Friday, December 18, 2009

Why did Devon throw IT in the Garbage?

IT was her baby only a hour old!

Devon was a straight A high school student and a soccer goalie that was heading for the Olympics - but right now she is sitting on trial for attempted murder of an infant! Her infant!

One morning a dog walker opens a dumpster and opens a bag of garbage - one with newspapers, a chip bag, a juice can, bloody towels and a living newborn baby! The police start canvasing the neighborhood for answers. Devon's mother arrives home from her night shift job to find her daughter wrapped up in a blanket on the sofa staying home from school because she was feeling sick. Mom flirts with the cute police officer that comes knocking (the police want to know if Devon heard or saw anything since she was home all night and the baby was found earlier that morning in the dumpster behind her apartment building)and lets him in. When Devon stares blankly at the officer questioning her, Devon's mother tells her to stop being rude and rips off the blanket Devon is wearing. Devon is soaked in blood and promptly passes out.

Devon awakens as she arrives in the ER and can't figure out what is going on. Everything is hazy and bloody images of IT keep floating into her mind. The next thing Devon is in an orange prison jumpsuit in court for attempted murder and sent to juvenile detention to away further judgements.

Dom, a female defence attorney takes her case and starts to help Devon piece together what happened. Throughout the story, we hear Devon's memories of the last nine months.

Was she pregnant without knowing it?


Was she in denial of the pregnancy?


Did Devon knowingly cover up the pregnancy and purposely try to kill IT,the evidence?

This book is told through Devon's present situation with flashbacks of events that happened over the last nine months. The three questions above are the main reason for the story of AFTER. The reader is presented information through flashbacks, Dom's courtroom evidence and is presented Devon's emotional instability/confusion over her whole situation. The flashbacks cause the reader to try to also figure out what happened - did or did she not know she was pregnant? Did she knowingly hide the pregnancy from the world AND HERSELF? What about the extra hard soccer trainings to get rid of the stomach, use of stretch clothing, faked soccer injuries, and a misleading doctor's physical!?!

In 350 pages, AFTER by Amy Efaw, shows the the emotional confusion caused by an unplanned pregnancy that resulted from one sexual encounter during a quick summer romance. Throughout this book Devon is completely confused and at times so is the reader. There are only females in this storyline, males aren't really present in this book. I also think males would be turned off by this book's discussions and flashbacks about sanitary pads, bloody birthing, oozing breast milk and uterine cramping. This book would be better as a selected read than a mandatory read. The book could be used to discussed denial, mother/daughter hardships, teenage mothers, body changes in pregnancy, unplanned pregnancy, unwanted babies and dumpster babies.

I was turned off by the legal doings of Dom trying to get Devon out of her crime. Dom used the legal system to get the charges lessened and dismissed due to the way the police entered Devon's apartment. She was Devon's attorney so she was trying to get Devon's case dropped without holding Devon responsible for her actions of dumping the baby in the dumpster without remorse or concern for the baby.

I'm still deciding if I liked this book or not - there is a definite ending with moral so the reader isn't completely left hanging.

Here is a quick article and news report about a real dumpster baby and the psychological reasons as to why she might have done it:

Here is an article about the misused Nebraska child dumping issue:

Here is the website for safe surrender laws - the law allowing newborns to be giving up to prevent dumpster babies:

Unwanted baby stories that shock you into discussions in a classroom:

1 comment:

Safa said...

The fact of the matter is that Devon experienced something that some teenagers go through in high school. I believe the book is appropriate for 11th and 12th graders. This is the time where they are transitioning to the ending stages of teen yrs and approaching life from a different perspective. Although, if the book not that graphic in details with sex and the pregnacy it might be suitable for all ages of high school.