Saturday, March 2, 2013
Published by: Bloomsbury
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Number of Pages: 320
How I got this book: e-ARC from Netgalley
My rating: 4.5/5
"ME is Evelyn Jones, 16, a valedictorian hopeful who's been playing bad girl to piss off THEM, her cold, distant parents. HIM is Todd, Evelyn's secret un-boyfriend, who she thought she was just using for sex - until she accidentally fell in love with him. But before Evelyn gets a chance to tell Todd how she feels, something much more important comes up. IT. IT is a fetus. Evelyn is pregnant - and when Todd turns his back on her, Evelyn has no idea who to turn to. Can a cheating father, a stiff, cold mother, a pissed-off BFF, and a (thankfully!) loving aunt with adopted girls of her own help Evelyn make the heart-wrenching decisions that follow?"
First, a big thank you to Bloomsbury and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book for review!
Ok, I'm a sucker for books about teen pregnancy - don't know why, but like books about psychological issues, I will read just about every book dealing with this issue that I can find. BUT, many of the books I've read are pretty cliche...girl gets pregnant, girl agonizes over what to do, girl ultimately decides that she can't bear to part with the baby and decides to keep it. Usually with much more help than is realistic. And they all lived happily ever after. This book wasn't like that.
I really felt connected to the protagonist, Evelyn. She was "real." She lived a party life, but still maintained a valedictorian status. She turned into "Bad Evelyn" (as she called herself) basically in an attempt to get her parents' attention, as they were too wrapped up in their own marital problems to pay her much attention at all. When she discovered she was pregnant, she was in complete denial at first. She refused to tell anyone...I think she was afraid that if she said it out loud, that would make it true, and if she kept silent, somehow it would go away. Then, she became angry. She expressed a lot of resentment towards her unborn baby...saying she hated it, slapping her stomach, and in her thoughts, referred to it as, basically, a parasite. I'll be honest, I kind of disliked Evelyn at this point, because I can't relate to those feelings. I loved every minute of my pregnancies and fell in love as soon as I had a positive pregnancy test. However, I know these are probably very normal feelings for a teen girl in her situation. And that is what made this such a "real" book. Slowly, we see that Evelyn begins to have some caring feelings towards "bean" (as she refers to the baby). She seems to be accepting her situation, but she seesaws back and forth in her feelings. She cares, but she still doesn't want it. The reader can really feel the confusion that Evelyn is feeling. We agonize over the choice that she is faced with...keep the baby or give it away. With her clear resentment towards "bean", it would seem like the choice should be easy. But, as Evelyn shows us, it's really not that easy.
At the beginning of the book, it seems that Evelyn is pretty much all alone. She doesn't let people into her world very easily at all. Even the baby's father, Todd - they had a sexual relationship for over a year, and she would not even refer to him as her boyfriend. She pushed both of her parents away, which is clear by her names for them - her mother was either "Ice Queen" or "Stiff *ss" while her father was "the Stranger." She couldn't even bring herself to confide much in her "best friend," Lizzie. She held everything in. She had us believe that she was all alone, but by the end of the book, the reader, and Evelyn herself, sees that there are many people who love her, and it is ok to let them into her world. Her aunt Linda and Linda's partner, Nora, and their 2 girls, have a lot to do with this.
I'm not going to tell you about how the book ends, and the decisions that Evelyn made. You will have to find out for yourself. It is well-worth the read!
To add to your Goodreads list, click here. To order from Amazon, click here.