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Mallory Kellogg, Nerdalicious

"The only important thing in a book is the meaning that it has for you."

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Review: Glamorizing Teen Pregnancy

Fifteen and WHAT!? (Thirty Lifetimes Under Thirty 1) - Elizabeth NcNew

Where do I begin with this book?

 

Let's start with the basics: the writing.

 

It's horrible. There are numerous grammatical errors, misspelled words and formatting problems here. There are two prologues that make no sense and are not connected. The timeline is hard to follow, with random unannounced flashbacks thrown in. There could not have been an editor or proofreader for this. This is a prime example of why self-pub authors get a bad wrap. (And I'm sure the author will send my a nice rant about why I'm wrong.) Then there's the fact the blurb on Goodreads talks about the main character named Bella Grace. There is NO Bella in this book. The girl's name is Elizabeth. If you can't get your blurb straight, I fear for your book.

 

Now, for the real issues: the plot and the characters.

Elizabeth, our heroine, is 14 and decides she's ready to have a baby. She's in love with her 19-year-old creep of a boyfriend, so it's only logical to have a baby, right? Oh, it gets better. She ends up having another baby at 16. TWO kids, and she's not even 18 yet. Boyfriend is a raging douche alcoholic that she is far to lenient on, and all the parents in this book need to be arrested for child endangerment. When your 14-year-old daughter is dating someone 5 years older than her, you do NOT make friends with them and let them stay the night. Bad parenting 101. What's worse is this is supposedly based on the author's life. YIKES! Your life is one miserable mistake after another then!

 

Elizabeth is determined to show the world she is not a statistic. She wants the world to see being a teen mom isn't that hard. Let me give a list of rules to live by, folks.

 

1. Are you paying for the roof over your own head? No? Then don't have a baby.

2. Do you have a job that can support not only you but a baby? No? Then definitely don't have a baby.

3. This is the biggie: ARE YOU STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL?! Yes? Then maybe WAIT A LITTLE WHILE.

 

She IS  a statistic, not matter how hard she wants you to believe otherwise. She has to have state insurance to pay for her pregnancies. She has to go to special Young Parenting Program classes instead of regular school. And she ends up living in low-income housing. Add the alcoholic boyfriend and the trailer-trash-type fight at the end of the book and you have your typical kid who had no business having a single, let alone two, babies.

 

Elizabeth logic:

1. Have baby at 15. Take body temperature, track period, steal pregnancy tests. Do copious amounts of research on having a baby. Even decide school learning is bogus and try to get suspended so you can continue your "education" at home, trying to learn more about becoming pregnant.

 

2. Pick a winner. Man, her boyfriend sure is baby-daddy material. Drunk all the time. Known to be belligerent when drunk, too. Work low-end job with no prospects of moving up.

 

3. Best friend gets baby fever. Don't discourage! Encourage! They could have matching babies and be totally hot teen moms together! YAY!

 

4. Get married! You're 16! It's time to settle down!

 

5. Have another baby! You're only getting older! Pop those kids out, while still living with mommy.

 

I despise books that glamorize teen pregnancy. I went to school with a couple of teen moms and they had it rough. It can be done, but it certainly isn't as lovey and easy as this book makes it seem. Hell, I'm almost 30, and being a parent is rough on ME!

 

 

This book reminds me of Taking Chances, where you can get knocked up and everything will be just fine. There will always be someone there to take care of you and there will always be copious amounts of money from friends/family/your PASTOR for you to blow however you see fit. And what they can't provide, the government will cover. No problemo.

 

That is this book in a nutshell. Elizabeth just glances over everything with rose-colored glasses. There is no depth, no REALNESS to it all. It all feels fake and glamorized to the point I couldn't stand it. People, this is not okay. How this book has so many glowing reviews is something I don't get.

 

The only solace I find is the ending wasn't happy. Thank God. This was free, and I see why. I would demanded my money back if this is what I was given.