Customer Reviews for

After

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

A Startling Story!

After seeing After in a publishing catalog back in December, I just knew I had to read it!

The "dumpster baby" phenomenon, which is the book's main focus, was both interesting and scary real. Before starting this book, I hadn't really heard or read many news stories...
After seeing After in a publishing catalog back in December, I just knew I had to read it!

The "dumpster baby" phenomenon, which is the book's main focus, was both interesting and scary real. Before starting this book, I hadn't really heard or read many news stories about this topic. So, I was intrigued to see how a case like this would go through the courts and the reasons behind the mother's choice to leave her own child in a dumpster.

Devon was a character that I did come to like and understand her reasoning behind her choice, even if it did take me most of the book. I liked how Amy portrayed in her in way where she didn't glamorize her situation and make it go away, but instead made you see what the consequences from Devon's "dumpster baby" through her own eyes. Also, one thing that really got to me, was how Devon was the ordinary girl on a fast track to greatness, because she was an amazing soccer player, had lots of friends, and fantastic grades. Though, when she finds out she's with child, she flips and denies to herself that she is, leaving her to make the choice she did. What I'm trying to say with this, is that could happen to any of us out there. We could be what people think is "perfect" and still manage to screw it up with one bad choice. It just amazed me.

The writing was also fabulous. I give Amy major props for how much research she probably did to give us this a story that tells nothing but the truth in what would happened in this kind of situation. I loved seeing the whole court room scenes and the ones between Dom and Devon because I felt like I was right there with them, witnessing the whole thing.

Though, the one thing that kind of ticked me off about this book was the ending. Even though it did conclude the main problem the characters face in the book, it lead so many others to still be swirling around in my head.

Overall, After is startling real book told in a way that's honest and raw. I can't suggest this book enough to teens and adults all around. I truly look forward to reading more by Ms. Efaw!

Grade: A

posted by Lauren817 on August 14, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

I don't recommend this book.

I consider myself an avid reader, and I've read many teen books. Although, "After" doesn't make my list of good books. I felt like the relationship between Devon and her mom was cliche. I would've have liked for Efaw to explore the tension between the too. I'm also a so...
I consider myself an avid reader, and I've read many teen books. Although, "After" doesn't make my list of good books. I felt like the relationship between Devon and her mom was cliche. I would've have liked for Efaw to explore the tension between the too. I'm also a soccer player in a very competitive league like what Devon was said to be a part of, but the chance that a coach wouldn't notice a drastic change in one of his star player's bodies is slim to none. Every line of dialogue felt forced. On a positive note, though, I felt scared for Devon throughout the whole book, and I didn't want to believe myself that Devon had done the things she was charged with. Devon's character development was obviously something Efaw worked hard at, and it showed.

posted by emma_marin_miller on April 4, 2011

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  • Posted February 14, 2011

    Highly Recommended for BOTH Teens AND Adults!

    Devon is a star soccer player, with hopes and even a chance to make it to the Olympics. Devon has over a 4.0 GPA. She follows the rules and never breaks them. She is known to be the perfect student and teenager. That is until one morning her world is shattered and turned upside down when two cops knock on her door. They have found a newborn baby dieing in a trash can behind her apartment complex. She has no idea why they are knocking on her door... Why would she have any knowledge about a dieing baby??


    Devon is arrested when the cops notice that she has just given birth. But Devon doesn't remember this and does not know what is going on, let alone why she is arrested. After spending some time in the hospital, almost close to death from the loos of blood, she is sent to a Juvenile Detention Center where she is to remain until the courts can decide whether to charge her as an adult or a child for Attempted Murder, Child Abandonment, and Assault.


    While this story is clearly about the social issue of mothers dumping their babies in the trash, Amy Efaw's book is more about a girl's journey to finding out the truth of what she really did, and thus who she really is. There is no doubt in anyone's mind that Devon committed this crime. The question is, did she know what she was doing while doing it...


    Most of the story takes place in the Juvenile Detention Center, where Devon meets many different teenage girls, there for many different reasons. By learning a bit more about these girls, Devon finds a little bit more about herself. During her time, you [as the reader:] are also given glimpses into Devon's past to find the events of what really happened: the father of the baby, when she started to feel the symptoms of pregnancy, how she alienated her friends, how she was in denial of everything, and most importantly the morning she gave birth. Amy Efaw bluntly pushes the question of whether Devon is a good character or a bad character, and what will happen to her, in your face. This book is raw in detail and by focusing on a real issue that occurs today, you are left affected in many different ways.


    I personally enjoyed this book - it had all the right qualities and aspects of a Teen-Social-Issue book (as I call them). I felt for Devon throughout the entire book, while at the same time, knowing she was in the wrong. I also felt uncomfortable as Amy Efaw describes details of gruesome but real events. I loved how Amy Efaw pushed this issue into my face and never backed down. A must read!

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    How is it Possible?

    I am halfway through this book and so far it is really good. All I can really say is WOW! I dont know if i could do what Devon did. When i first picked up this book to see what it was about, i thought it was a pretty cool book. Then i read the inside cover and i wwas blown away. " Straight A student, soccer player, very responsible...." It sounds quite familiar. Sounds kind of like myself. Im not sure what drove Devon to do what she did yet, but im very curious as to why it happened in the first place. The is a very good book and i recommend it 100% It is a verrrrrrry good book.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2012

    Bittersweet (Spoilers)

    I've read this book in paperback after my sister convinced our dad to get it. I had no idea what it was about, but decided to read it after she was done.
    One word: beautiful.
    It was beautiful in a kind of bittersweet way. I never felt like the conflict was completely resolved. You just knew it was for the best, but you couldn't help but want Devon to reunite with her baby.
    But this isn't that kind of story. When the child grows older, she will be told of how she survived the situation in which her "mother" tried to "kill" her.
    Devon isn't her mom, and she just couldn't raise a child at this age.
    She just couldn't.
    To her, she was still a virgin. The possibility of being pregnant was never even a possibility, let alone considered.
    Yet the only thing I wish was explained more would be the "father" of the child.
    How did he feel that a living being that was biologically "his" almost died from the other person who was in the same situation, yet closer?
    How did he feel that this person was someone he'd known?
    I'd have been fully satisfied if at least one of these questions were addressed.
    When I neared the end of the book, I began to go into a state I can only describe as near-depression.
    I became sadder and just felt like doing nothing and saying nothing. I walked around with my nose in a book, and a bad attitude.
    Finally, I finished he book and felt empty. So I tried to bring up my spirits with a nice shower, and warm leftovers.
    The best kind of books are those that can get a physical or emotional reaction from you. Without that, they are just words printed on dead trees.
    This book is a masterpiece and I recommend it to those of the appropriate age in their early teens.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Karin Librarian for TeensReadToo.com

    Devon is a young, athletic girl with a bright future as a soccer player. The Olympics have even been linked to her name. How could a girl like this end up doing something as horrible as throwing a newborn baby in the trash along with other refuse from around the house?

    While canvasing the apartment building looking for information about the abandoned baby, a police officer finds his way to Devon's door. Her mother, recently home from a night shift at Safeway, answers the door and starts her usual flirting. She informs the officer that her daughter, Devon, stayed home from school that day because she was sick. It doesn't take long for him to put two and two together.

    Very quickly, Devon is thrust into a world she never imagined for herself. A world filled with kids with problems more complicated than she has ever experienced. A world in a juvenile detention facility under observation 24-hours a day. A world without anyone she can call a friend.

    The reader witnesses Devon's story unfold piece by piece, almost as if we are understanding what transpired at the same time Devon does. What readers will find most amazing about the entire story is the level of denial Devon immerses herself in so as to function every day. Devon isn't always a likable character, mostly because of the strict discipline she holds herself to in terms of school work and soccer. She rarely lets herself loose, which means people don't know who she really is - including the reader.

    I didn't want to stop reading. I needed to find out what pushed Devon to do something so horrible. Through conversations with her lawyer in preparation for a trial to determine whether or not she'll be judged in the juvenile system or be sent to the adult courts, we get a good picture of what was going through Devon's head. AFTER is definitely an engaging read.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2014

    Excwed fawn

    Was in the dark forest

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2013

    I loved it but...

    Despite the fact this book is very well written i didnt like devon. Thr fact she refused help from dom and anyone else really struck my nerve many times. I also dont understand her decison at the end her reasoning. But overall im fasinated by teen pregnancy and write about the topic myself so that being said this diferent side of pregnancy and motherhood was very nice and not so cliche.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

    I could not put it down.

    Its a mystery book. Its that good that nobody should put it down until their done.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2012

    Heartbreaking...

    This book is sooo sad. But it sheds some light on a problem that a lot of people are not aware of. It also has a good moral story to it. And if you want to find out, you will just have to read the book yourself. Great Read!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2012

    Amazing!

    I started reading this book at the same time mI was starting to get into Law & Order: SVU and well the author really did her research! This book really puts some things into perspective. You may read this book the first time and hold one opinionand then go back a while later to reread amd find your opinion is completely flip-flopped. An amazing book. Simply awesome.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2012

    Really? That ending?

    Really great book to read. It instantly hooks you and you won't be able to put it down. What disappointed me was the ending though, I mean come on.. It was unexpected and mainly didn't add up well with a character who would seem more concerned with her future. I still reccomend this book for teens though.

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  • Posted August 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Nice book

    Its okay its a story of a girl who denied that she was pregnant so much that she completely blocked out the whole experiance. She threw her baby out and tried to cover it up. She isnt a bad person she just did a bad thing andi like the end. It was a good ending for this story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2011

    Incredibly Hard To Read

    For me, this book was next to impossible to read. I am a very emotional person and while going through therapy myself, this book was hard and just. . . strange? to read. It made me think in ways I didn't want to. There is only one book that I have ever come across that I could not finish, and that was 20 Boy Summer, only because my father has passed away and to read a book about a main character who constantly talks about her dead boyfriend was too much. I only recommend this book for those who can have a tough heart when needed, otherwise it will tear you to shreds.

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  • Posted May 18, 2011

    Surprisingly good book

    I would read other books by this author based on my experience with this book. I was hooked right away. The subject matter of the book is shocking, but well written. I liked getting to "know" Devon, the main character and the story was developed nicely.

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  • Posted May 18, 2011

    Surprisingly good book!

    I would read other books by this author based on my experience with this book. I was hooked right away. The subject matter of the book is shocking, but well written. I liked getting to "know" Devon, the main character and the story was developed nicely.

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  • Posted April 14, 2011

    one less star for the questions

    thia wasan ah-mazing book, but it left me with a ton of questions. i really wanted to know bout this mystery boy, and the story behind this cliff point thing. overall it was a wonderful book. *cauation though. not for boys,the faint of heart, or the immature.

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  • Posted January 17, 2011

    mmjjhb

    hvxvvbbnn

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  • Posted December 23, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved it!

    At frist i didn't know what to expect, but after i read it more and more i was sucked in to it. I read it within 4 days. Absoulutly LOVED this book. It is very sad, the Devon doesn't show much emotion, but at the end of the book you understand why! I recommend this book!

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  • Posted October 3, 2010

    Loved it.

    I really liked this book a lot. It was so realistic and there was a lot of intense moments. It was also very suspencful. I really liked this book,

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  • Posted June 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Realistic, and great character development

    I normally don't read these types of books. It's not my type (even though I love young adult fiction). Yet I was drawn to the book, and have heard good reviews on other book blogs I follow. When I started reading this book, for me, it started off a little slow, yet as you go with Devon through her issues and what she goes through in the juvenile facility, the book started to get more interesting and I couldn't let it go.

    I had issues with Devon. I couldn't believe she was that stupid to deny her pregnancy and I hated her attitude towards her lawyer who was only trying to help. It just seemed as Devon wanted to dig a hole deeper around herself and I almost wanted to give up on her for being this way. Yet as the story progressed, you see changes in her, and it's as if she started to "grow up". I started feeling sympathetic towards her, and eventually at the end, I noticed that I actually did like her. She got herself up and tackled her issues eventually leading to an ending which I really did not expect.

    I enjoyed reading this book. It was fast paced, and Devon's development as a character was excellent! it was interesting how your attitude towards her changes and I ended up applauding her. Although the story revolves around Devon, the plot is all right and she does meet other characters - however none really do stand out except for one named Karma (whom I thought Devon was going to punch in the face - if only she did). The relationship between Devon and her mom is mentioned and indeed interesting and you have to wonder if that may have anything to do with Devon's present situation.

    If you were to ask me what I didn't like this book (besides Devon's attitude in the beginning), I'm not sure. I suppose the plot could use a little more work. It does tend to run flat and dry at times and if you're used to books with a lot of characters, this one may take some time to get used to. There's not many as the story does revolve around Devon.

    Otherwise, it's a great book that tackles the issue of teen pregnancy. It was realistic, and straight to the point. It's a fast read so I advise to give this book a try. You'll see what I mean from hating Devon, to supporting and liking her in the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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