Today is release day for Amy Efaw's new teen novel After and I am wholeheartedly encouraging you all to go out and grab this one. A tough subject does not even begin to describe what the reader is getting into, but the writing and the emotion are incredible, the main character a realistic portrayal of a teen girl, and the plot completely riveting.
Devon is an overachieving high school sophomore, a star soccer player with an amazing GPA, and a whole lot going for her. Until she secretly gives birth and puts her baby in a trash can. Though initially shocking, Efaw manages to give the reader a glimpse into just what Devon went through during an unplanned pregnancy, birth, and ultimate arrest and placement in a juvenile facility and empathize with her. A good, straight-laced kid put in a jail system for an absolutely unthinkable crime is typically not a subject to evoke sympathy, but Devon could have been me when I was a sophomore. She could have been my best friend. And I think teens will get a lot out of her story.
Completely realistic, from the description of Devon before getting pregnancy right down to the courtroom scenes, it is obvious that author Efaw did her research and is rewarded with what will prove to be a very popular novel. Not an easy read by any means, but certainly one you won't be able to put down.
Efaw also includes an author's note at the end of the story, letting us in on what inspired her to write After and some statistics on how often this occurs.
Abby is giving away two copies of this book! Head on over to her site to enter :)
Thanks again to Abby for her ARC!