After
by Efaw, Amy






In complete denial that she is pregnant, straight-A student and star athlete Devon Davenport leaves her baby in the trash to die, and after the baby is discovered, Devon is accused of attempted murder.





Amy Efaw (www.amyefaw.com) is a former Army officer and freelance journalist. She lives with her family in Denver, Colorado. This is her second novel.





Efaw assigns herself a seemingly impossible task-creating sympathy for a teen mother who tosses her newborn baby into a trash bin-yet somehow pulls it off in this successful button pusher. Devon is a sophomore soccer star charged with the unsavory crime, and the story picks up with the police doing a routine search for clues and finding Devon covered with blood. But it's not from a really bloody period, as she claims, and soon she is plunged into a juvenile holding system while her lawyer, the take-charge Dominique, tries to draw out information in an attempt to avoid an attempted murder charge in adult court. Devon has blocked out most of the event, and her continued denial provides gradual elucidation into how she could have disavowed her entire pregnancy. Efaw's depiction of the actual birth comes in bits and pieces, and is rightfully disturbing. The pace mires somewhat in the drawn-out legal proceedings, but there's no doubt that Efaw humanizes Devon-an effort that will repel or enlighten readers, depending on their individual predilections. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.





Devon, a perfect student and soccer star, can't explain how she didn't know about her pregnancy or how she could put IT, bloody and wailing, in a trash bag and carry IT out to a dumpster. Efaw captures Devon's mortification, denial and despair, shifting fluidly between her present experiences in a juvenile jail and the terrifying night a baby inexplicably arrived. As her no-nonsense lawyer pushes for answers, readers experience gripping flashbacks alongside Devon. Mounting tension culminates only when Devon finally faces her entire, horrific act. The author constructs powerful, pressurized scenes inside the girls' detention center as well, filling it with believable, disturbing characters, rigid rules and the metallic echoes of lock-downs. Authentic dialogue and pithy writing allow teens to feel every prick of panic, embarrassment and fear. They also quickly understand how Devon could delude herself for so long: No one would want to emulate Devon's mother, a salacious, brassy man-hunter who got knocked up as a teen. Young adults with smoldering parental resentment or with fixations on perfection will understand Devon's devastation at losing a cultivated future. (Fiction. 12 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.






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