Friday, August 12, 2011

Review: After

By Amy Efaw, audiobook read by Rebecca Soler
Published 2009 by Penguin Group

A newborn abandoned in a trash can, a teenage girl bleeding on a could a smart and upstanding young girl like Devon do something like this?

I'm a little confused. All the other reviews I've read of this book have said that Efaw manages to create an empathetic portrait of a young girl so distraught by her situation that she convinces herself it doesn't exist. I don't get that impression at all. In fact, I found all of the characters in this book terrible. They were all obnoxious and difficult to relate to. However, this book is gripping. The opening chapter immediately sucks you in and you want to know how this story will play out. While Efaw does construct the reasons why Devon ultimately reacted the way she did, to me, it doesn't seem to be enough. There were so many opportunities for Devon to reach out to someone, and so many people whom she could have chosen that I find it hard to believe she was deep enough in denial to not realize what was happening. The book is good - compelling and well-done, especially with a sensitive topic - but the characters are a big flaw for me.

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