Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: 2011
Genres: Family, General, Girls & Women, Pregnancy, Social Issues, Young Adult
A thought-provoking and courageous new novel by National Book Award winner Han Nolan. Nobody gets away with telling Eleanor Crowe what to do. But as a pregnant sixteenyear-old, her options are limited: move to Kenya with her missionary parents or marry the baby's father and work at his family's summer camp for overweight kids. Despite her initial reluctance to help out, Elly is surprised that she actually enjoys working with the campers. But a tragedy on the very day her baby is born starts a series of events that overwhelms Elly with unexpected emotions and difficult choices. Somehow, she must turn her usual obstinance in a direction that can ensure a future for herself—and for the new life she has created.
I was roaming Goodread’s lists when I came across a “best YA pregnancy books” and for whatever reason I’ve always enjoyed books that deal with teen pregnancy. It’s weird I know. When I opened the list, I was pretty disappointed in the books that were on there, because they were just the same old books everyone reads. But then I saw this one, and it caught my interest right away, because of the cute little beaded baby bracelet on the cover. I added it to my list, and went to check reviews to see how good it’d be. Most reviews comments on how the writing was a bit iffy but the storyline was good, and that the book was contradictory to the cutesy cover. I decided I needed to read it as soon as possible, and went to my digital library to request it. This took me on a roller coaster of emotions, ask Alise, I was constantly complaining about the protagonists horrible family and friends. Although I think in some aspects I liked this book because of how much I could relate to it. I had so many feels for this book that It’s just easier to separate this review into a “Likes” and “Dislikes” type of thing.
Elly. Even though in the first half of the book, she’s just a naive brat, who does whatever she wants. You find out that she’s the way she is for a reason. She’s too trusting, even after someone betrayed her, she still believes that they can change. Although it sounds like I’m bashing her, I really liked her. In the second half of the book she really steps up and starts to take responsibility for her actions, and her the fact that she’s about to have a baby. When the baby was born was when I really realized how much I liked and respected her. She didn’t give up and she found solutions to her problems. I realize that sounds super vague but If I give any details, it gives away the ending and what happened in the climax.
The ending. Usually the open ended books annoy me to no end, but in this book it just gave me comfort more than annoyance. To know the everything would be okay. Although after the comfort faded I did think about it a little and wonder what happened next, but after a while i came to the conclusion that even with how open it was it was still the perfect ending for this story.
The “romance candidates.” I hadn’t liked Lam even a little at any point in the book. On his and Elly’s wedding night he went out with friends leaving her alone, just to get drunk and high. Despicable. And his shitty character only got worse as the story went on. Ziggy on the other hand I liked for awhile. I never wanted them together though, and my opinions on that became stronger after more events happened. I myself was thrown off when Elly started having feelings for Ziggy too, because I was like, “Hey girl you’re married. If you don’t like Lam anymore sort out your priority and divorce him.” Although you have to feel for her a bit because she was forced to marry at 16.
I hated how exaggerated everything was. Most of the dialogue especially early into the book made me cringe and at some times laugh because of how ridiculous it was. The author made their maturity levels closer to preteens then someone 16-18.