Saturday, January 15, 2011

BR: After

by Amy Efaw

It's part of the Penguin's POV 'series', and see this picture, so I picked it up when I saw it. Dear pubs: I love cheap paperbacks, thanks ;)


An infant left in the trash to die. A teenage mother who never knew she was pregnant . . .

Before That Morning, these were the words most often used to describe straight-A student and star soccer player Devon Davenport: responsible, hardworking, mature. But all that changes when the police find Devon home sick from school as they investigate the case of an abandoned baby. Soon the connection is made—Devon has just given birth; the baby in the trash is hers. After That Morning, there’s only one way to define Devon: attempted murderer.

And yet gifted author Amy Efaw does the impossible— she turns Devon into an empathetic character, a girl who was in such deep denial that she refused to believe she was pregnant. Through airtight writing and fast-paced, gripping storytelling, Ms. Efaw takes the reader on Devon’s unforgettable journey toward clarity, acceptance, and redemption.

My Expectations: High, its with some pretty amazing company! I thought everything would be really interesting.

Delivery: Not that good...

Put-down-ability: 7/10

My Thoughts

I was disappointed by this novel, After tries to delve into the psychological aspect of Devon's mind but it comes up short on several fronts. Immediately from the beginning, I couldn't connect with Devon, and I think this was due to the third person POV. I think this novel would have had so much more potential had I been in Devon's head, especially since a lot of this novel is focused on her state of mind. It would have been fascinating to read about her denial from her own POV.

The characters were okay for me, I was interested and, yes, I actually sympathized with Devon, but none of the other characters caught my attention. I didn't care about, and probably won't be remember any of the other girls in the detention facility, Devon's mom, lawyer or friends...

The plot is where I felt the novel really took a dip, I did really enjoy the beginning with the discovery of the dumpster baby and Devon's arrest. I felt the immediacy and urgent-ness of the various actions, the vulnerability of the characters and the Devon's spinning emotions. The plot lulled in the middle, and when everything kind of settled down and approached the trial... well it just turned into a John Grisham novel. If I want to read a John Grisham novel, I will read one.

I have read a lot of those lawyer books, and this one felt no different, it felt as if Efaw tried to hard to make the trial interesting and CSI-like that she lost sight of what it really should have been about: Devon. Character development took a hit in the last 100 or so pages, we have about 90 pages trial, 10 pages character development. I'm not saying there was no Devon-news, but I felt there definitely could have been more. My disconnect from the novel is reflected in the fact that I went ahead and read the last couple pages, which is something I haven't done in a ridiculously long time. Hmm.

Rating HP Terms: Poor/Acceptable
Recommended for: Hmm... contemp fans, book clubs because it will definitely bring discussion...
Acknowledgments: Ooh, I really liked this one, 4/5

7/10 - (see rating system) because it wasn't my favourite book. Characters didn't grab my interest, I was never emotionally invested in the plot and while the trial stuff in the last third was entertaining, I felt much of it was unnecessary. I feel a story like this has so much potential but this one didn't impress me as much as I would have hoped.

source: bought
author website


  1. Aw it sucks that it wasn't that good. I've been seeing this so many times and been wanting to read it, but I might skip it now. Thanks for the honest review.

  2. Mm, that's always the thing with third person. It's hard to make a connection...First person is what I prefer. Thanks for your review, Audrey. I'll have to see this one for myself :)

  3. Aww, the fact that it's in third-person really makes me sad. Don't you see how great it could have been in first, author?! Oh well. I probably won't read it anyway.

  4. Good honest review! I definitely skipping this one. I need characters I care about and sounds like this book doesn't have it. It sucks when a book is a disappoint.

  5. I'm sorry you didn't like the book much. It's funny because I enjoyed this book a lot but well, we have different preferences. Great review though!

    If you're interested, you can find my review here.

    Brush Up On Your Reading


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