Thursday, September 29, 2011

Review: Pregnant Pause by Han Nolan (ARC)



Title: Pregnant Pause

Author: Han Nolan
Published: 2011
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
My Rating:  

Nobody gets away with telling Eleanor Crowe what to do. But as a pregnant sixteen-year-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. (taken from goodreads.com)

Is it wrong of me to have a morbid fascination with teenage pregnancies? I think they are terrible, and I understand how tolling (both psychologically and physically) they are on young teen girls, but for some reason I've always enjoyed reading about them. My current theory is that I enjoy really emotional books, and books about teen pregnancies usually kick it up a notch. They have a depth that other stories sometimes lack.

Eleanor, to be frank, is a brat. She rejects the guidance of her family and strikes out on her own by sneaking out, doing drugs, and sleeping with her boyfriend, Lam. Then she discovers that she is going to be a mother, and her attitude does a one-eighty. Suddenly, her lack of plans for the future is a real problem. How will she support a child? How will she finish school and pursue a career? 

Playing the role of the reluctant eighteen year-old husband, Lam has the word JERK written all over him. Seriously, I wanted to punch him the entire time I was reading Pregnant Pause. He cheats, does drugs, drinks, and neglects every single responsibility that is delegated to him. I understand that you can't ever completely let go of your first love, but how could Eleanor possibly have feelings for this loser? In fact, Eleanor seems to develop feelings for guys that turn out to be jerks. If you're looking for love, this isn't a romantic story. All of Eleanor's relationships go down the toilet. 

While the first half is mostly Eleanor complaining about her job as a counselor at a camp for fat kids, the plot steadily picks up as her due date approaches. Then, after the baby's birth, things get tough. Like, the hardest-life-choices-you-will-ever-make tough. I can't even fathom being in Elly's shoes. The choices she has to make... *whistles* 

Overall, this is a book about life and the curve-balls it always seems to throw at us. Heartbreaking and inspirational, the story demonstrates how challenging life can be and how, with an iron will and determination, we can combat even the most extreme situations. Definitely recommended!