books and cleverness

I read books of all sorts, but mostly kids' lit and young adult literature and speculative fiction for all ages—usually from a feminist perspective. 

 

I've adopted a personalized version of the CHOICE reviews approach to recommendations/star ratings:

***** = Essential, a.k.a. truly love, absolute must-read, buy it now
**** = Highly Recommended, a.k.a. this is a really good book; I would buy it as a gift
*** = Recommended, a.k.a. pretty good; worth reading
** = Optional, a.k.a. meh
* = Not Recommended; a.k.a. this is not a good book

Me, Him, Them, and It

Me, Him, Them, & It - Caela Carter

What is there to like?

▪ I can’t speak from experience, but it seems to me that this book captures the mental turmoil of what a pregnant teenager would be going through. Evie constantly doubts her ability to go through with any of the options available to her, which paralyzes her and keeps her from making a decision about any of them (to the frustration of those around her), which seemed really genuine. I would say that I can’t imagine what that must be like for girls who are really going through this, but Carter clearly can, and has done a fine job of portraying it so that readers can as well.

▪ The way the chapter headings show what Evie’s state of mind is as the story progresses; likewise, Evie’s names/pronouns for other people as a key to how she feels about them.

▪ Positive portrayal of "alternative" families. The best parents in the book are an interracial, lesbian couple who have adopted.

 

What's not to like?

    At its heart, this book is a poor-little-rich-girl story, in that Evie becomes pregnant as a result of deliberately acting out for the sake of attention from her well-off but emotionally distant parents, (she’d fit in well in The Breakfast Club, I kept thinking), and that is the driving force for a resolution. I’m not saying that Evie’s privileged socioeconomic position invalidates the story, or that teen pregnancy isn’t always a big deal no matter who it involves. But some readers may not be able to be sympathetic to Evie’s plight, given that she, unlike many teen mothers, has all options available to her, given her family’s resources, and that she, unlike many teen mothers, has a strong, supportive network of friends and family to give her good advice and to take care of her while she makes her decisions and throughout the duration of her pregnancy.

 

What made me pick it up?

Tryin’ to read YA books about real issues, important ones. (Haven't read enough yet to know about any "Similar To" books, sorry.)

 

Overall Recommendation: Recommended.