)
Source: Library
Format: Audiobook
Rating: ★★★

Summary from Goodreads 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.

This was an extremely hard book to listen to.  It had nothing to do with the author's writing or the narrator.  Both are wonderful, but the actual story itself is one of those stories that makes you squirm a little and question everything.  There were often times that I just needed to turn it off and listen to some bubble gum pop just to wipe my mind of this story.  The whole time I listened to this book my head raged with different opinions.  They changed so often during the story that I'm still not sure what I think about the situation.

Amy Efaw has a way of turning your previous thoughts and reactions to a situation completely upside down.  My first thought about this book was that this young girl must have been so ridiculously terrified and my second thought is how could she?  There were parts where I despised Devon and other parts that I felt sorry for her.  I'm not sure if I'm exactly comfortable with the fact that Amy Efaw manipulated my emotions like Play-Doh, but I guess that is testament to her skill as a writer.

Throughout the novel you discover more about Devon's journey and her complete and utter denial of her pregnancy.  I'm am no psychologist, so I don't really understand the whole denial to the point of not realize you were pregnant until giving birth.  I'm sure this happens, but for me it is not something I can truly grasp.  There were also times that Devon seemed so naive that it just baffled me.  I found myself feeling very protective of her one minute and horrified by her the next. 

After is the type of novel that will stick with me for a long time.  I'm not really sure what I think about the situation and I'm hopeful that I never have to serve on a jury dealing with this issue.  Part of me wishes I was ignorant about situations like these so I don't have to deal with the emotions and trying to figure out my thoughts.  All I know is I'm glad I read this novel, but I definitely need a light and fluffy book in my future.


  1. This is such a good review Lisa, you really capture the mixed emotions you experienced whilst listening to it. It DOES seem like a tough book to experience, especially the emotions you feel whilst doing so. I'm not sure it's something I could read as a result.

    The Cait Files

  2. I thought it a real strength of this book that I had such mixed feelings about Devin. It just isn't as simple as it seems at first glance. Excellent book...excellent review!

  3. I totally agree with your review. The audiobook experience I think made this book even more uncomfortable. I can definitely understand the need to needing to turn it off for little breaks. Such a powerful and uncomfortable read. Good idea to read something light and fluffy next!

  4. I've been wanting to read this one for a while--it sounds so interesting.

  5. I have had this book for ages but still haven't read it - I am so curious about it. I may have to pick it up soon, but I think I'll read rather than listen.

  6. This sounds like a complex book that will really make me think. I may have to read it in print- because I might not want to turn it back on again if I do audio. :) I liked your review- it showed how much this book made you think. Thanks for sharing!


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