Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Little Lit: After by Amy Efaw

Devon Davenport was driven to succeed. She played soccer every spare moment, excelled in school, and vowed that she would never be like her mother. Then The Night happens and now Devon's in jail facing charges after her baby is found in the garbage outside her apartment.What could have brought her to this point? And can she face what happened or will she end up forfeiting her future as well?

What I Liked:

  • I found myself confused at the beginning, but Efaw crafts the story that way very intentionally. As Devon deals with what happened and slowly comes to remember and work through the events that led her to this point, we learn it along with her and I found it an effective way of drawing our sympathy to Devon's point of view.
  • I was nervous for the ending, but Efaw ends it on a perfect note, especially for Devon's personal journey.
What I Would Have Liked:
  • Just a little less chaos in the narration. I did like the way the writing echoed Devon's internal struggle, but there were a few times that it was just a little too scattered or confusing for me. Not much, just a bit.
  • More of Devon's mother. I understand why it played out the way it did, but she kind of ended up feeling superfluous. Which might have been intentional, but she was in it just little enough to make me feel a little frustrated.
  • This was a really tough topic to deal with and Efaw does a really great job of exploring the reasons behind one imaginary, but realistic, instance of attempted infanticide. It could easily have gotten too dark or too glib, but Efaw merely unfolds Devon's perspective and thoughts and allows the readers to draw their own conclusions.
  • People who like YA fiction that deals with gritty, serious issues should enjoy this.

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