February 26, 2013
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ME is Evelyn Jones, 16, a valedictorian hopeful who's been playing bad girl to piss off THEM, her cold, distant parents. HIM is Todd, Evelyn's secret un-boyfriend, who she thought she was just using for sex - until she accidentally fell in love with him. But before Evelyn gets a chance to tell Todd how she feels, something much more important comes up. IT. IT is a fetus. Evelyn is pregnant - and when Todd turns his back on her, Evelyn has no idea who to turn to. Can a cheating father, a stiff, cold mother, a pissed-off BFF, and a (thankfully!) loving aunt with adopted girls of her own help Evelyn make the heart-wrenching decisions that follow?
While the synopsis and promos for Caela Carter's debut do reference the more commonly known teenage mother bits of popular culture (Teen Mom, Juno, and Secret Life of the American Teenager), it was something else that drew me to this. George Ella Lyon's release, Holding on to Zoe from July also featured a teenage mother. Jules, from Lyon's novel, and Evelyn definitely react to their pregnancies differently but both are from less than ideal family situations. I was interested in seeing what Evelyn's tension with her family brought to this story.
There's a depth to the story thanks to Evelyn's relationship with her parents, with Todd, with her best friend Lizzie and with her aunt and her family. Through the way the story is told, in a mostly chronological fashion, but sometimes diverging to bring in key stories or facts, we find out how everyone got to be how they all are with each other.
Readers see not only how Evelyn got pregnant, but also some why, as well.
Me, Him, Them & It is obviously a story about a teenage girl who gets pregnant but it's also very much about the relationships in her life. How they're maybe played a part in her getting pregnant and then how they're effected by her pregnancy.
I really love that the story is able to focus on Evelyn, her being pregnant, yet the characters and their interactions is also fantastic. With Me, Him, Them & It it's not a one or the other type of story. One side doesn't suffer for the sake of the other, both things can be equally amazing and equally at the forefront.
It makes for one very enjoyable story.
Evelyn doesn't get all mushy on her potential baby, she's not completely scientific, she isn't removed. There's an interesting balance that while, almost, odd at times, felt real. Evelyn is a confused sixteen-year-old girl and the text of novel reflected that.
Both the characters and the story are great and kept me reading page after page.
thank you to Bloomsbury & NetGalley for the egalley