Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Customer Review - After

by Amy Efaw [j Efaw or YA PB Efaw]

After by Amy Efaw is a disturbing story which deals with the phenomenon of "dumpster babies". It has the feel of an uneven musical composition. Sometimes the style turned me off. Other times, the character portrayal felt wrong. And, once in a while, the plot felt overloaded. Yet within the bulk of its pages is a story that I enjoyed. I'll get back to the parts I enjoyed later, but first let me address the style. The first several chapters with their rapid-fire sentences felt like the incessant tap-tap-tap of a staccato beat. Interspersed within those chapters were occasional scenes of frenzy, as if the composer were stumbling over notes in a panicked attempt to find the right rhythm. However, just when I felt ready to walk away, the melody evened out. From that moment forward, despite the occasional wrong note, the composition was pleasant. Efaw picked a challenging character in Devon Davenport. On the one hand, Devon is a teenage girl who vowed to never become her mom. She intended to first attend college and to establish a career. Then and only then would she allow herself to date, get married, have sex, and become a mom. But then Devon has a vulnerable moment. Allows herself to fall in love. And have sex. On the other hand, Devon is a young woman who denies even to herself that she has gotten pregnant and has given birth to a baby, and so she dumps her child. No matter how one frames it, Devon will be a tough character to understand. When Devon finally started showing herself as vulnerable, After became extremely moving and Efaw gave me many reasons to feel sympathy. She works hard to become a model prisoner. She builds new relationships. And she begins to search her soul for the truth of who she really is and wants to be. For these reasons, I ended up liking After. -- review submitted by Allison H.-F. - a customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

New Customer Reviews appear regularly in the pages of the BookGuide web site, particularly during the Summer Reading Program. You can visit the Customer Reviews page to see them all and/or submit your own, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually as we receive them.

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