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Not Just Another Teen Pregnancy Book

Posh looks beyond the highly dubious cover and is rewarded by the moving story that is Catherine Greenman's Hooked.

Not Just Another Teen Pregnancy Book

BOOK REPORT for Hooked by Catherine Greenman

Cover Story: A WORLD OF NO
BFF Charm: Eventually
Swoonworthy Scale: 2
Talky Talk: Straight Up
Bonus Factors: Stuyvesant High School, The Cliff Huxtable Award of Awesome Dadhood
Relationship Status: Godmother

Cover Story: A WORLD OF NO

Look, if I want to see pictures of pregnant bellies, I can just go on Facebook. JK, I NEVER want to see pictures of pregnant bellies, especially uncovered ones with a word printed on them. I want to call up whoever decided to make this picture the cover and use their middle name when I talk to them because they've made me V. UPSET.

The Deal:

I'm gonna be upfront with you guys: this book is about teenage pregnancy. Now wait, hang on! Before you decide to close this window and just wait for the release of Breaking Dawn to get yr teenage pregnancy fix, let me tell you that I actually enjoyed this book. I know! I didn't think I would! I can barely handle watching five minutes of Teen Mom during Supernatural commercial breaks at the gym. But this book... this book surprised me.

When Thea Galehouse meets Will Weston, she already knows her life has changed. He fits in her heart in a way that her distant, recovering alcoholic dad and flippant, club-owner mom never could. He quickly becomes her whole world, and nothing can separate them, not even Will starting college at nearby Columbia. But then Thea finds out she's pregnant, and even though the entire world is telling her not to keep it... she decides to keep it. Clinging to the hope that she and Will can make it work, Thea begins to discover her identity, not just as a mother, but as a girl with dreams and ambitions.

BFF Charm: Eventually

Whew! This BFF charm BARELY MADE IT. At first, Thea just really frustrated me. Yes, she's 17, so she's allowed to be selfish, but when she decided to keep the baby, I was like, What are you doing. WHAT are YOU DOING. And I won't even get into how she delivered (or failed to deliver) the news to Will and her family, because I like to maintain a healthy blood pressure. But then I decided to cut her some slack. I mean, her mom is cool but pretty much a crappy mother, and her dad is constantly pressuring her and offering no emotional support, plus before their divorce, her childhood was full of drunken fights and occasional domestic violence. So there's THAT. Plus, Thea is stronger than either she or I thought, and she really impressed me with her love for her son and her will to survive.

The only thing I don't get is her obsession with knitting crocheted bikinis. Like, I mean, can those things actually get wet? And how could that be comfortable, like, on yr lady parts?

Swoonworthy Scale: 2

This score was initially higher, but then Will done effed it up. Initially, he's mysterious and weirdly hot, although I didn't share Thea's feeling that his lazy eye is sexy. (But, I mean, I'm glad she did! I got no hate for lazy eyes!) Their chemistry is immediate, and their relationship goes from 0 to 60 in ten pages, speeding towards some v. real and smokin' sex.

But then Thea decides to kinda spring the baby on Will, and since you won't be shocked by this, I don't consider it a spoiler to say that things go downhill from there.

Talky Talk: Straight Up

In other, less capable hands, this story would've been a hot mess of cliches and saccharine moments. But Catherine Greenman knows how to keep it real. Instead of getting bogged down with angst, the text is a compelling play by play of events, infused with Thea's achingly honest voice. Everything feels authentic, from the characters to the dialogue to the situations, and I found myself completely swept up in Thea's world.*

*Except for the fact that her parents are totally rich, and it's not a big deal. Then again, that's normal to her. But I was like, wait, yr dad has a NYC apartment AND a beach house AND a boat?! INVITE ME OVER.

Bonus Factor: Stuyvesant High School

Earlier this year, I saw Frontrunners, a documentary about the student body president race at Stuyvesant High School. And now, I'm like, totally obsessed with this place. It's a public school, but it specializes in math and science, and it's really prestigious and high pressure. And Thea goes there!

Bonus Factor: The Cliff Huxtable Award of Awesome Dadhood

Thea's relationship with her dad is the main reason I enjoyed this book. Initially, they're horrible to each other. Thea is impulsive and thoughtless, and her dad is emotionally removed and only seems to care about where she's going to college. But then, the baby comes and changes everything. Once Thea starts to see her dad as a real person, their painstaking steps towards healing and trust are beautiful (and heartbreaking) to watch. Mr. Galehouse, I LOVE YOU.

Casting Call:

I think Britt could definitely channel Thea's vacillation between lost and found, plus she's got Thea's blonde hair and good looks. (Although Thea is a bit curvier than Britt, even before she's pregnant.)

Britt Robertson as Thea

Ethan Peck as Will

When I read about Will's tall frame and manly shoulders, I couldn't help but picture Ethan Peck. Plus, if anyone could make a lazy eye sexy, it would be this guy.

Relationship Status: Godmother

I've always wanted to be a godmother, because it's, like, way less work than being an actual mother, and you get to pass on all of the wisdom you've gained to a child, who's too young to realize that yr wisdom isn't actually that great. With that said, I would love to be a godmother to this book. I really care about it, but it needs a little guidance (especially in the cover department). Plus, I'd like to help pave its way, since most people will see it and assume that it's just another lame book about teenage pregnancy. It may be tough to watch it stumble, but it's incredibly rewarding to see it grow and develop into a really solid, moving story.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from Tandem Literary. I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). Hooked is available now.

Posh Deluxe's photo About the Author: Sarah lives in Austin, TX, where she programs films at the Alamo Drafthouse. Sarah enjoys fancy cocktails, dance parties and anything that sparkles (except vampires).