Book Review: The Baby by Lisa Drakeford

Holy smokes! How long ago have I last posted a book review in here? *checks blog posts* Oh. February. And here I thought it has been centuries since. But when I think about it…I haven’t really read anything since February too. Well, anything that is not a textbook, that is. Sighs.

On a better note, I got this book as one of the raffle prizes that I won during last year’s Blog Olympics. Customs and my tight schedule in classes were the main reasons it took me long to get my prizes. But alas! I have them now. Thanks again to the hosts, An Overthinking Teenager of Mixolydian Musings and Emily of Always Opinionated Girl, for hosting such an awesome event last year! Now, onto the review.

25054761The Baby by Lisa Drakeford
Published on:
2 July 2015
Published by: Chicken House Books
ISBN: 9781910002
Pages: 223
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Add it on: Goodreads
Buy it on: Amazon

From Goodreads–When Olivia opens the bathroom door, the last thing she expects to see is her best friend Nicola giving birth on the floor – and to say Nicola is surprised is an understatement. She’s not ready to be a mum, and she needs Olivia’s help. But Olivia has her own problems – specifically her controlling boyfriend, Jonty, and keeping an eye on younger sister Alice. And then there’s Nicola’s friend Ben, who’s struggling with secrets of his own.

I really loved the idea behind this book. It is so new in the genre that it is in and in my head the phrase “The John Green Effect” certainly echoed more than a couple of times while reading this book. But I’ll talk about that at another time. Let’s talk about the good and bad stuff that I had in this book.

First off, the good stuff. I really love how a YA novel like this chose such a significant issue in teens such as teenage pregnancy and parenthood. And it is so great that the book focused more on the parenthood rather than the pregnancy. Because, to be completely frank, any teenage girl can be pregnant but not a lot could deal with becoming parents that easily. I seriously had fun reading the first half of the book because it seemed unbelievable that someone did not know she was pregnant for nine months. But then again, it’s not impossible too. The characters also gradually change during the five months after the baby, Eliza’s, birth and I would never get tired of witnessing great character developments in a novel especially Young Adult ones.

Another thing that I loved about this book was Alice. I’ve watched and read numerous TV shows, movies and novels with characters like Alice (e.g., Gracie of Sufficient Grace who’s a diagnosed schizophrenic) and I’ve always had a soft spot for weird, misunderstood characters like her. I loved how the author gave this light-hearted way of presenting Alice. In a way, as I read Alice’s perspective, it felt so…natural, I guess is the word. I never found that the author forced me to believe that there is something different with Alice. Like someone pushing you to eat this platter of food that you don’t want to eat. It just comes naturally as a reader.

Now what I don’t like about the book is the execution of the multiple perspectives. We see bits of resolutions and while some may find it good, I find it unsatisfying. As if there still seems to be things that were brought up but we never see how they will end. The narrative is also a little bit bothering as it seems monotonous and immature at times.

Around the end, I have mixed feelings about the book but that didn’t really completely ruin it for me. The very simple concept that a baby can change everything in so many people’s lives is the biggest gem that you will ever find in The Baby. And it is definitely a great read for teenagers and adults alike.

3 stars


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