review: “after” October 16, 2009Posted by Katie in reviews.
Tags: social issues
After by Amy Efaw.
Viking Juvenile // Hardcover // 350 pages.
Reviewed from purchased copy.
Devon Davenport doesn’t understand what’s happened to her life. After staying home one morning, she finds herself being questioned by the police and arrested. They keep throwing around the phrase “baby in a dumpster.” Devon’s time now is spent between lockup in her cell, the juvenile detention center’s school, and meetings with her lawyer. But while understands what is happening after, she doesn’t understand what happened before…before the baby.
Wow. It was even intense for me to write the summary of this review. It’s an intense book to read. This was the kind of book where after I finished reading it, I had to give it some space before I could pick up another book.
Devon is a hard character to like, and a hard character to relate to. But, she’s easy to care about. I cared very much about what was happening to her and I wanted to find out how her life would be affected by her decisions. I didn’t have trouble believing her though. I did believe that she didn’t know, that she didn’t realize what had happened.
Some of the supporting characters just shine in this novel. Devon’s lawyer, Dom, in particular almost outshadowed Devon at times. I absolutely adored her, the way that she handled Devon’s case, and all of her scenes. As for other characters, we really don’t see much of Devon’s mom…but what we do see of it really frustrating me. I wanted so much more for Devon. And I had some problems with characters being a tad bit stereotypical, particularly the girls that are in the juvenile detention center.
It’s hard to comment on the plot, because of the subject matter. And I don’t want to spoil anyone. But everything makes sense within the context of the novel.
An engrossing read, highly recommended to teens who like issue novels.