After by Amy Efaw (audio review and giveaway)

How could this happen?  Who would do such a thing?  These are the questions that surround the new-born baby that was found tied in a trash bag in the dumpster. 

This certainly could not be Devon Davenport, a straight A student, exceptional athlete, and girl with a plan.  Yet, when the police find Devon she is bleeding heavily, and when rushed to the emergency room it is confirmed that she has just given birth.  Soon Devon finds her self thrown into a Juvenal criminal facility and being charged with attempted murder.  As police and lawyers talk to her, tell her she must tell the truth… Devon has to admit that she doesn’t remember what happened.

Is Devon in fact dealing with such trauma that she truly can not recall what happened… or is this just a brilliant ploy to get off the hook…

I listened to this audio because I had heard raves about the book.  The subject matter interested me…. a baby left in a dumpster…. a teen so distraught, she does not even realize for most of the book that the baby is hers.

I know many people loved this book, but I have to say I was not one of them.  As well written as this book was, it didn’t hold true for me.  I could not believe that a girl like Devin, described as a straight “A” student, obviously intelligent, and strong-minded – had no idea she was pregnant.  I know that the power of the mind can be strong, but the physical changes to her body…

And if that is worth arguing about by those who loved the book, and feel that it is possible to put yourself into such a state of denial…. then I will add this…

The fact that Devin refers to the baby throughout the whole book as “it”….. drove me nuts! 

Maybe it was the audio version but Devin just was not engaged in what she had done, even as she began to remember she still did not seem to connect that the baby was a human life…. I don’t know… I am still a little frustrated about it.

I enjoyed the part with Devin in the correctional institute.  I liked the correspondence between the girls, this is where the book excels.  Amy Efaw really captures the things that the girls are dealing with and how they defend themselves from society.  Its sad, really.

I think that in the end, no matter what Devin’s circumstances (I wont even go into my thoughts about the mother) were a major concern and the audio made me angry more than anything.  The ending is all a little too neat…. and as the final words were said… I was left with a feeling of “huh?”

If you would like to give this audio a try – leave a comment here letting me know… I will have a drawing later this week … and offer it up to someone.


The 2011 Where Are You Reading Map has been updated to include After

I purchased this audio from Amazon

38 thoughts on “After by Amy Efaw (audio review and giveaway)

  1. I’ve seen a few posts on this book, and think it would be so much better hearing it on audio than it would be reading it. Would love the chance to win it!

    1. I thought so too Vicki but the book reviews for the most part rave about this book. I cant figure out why I didnt other than the tone set by the audio did not leave me with the same over all perception as the book… its interesting to think about… 😀

  2. This story line reminds me so much of another written by Jodi Picoult called Plain Truth. In Jodi’s novel, the story is that of an Amish girl who gives birth in the family barn, returns to her house and is seemingly unaware that it even happened. But when the body of a dead newborn is found, the girl finds herself in court and her lawyer a resident in their family home, learning the life of the Amish. It was well-written with a unique surprise ending. You might actually like this one Sheila.

  3. This reminded me of Plain Truth too from the description. I was able to believe that the girl did not know she was pregnant in that one. I would be interested in giving this one a try.

  4. I have seen and read this storyline in other books (and seen a movie like this on Lifetime).

    It doesn’t sound like a book I’d like…especially not in audio. Sorry, Sheila, but I still have no desire to “listen” to books.

  5. I have to admit this is one of my favorites from 2009. I really enjoyed and felt it was believable, but I guess I live in an area where stuff like this has happened more than once, and the kids really didn’t know they were pregnant. :/

  6. I really liked this book, but I think I would have had a hard time believing it had I not watched so many episodes of the documentary show “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” on the Discovery Health channel. It is absolutely amazing to me how many people out there make it through an entire pregnancy without a clue (and without anyone around them knowing either). The even more impressive thing is that many of these people are not obese (which is what I would have assumed prior to watching the show). I’m truly fascinated by stories of people who don’t know they’re pregnant throughout pregnancy though, so that may have been part of the reason I liked the story so much. I agree that the part in the correctional institute was powerful.

    1. I seen your review on Good Reads too Alyce (you and Amanda’s) and was surprised that I did not feel the way as you both did….

      I have not seen (or heard) of the show I didnt Know I Was Pregnant… I am truly in small town Minnesota 😀

  7. I really liked this book and it has been very popular in my classroom, but I came away with a different view. I think Devon knew full well she was pregnant the entire time and just ignored it as opposed to being in denial and blocking it out. I think what she was in denial about was her totally inhuman response to the baby. I also agree with your point that Devon was completely detached throughout the whole story. I would have liked to have seen her show some interest in what happened to her baby. I have had students who hid their pregnancies until they went into labor (one during gym class!) and I thought this book helped to explain how something like that can happen. Luckily none of the instances I have seen turned out so horribly.

  8. What’s interesting to me, is there was a case similar to that here. A young woman was at the circus with her child and her parents and gave birth in a bathroom at the civic center. When the baby was found and it was discovered that she was the mother, she claimed she didn’t remember giving birth. People were shocked because she was such an upstanding citizen.

  9. You are right it is hard to believe that she could not remember giving birth! And well calling her own baby ‘it’ sounds very frustrating to me too. I do not think this one would work for me but then I read Kathy’s comment above and now that means that this could have happened. 😦

    1. Right Veens, The “it” just rubbed me wrong, I may have been able to accept the rest if she could have referred to her child as the little girl that she was… there is actually a pretty horrible bathroom scene in that book that tore at me too…..

  10. I just finished the last audio book I was listening to, so I need a new one. This sounds like a powerful, gripping, emotional story.

  11. I Sheila – This sounds more interesting than I originally thought. Although I am not crazy about “huh?” endings I would like to listen to it. Please include me in for the drawing. Thanks.

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