Last night I started and finished After by Amy Efaw. It's about the 10 or so days following the main character, Devon, after she gives birth in her bathroom without actually knowing she was pregnant before those moments. Devon was 15 or 16, I forget, and she was a star soccer player and student. After she gives birth, she puts the baby in a trash can, and though the baby is found, she is arrested for attempted murder and abandonment. One of the most important parts of the book is the trial to determine whether she will be tried as an adult or as a juvenile. I could tell that the author had to put a lot of research into the book and that she cared a lot about the topic to write such a sensitive account of a story that happens a lot more often that you would expect it to.
Most people wouldn't be able to fathom putting their own child out with the trash, but after reading this book, I can understand that Devon did not have a bond with the child because she didn't know she was pregnant and therefore didn't spend time loving the baby before it was born. Giving birth is painful as it it, but at least most people are expecting it and know they already love their child, Devon didn't have that and probably just wanted to get rid of the source of pain, which was the baby. The trial was very interesting, and I really liked Devon's lawyer. Her lawyer was smart and well-spoken and taught Devon to be strong throughout such a tough time. Devon's mom, on the other hand, disappeared after her daughter was arrested and didn't show up til the night before the hearing.
I liked following Devon's emotional journey, and though we are left not knowing about her actual trial or sentence, it is nice to know that the judge thought she could be rehabilitated and had potential to give back to the world by keeping her in the juvenile system.
I'm now starting After the Moment by Garret Freymann-Weyr. I think it is supposed to be about young love and how sometimes it doesn't work out how you want it to. I'll let ya know.