I actually read this a while ago and drafted the review, so sorry if it's a bit on the shorter side.
Summary (as seen on Goodreads):
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.
After by Amy Efaw
- The research that went into this novel. It’s very obvious that the author took a long time researching the court system, that she has knowledge of pregnancy from her own personal life, and wrote Devon into a three-dimensional character.
- The details in the novel. From the colors to size and shapes, especially most people descriptions, the details really helped with immersing readers into the story.
- The supporting characters. Each of them seemed like realistic people, even though the story wasn’t from their points of view, and they are well developed.
- The rawness of some of the things mentioned in the story. The shock for Devon as she adjusts to Remann Hall and everything following her pregnancy add to realism, and are a brave choice of details that I applaud.
- Not every story has to wrap up every loose end. In a way, it was nice that some things weren’t wrapped up, but at the same time it felt like there were too many open-ended stories left behind, which is both good and bad.
- Devon and Karma’s relationship. It would’ve been nice if Devon had the opportunity to tell Karma that she really didn’t have a perfect life. Perhaps there wasn’t really a place for it in the story, but this would’ve been a nice end to wrap up, at least just a little more.
- In many respects, Devon is a mature teenager who has had a very difficult life, yet the way she reacts is a little more juvenile than expected. Her refusal to cooperate and vehement denial are important to the story, and although the author writes very well, this reader is still not quite convinced that this is a truly realistic way to behave in such a situation.
- Devon’s mom. While she did care for Devon when she was young, she is too obviously dislikable with not enough redeeming qualities.
Overall, this is the kind of novel I would read again to do research on jail, the juvenile system, legal issues, and as a mostly good example of realism. For this one, I'll give 4 jellyfish.
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