Thea is the daughter of divorced parents, currently living with her mother and trying to work through a strained relationship with her father. During her junior year of high school, she meets Will, and BAM – insta-love (blech). Surprise, surprise, not too much later…Thea finds herself pregnant.
I have somewhat mixed feelings about this book. I didn’t hate it, but “like” also seems too strong a word for my feelings towards it. I got through it, but there were definite moments where I questioned why I was trying to finish it. Going into it, I’m not sure exactly what I expected, but somehow, it didn’t live up to my expectations (if that makes any sense). By the last twenty or so pages, I had pretty much figured out how the book was going to wrap up and had already started to think about what I was going to read next (not a good sign).
What I liked
I liked how the author didn’t use this book as an opportunity to get preachy about, or glamorize, teen pregnancy. If anything, this book reminded me of one of my favorite guilty pleasure TV shows, 16 and Pregnant. The characters were (mostly) realistic in their actions, motivations, and emotions throughout.
I really enjoyed the growth of Thea as the protagonist, and especially the growth of her relationship with her father. I think Greenman did a really nice job portraying how becoming a parent, and a single parent at that, can change your own life perspective, especially in relation to your own parents.
What I didn’t like
This book was set in New York City, which didn’t really work for me. I felt like there were too many Manhattan cliches – the workaholic, alcoholic father, the flighty not-really-there mother, the prep school education, etc. It all added up to my not really connecting all that well with the characters, which is sort of necessary in order to enjoy a character-driven novel. I also found the setting to be sort of off-putting in the way that the characters’ circumstances are totally unrealistic to potential readers.
Plot-wise, there were parts of it that I really enjoyed, and that kept me interested. But then there were other parts where I felt like the story really dragged on. The knitting and crocheting descriptions REALLY worked my last nerve. I get that there was a motif going throughout the book, which did kind of work, but I do NOT need that much information about bikini patterns. Ever. If I was looking for that, I’d read a McCall’s pattern book, thanks.
Would I recommend it?
Ehh…not really. I mean, I guess I would if you’re desperate for a contemporary YA romance revolving around teen pregnancy. But I think there must be better books out there even for that purpose. Recommendations, anyone?