No one expected this from Devon, a straight-A soccer player destined for Division-I sports glory. And you could say that Devon didn't expect it either.
But now she's in juvenile hall, awaiting a judge's decision on whether or not she will be tried as a juvenile or as an adult for attempted murder and other charges, for putting her newborn baby in the dumpster behind her apartment.
Amy Efaw's compelling second novel, After, is the kind of book you can't put down, no matter how much some aspects of it disturb you. Was Devon aware that she was pregnant before giving birth? How could she not have been? Was she a manipulative liar, covering up her pregnancy, which went undetected by her mother, friends, classmates, everyone? The complexities of the story shed light on something most only know as a statistic and helped me, at least, see the issue from other angles. Devon is an utterly authentic character and reading the book, I completely felt sucked into her story, in such a way that I found the book really challenging to read at some points. By the end, I was relieved I had finished, if only to get on with my way less complicated life.
RIYL: harrowing tales, problem novels like Go Ask Alice, gritty stories about problems that real people face every day