Review: After by Amy Efaw

book_coverIt’s the sign of a truly gifted author when you find yourself rooting for the perpetrator, pulling for the criminal, hoping against hope that things will work out in their favor. That’s exactly what Amy Efaw was able to accomplish with this haunting story.

Up until “that moment”, fifteen-year-old Devon has been able to rise above her difficult childhood. She’s a straight-A student and a star player on her school soccer team. She’s responsible, independent, reliable, and in control. Although her home life may be lacking, she’s determined to make it. Then she messes up. One night’s carelessness leads to a pregnancy, and then there’s a baby abandoned in a dumpster. Does Devon truly not remember what happened or is it all an act?

This was a difficult book to read while at the same time being impossible to put down. It’s a who-done-it of sorts, a legal thriller, a young adult story that could easily have been taken from today’s headlines. I won’t ruin the story for you by telling you the outcome. I’ll just strongly suggest that you grab this one and decide for yourself.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:After

Review: If I Stay, by Gayle Forman

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Summary:

On a day that started like any other,

Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, admiring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. In an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left. It is the most important decision she’ll ever make.

Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting, and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.

 

This is my second time reading this. I’ve been seeing all the still shots, from the movie, on Gayle Forman’s FB page and it got me in the mood to reread it. Since I’m a fast reader, I tend to read a lot and therefore forget a lot. I remembered bits and pieces, but as I saw the pictures I realized I was missing bigger pieces. So I bit the bullet, grabbed a box of tissues and my kindle and settled down for an emotional ride.

Let me tell you, this book caught me off guard. I knew what it was about, but I wasn’t prepared for how the scenes would play out and how they would affect me. These kind of books are why I’m always buy tissues by the case and why I get so excited when I find someone who enjoys reading. The release I get, from these crazy crying books, leave me feeling content.

18 yr old Mia thought her hardest decision was following her musical heart and going to Julliard or following her love heart and staying with her family and the love of her life. Never did she realize how simple those choices would be. Now an accident has taken everything away from her and she is now caught in between and she’s trying to decide to stay or go. She spends her time watching as her family and friends grieve and hold vigil for her, and remembering the past and how it’s shaped her and gives her the ability to make this decision.

As her dad would say, “Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make me.” She struggled with knowing that if she stays, her life would never be the same. But leaving just doesn’t feel right either.

Seeing her past memories and how they shaped her, makes her decision even harder. But the music part of her, tugged on my heart. I found myself listening to Yo-Yo Ma and feeling all those emotions with her.

But I really loved seeing her with her rock star boyfriend, Adam. The shy and awkward phase was so sweet. Watching them, grow to love each other, made me smile. When we sees her, lying battered and bruised, in the hospital bed, tears were pouring out of my eyes. I had to set my kindle down, cuz I couldn’t see past my tears.

“Please Mia,” he implores. “Don’t make me write a song.”

My heart was breaking every time someone came and spoke to her. They were trying to help her make her choice. But truly, how could you choose??

“Dying is easy. Living is hard.”

Here is the movie trailer. I am super excited for this!! I get chills just watching it.

~Melpomene

Buy it now If I Stay