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3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  16,176 Ratings  ·  1,734 Reviews
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.
Hardcover, 350 pages
Published August 11th 2009 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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Community Reviews

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Mar 27, 2010 laaaaames rated it did not like it
I have so many problems with this book.

1. I always deem it slightly unfair of me to say a book should have been written in a different way, since that's not my job as a reader to decide. HOWEVER. The juvenile detention/courtroom procedures were hardly the most intriguing part of this story to me, and yet that's the majority of what we got. If I wanted that I'd just watch Law & Order: Special Victims Unit which at least has theatre actors in guest-starring roles and bizarro plotlines that mak
Steph (Reviewer X)
Apr 25, 2009 Steph (Reviewer X) rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Steph by: Plugged into Reading

(The publisher asked for a review to be posted around the pub date, which is in August, which means I won't get around to it for a while. But here you have a bit of a preview!)

It's about this girl, Devon, who dumps her baby in the trash. She's fifteen. The book opens with her mom coming home from her bartending job and Devon lying in the couch almost unconscious. Her mom's kind of flaky, so she doesn't even notice how sick Devon is, just
The first thing I feel the need to address would be my eyes’ constant state of “watering” while reading this book.
I don’t know if it’s the time of year? Do I have a cold or something? It seemed like every time I’d pick this up, my eyes would start over-moisturizing and I’d be blinking in a constant, mighty effort to keep the page from swimming into an unreadable blur.


What else could it have been but a cold? I don’t cry easily. No.

And yet, there I was, at the end of chapter 4, curled up on the
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Karin Librarian for

Devon is a young, athletic girl with a bright future as a soccer player. The Olympics have even been linked to her name. How could a girl like this end up doing something as horrible as throwing a newborn baby in the trash along with other refuse from around the house?

While canvasing the apartment building looking for information about the abandoned baby, a police officer finds his way to Devon's door. Her mother, recently home from a night shift a
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
 Kendall [Kenny]
Mar 03, 2016 Kendall [Kenny] rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone Who Can Stand It
Shelves: favourites
This book taught me a lot of things about the way people work. It taught me about how denial can be so strong that the lies become the truth. It taught me that no matter what you say or do, they all have consequences. I learned that it's not only the so-called 'bad people' who do these types of things, but the perfectly 'normal' and average people. That anyone can fall and that it's important to get back up again. It taught me that panic is fear and vice versa. It taught me that trust in onesel ...more
Savannah (Books With Bite)
Mar 21, 2012 Savannah (Books With Bite) rated it it was amazing
We see these stories all the time but we never really get to know the girl. I know whenever I read stories like these in the paper I think," How cruel! How can someone do such a thing?" After reading this book, I am glad that I got a good insight on what goes on in the minds of these young women who dump their baby in the trash, I don't know who they are, and what they are thinking.

As the reader, we really see into Devon's mind and how she went through things, I felt for her because of her probl
Jul 17, 2013 Jessica rated it it was amazing

This is one of those "ripped from the headlines" topics that you simultaneously don't want to hear about and yet cannot look away from: A teenage girl gives birth alone, then throws the baby in the trash and tries to pretend nothing happened. I was fascinated by one of these cases a few years ago because it happened in Delaware only a couple of miles from where we lived, and I noticed that Efaw cited that same case as being one of her inspirations as well. The strange thing is that it
Aug 31, 2009 Genevieve rated it did not like it

As a big fan of YA lit, I was intrigued by the premise of this novel and then horribly disappointed in the execution. It read like an episode of Law and Order: SVU- all of the legalese with none of the emotional exploration that I expect in well-written young adult novels. As much as I wanted Devon to be a compelling character, her lack of self-awareness made her extremely hard to like, although she is a character that inspires excessive pity. Clearly, this was a teen in deep need of psychiatric
Oct 20, 2010 Kristy rated it really liked it
Props to Amy Efaw. This author made me root for a girl who dumped her baby in a trash bag and feel empathy toward her. Before reading this, I would have said "send her to jail, try her as an adult, who cares about her!" But after reading it, I care about the girl. This author did her job. She made me feel exactly what she wanted me to.

Enter Devon: above-average, smart, atelethic, goal-oriented 15 year old girl. Everything is going for her unitl one day while babysitting she meets a guy. They en
Rebecca McNutt
After reminded me very much of the episode of Cold Case titled 'Family' - same sort of plot and character types. It was gripping, sad, honest and very well-written.
Dec 23, 2013 Karli rated it it was amazing
I was so sure this book was going to be bad. It dealt with such a difficult subject and took such a challenging approach that I just couldn't help but expect it to fail.

But then it didn't. And then it left me shaken and thoroughly stirred.

I started reading this book at a very random and, I confess, inopportune moment: exactly midnight. See, I couldn't sleep that night. So usually when that happens I pick out a potentially boring or bad book, read a few chapters and generally that makes me go r
Nov 28, 2011 Annemarie rated it liked it
Shelves: maybe-read
Im definetly going to be judgemental on the contents of this book, like the author said at the end how she can't fathom what desperation would lead a woman to throw away her baby? Efaw failed for me to feel any sympathy towards Devon, the constant pointing out how smart she was, AP honor roll, leader of her soccer team. Not sexually active, just a 1x thing and she was so disgusted she'd be like her mother that she denied being pregnant? What about school? She was 5'8 slim, athletic!! Come on! Sh ...more
Sandra Alonzo
May 14, 2010 Sandra Alonzo rated it it was amazing
I loved the writing in this book. I was able to connect with the characters, which is something I've had difficulty doing in recent reads. Great subject matter (teenage pregnancy) handled in a most appropriate and empathetic manner by Amy Efaw. A few reviews I've read have had issues with AFTER's ending, and without creating a spoiler, let me say that I did not find it to be weird or out of line at all. Devon, the m.c., needs to show character growth, not an easy thing to do when you've wrapped ...more
Sep 06, 2009 Hannah rated it it was ok
Stopped about fifty pages from the end when I just got too bored. Little, if any, character development, irritating pacing, and extremely repetitive storytelling. Two stars because I see the effort the author made, I just think she may need a lesson in subtlety. Devon is a soccer player, we know, and we don't need two soccer metaphors a page to remind us it's important to her. Her issues with her mother would have been much more poignant if they weren't so heavy-handed. This premise made it vita ...more
According to the description of this book, the reader is supposed to empathize with Devon and look at her story in a sympathetic light. I'm sorry, but that didn't happen.

My major problem with this book is that Devon spent most of it in denial. She can't admit to herself that she's pregnant and throws the baby into a trash can. When people try to help her, she is either unresponsive or uncooperative. She thinks she's better than all the others at juvie because she didn't really do anything wrong
Feb 16, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an extremely hard book to listen to. It had nothing to do with the author's writing or the narrator. Both are wonderful, but the actual story itself is one of those stories that makes you squirm a little and question everything. There were often times that I just needed to turn it off and listen to some bubble gum pop just to wipe my mind of this story. The whole time I listened to this book my head raged with different opinions. They changed so often during the story that I'm still not ...more
Dec 16, 2009 Ashleigh rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
Another disappointment, courtesy of NPR. I have got to stop choosing books based on NPR reviews.

I was attracted to the concept of this YA novel. The author takes the idea of a baby found in a trashcan and the inevitable question, "how could someone do this?" She traces the answer back to a root of extreme denial. In this case, a teen girl (Devon) was in such denial about the fact that she'd had sex that she couldn't even allow the possibility of pregnancy to enter her mind. When a baby suddenly
Feb 10, 2013 Angie rated it really liked it
Social media has given people the ability to share their opinions about news stories. Whenever I read the comments under the stories, I find without fail harsh ethical judgments by other people. No one ever tries to get into the mind of a person who would do something like this. But people like me, people who have lived lives unbearably full of silent suffering, look around the world almost dissociated, apart from it, amazed that no one around us notices the struggle inside.
You tell yourself wha
Jan 20, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
At 15, Devon Sky Davenport was a high school soccer star, she volunteered with youth soccer and held one-on-one training sessions with young players, she worked as a babysitter, and she maintained top grades and took honors classes. She also hid an unwanted pregnancy, gave birth in her bathroom, and threw the baby away in a garbage bag that she put in the trash can behind her apartment. The baby was found alive and Devon was found, barely conscious, bleeding on her living room couch by the polic ...more
Oct 02, 2009 Karen rated it liked it
After tells the tale of a teenage girl jailed after dumping her baby in a trash can. Deep in denial, soccer star, Devon, can barely even admit that she was pregnant at all. She refers to the baby as IT (a tactic that grows a little old throughout the course of the novel) and wants to know when she can go home. Charged with attempted murder, Devon enters the juvenile court system while her attorney fights to keep her client from being prosecuted as an adult.

An interesting topic, ripped from the
May 05, 2010 Devon rated it it was ok
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I rated it a little higher because I was in between like and really like so I gave it the benefit because I did get into it. I don't consider this a "omg I can't put down" book but I was intrigued by it and wanted to see what would happen. The writing style is enjoyable, I loved the flashbacks that were involved that's what kept me entertained. Anyways, I would suggest this book for nice relaxful days or an airplane trip or whatever.

Its about a 15 year old girl w
Apr 23, 2016 Monica rated it it was amazing
Such a wonderful & moving story! Great realistic fiction for young adults, and everyone.
Jul 06, 2015 Darnia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 09, 2011 Mery rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gift, punya
Devon Sky Davenport, 15 tahun adalah siswi teladan dan bintang sepak bola berbakat. Dia dikenal sebagai pribadi yang baik, tenang, dan dewasa. Namun suatu pagi, semuanya berubah. Di sebuah tong sampah dekat apartemen Devon, ditemukan seorang bayi baru lahir yang diikat dalam kantong plastik hitam. Bayi itu masih berlumuran darah dan masih hidup. Polisi yang menyelidiki kasus tersebut mendapati Devon membolos sekolah dan demam. Dan segera setelah melihat keadaan Devon yang juga berlumuran darah, ...more
Alma Bucio
Nov 28, 2011 Alma Bucio rated it it was amazing
One morning some policeman’s found an infant in the trash can. They go to each apartment that is near that trash can looking for anything suspicious. In an apartment there was a girl named Devon that stayed from school sick, she told her mom. The policeman’s had knocked on Devon's door and her mom had answered it. They came in and asked Devon some questions but she wasn’t feeling well to understand what they were asking her. Her mom had pulled the blanket that was over Devon so she can show res ...more
Jul 11, 2011 Lake rated it did not like it
What was this even? I waited the entire book for something of substance to happened and then it fizzed at the end. It felt like the author hadn't known whether or not she would finish this story and then decided after meandering that she would end it abruptly, without warning. There was no connection(or lazy connection) that would justify the main character's decision. Too much time was spent in Devon's head, getting her to remember and not enough time establishing her as a person who would do w ...more
Paula  Phillips
Mar 07, 2016 Paula Phillips rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 15, 2009 Karlan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
After the tragic discovery of a newborn infant in the trash, 15 year old Devon recalls what happened. The author skillfully makes the reader understand how an intelligent, athletic young woman could delude herself and try to continue her normal high school life during pregnancy. The novel is a page turner out of the sad headlines of our time.
Tina [Tina The Bookworm]
In October I was in the worst reading slump ever so I decided to get away from all ARCs and read something that would regain my interest in writing so I started browsing the library ebook selection and came across After. The first thing I noticed was the cover, the reflection shows a baby bump and the other doesn’t. I thought well this should be interesting.

Then I read the synopsis and I was really interested. A book about a girl who hid her pregnancy and than threw out her baby? That is unlike
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Honors English II...: Book 4 Lee 1 2 Mar 14, 2016 06:45AM  
The ending 16 152 Jul 28, 2015 06:11PM  
After 9 73 Aug 22, 2013 10:44AM  
Character Education 3 29 Jul 08, 2013 06:47PM  
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“She can paint a pretty picture but this story has a twist. The paintbrush is a razor and the canvas is her wrist.” 301 likes
“In case you didn't know, dead people don't bleed. If you can bleed-see it, feel it-then you know you're alive. It's irrefutable, undeniable proof. Sometimes I just need a little reminder.” 273 likes
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