Friday, February 15, 2013
Devon's world is flung upside down when she is sent to a juvenile detention facility to await trial. Her biggest charge: attempted murder. Devon struggles to find her place in the group of girls in the detention facility, and tries to piece together the events that got her there: the boy, the sex, That Night. Meanwhile, her attorney, Dom, works to prove to a skeptical court that it is possible for Devon to have never known she was pregnant, and that she never meant for this outcome. But is that really the case?
After by Amy Efaw is an incredibly powerful read that had me clinging to every word on the page. I was reminded of Jodi Picoult, the way that she wove flashbacks into the present narrative, and the court scenes were strong and engaging, not at all boring or dry. Efaw really succeeded in creating visceral moments that were hard to read, but I couldn't pull away from them. Devon's present-tense first person narrative really jerked me into her most intense moments. As a reader, I was forced to feel Devon's intense pain, to see the gruesomeness of That Night, and feel the intense confusion of denial and the search for personal truth. More than once, I wanted to jump into the pages of the book to be there for Devon. She's a girl that really needed a hug.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It shook me to the core and was one of the most 'real' books I can remember reading in recent times. I think Amy Efaw really put a lot of faith into the maturity of her younger audience to tackle this book, which is admirable on it's own. After is not watered down, and is a very real life look into a very real life scenario.
What are some intense books you've read? Were you sad or relieved they were over?