Title: The Baby
Author: Lisa Drakeford
Publisher: Chicken House
Release: Out now!
Which animal is similar to this book? For me, this book represents a husky because huskies are quite a common breed (teen pregnancy is common too, I’m not calling the book common!) and there are a lot in the world, of varied levels of obedience training. Teen pregnancy is becoming more and more common and because pregnancy overall is obviously very common, it seems like it’s easy. Some people find it harder than others, some have less support than others and some find it hard to balance a child’s needs with their previous life. This is especially true for teen mothers, which this book is about. Huskies are also incredibly difficult (in general) to train since they’re stubborn and intelligent. Having a baby is often a lot harder than people expect, especially as a teen mother without the support of the father or in some cases, the parents and other family members. It’s much harder to do alone, so that’s why the book is a husky; a common/popular situation but a lot harder than it seems from the outside.
The blurb says: It’s Olivia’s seventeenth birthday party. The last thing she expects to see when she stumbles into the bathroom is her best mate Nicola giving birth on the floor. How could she, when Nicola had no idea this was coming either? She’s so not ready to be a mum, and she needs Olivia’s help. But Olivia has her own problems – a controlling boyfriend, Jonty, and lonely little sister Alice, for starters. And then there’s their friend Ben, with secrets of his own. The party to end all parties has started something epic…
I really enjoyed this book; I don’t tend to read so many stories like this one but I bought it on a whim, based on just the blurb but I did enjoy it more than I thought I would. Honestly, I thought it’d be kind of a tacky comedy book, but it was quite a bit more serious than that, and although I did enjoy the sarcasm and witty jokes, I also liked how it addressed certain issues.
As it says in the blurb, Olivia’s boyfriend is controlling and violent, which I liked because it gave the book the opportunity to explore that and really go into details with it from different angles. It also Olivia’s sister is also a bit ‘weird’ and she struggles with social interactions and with understanding what’s ‘normal’ and what isn’t, so it was so interesting to read the chapter from her point of view, which leads me to my next point…
Each chapter is told from a different character’s perspective, which is so interesting to see all the different opinions and aspects of each character’s life and actions which have contributed to the story. I don’t often like books with different perspectives with each chapter, but this is quite a short book, so it really crams in (in a positive way!) the getting-to-know parts so you feel connected to the characters and it’s good to read the different perspectives in each chapter, because of it. For me, I felt that the characters’ voices weren’t quite as defined and different as I would have liked, but there were some clear differences within their voices which I liked. I also quite liked the way the book was actually written; there were a lot of short/minor sentences which made it feel less formal and more like the voice of people seventeen years old.
Overall, I liked the story, the characters and the way it was written, though I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending, because I still had some questions, but I’m very picky with my endings and I think most people will like it! The Baby gets 8 out of 10 paw prints!