Age Level: Young Adult
Publication: August 2009
My Summary: A newborn baby, nearly dead but miraculously still alive, is found in the trash outside of an apartment complex. During the police investigation door to door search at the complex, 15 year old Devon, straight-A student and high school soccer star, is found unresponsive under a blanket, covered in blood. She is promptly taken away, first to the hospital, then to a juvenile detention facility where she is now being charged for attempted murder. Here, she lives with other juvenile inmates, in a sort of daze, and wonders how in the world she ended up in such a place… especially since her denial led her to believe she never knew she was pregnant in the first place.
My Thoughts: Wow, wow, WOW! This book had me hooked from the very first page and as I delved deeper and deeper into the story, you would have had to pry this book from my fingers to get me to do anything else but keep reading. This story is intense, gripping, and emotional through and through.
At first I was a bit put-off by the third person narration this book had… it just felt a bit awkward… but later, I learned that it really worked well with Devon’s story because she was in such denial of her pregnancy, that she convinced herself she wasn’t pregnant at all, until the moment she was giving birth in her bathroom… a bloody and painful scenario. In the third person, we are able to question whether we believe Devon or not, because we don’t know for certain whether she’s being truthful, as we are not given full access to her thoughts, as we would have in first person.
Anyways, I heard about this book awhile back and knew immediately that I needed to read it. The topic of “dumpster babies” is a fascinating, yet all too real one. It was incredible, heartbreaking, and wrenching to read about, especially from the point of view of the mother, or potential murderer. We follow Devon’s story, through the arrest, her time at juvenile hall, and discussions with her lawyer leading up to the trial. We also learn, through flashbacks, about the boy that got her pregnant and the heartbreak that accompanied their relationship, and Devon’s growing denial, despite her new larger body, sickness, and fatigue. It was just incredible!
Devon was quiet, closed-off, and resistant, which could be frustrating, but was so realistic. Through time and much prodding from her lawyer the whole story is finally revealed.
I loved this book. It’s incredible and haunting, a book that’s nearly impossible to put down. Its unique storyline and controversial and touchy subject easily makes this one of the best books I’ve read all year. I very highly recommend it.
My Rating: 5/5