Tag Archives: Teen Pregnancy

Tilt – Ellen Hopkins
Book of the Month
December 5, 2012 posted by Nichole

Tilt – Ellen Hopkins

Love—good and bad—forces three teens’ worlds to tilt in a riveting novel from New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins.

Three teens, three stories—all interconnected through their parents’ family relationships. As the adults pull away, caught up in their own dilemmas, the lives of the teens begin to tilt….

Mikayla, almost eighteen, is over-the-top in love with Dylan, who loves her back jealously. But what happens to that love when Mikayla gets pregnant the summer before their senior year—and decides to keep the baby?

Shane turns sixteen that same summer and falls hard in love with his first boyfriend, Alex, who happens to be HIV positive. Shane has lived for four years with his little sister’s impending death. Can he accept Alex’s love, knowing that his life, too, will be shortened?

Harley is fourteen—a good girl searching for new experiences, especially love from an older boy. She never expects to hurdle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be.

Love, in all its forms, has crucial consequences in this standalone novel.


Mikayla: A girl head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Dylan. A love of weed, boos and parties. A family that’s tearing apart at the seams. An unwanted pregnancy that will change her life forever.

Shane: Out of the close. In love with a boy named Alex, who just happens to have HIV. A drunk father who looks upon him with disgust. A little sister heading toward death. A mother with almost no hope.

Harley: A fourteen year old who sees nothing but fat when she looks in the mirror. Divorced parents, one heading toward a new marriage. A desperate search to find out who she is. Drugs. Boos. Sex. False Love.

Shelby: A four-year-old who is regarded as a person with no sense of life. Confined to tube feeding forever. Hovering on the brink of death, she just wants her family to be happy.

Alex: HIV positive. In love with Shane. Catholic Private school. On his way to an Ivy League.


All of these characters, among many more, play a major role in Tilt by Ellen Hopkins. A novel of poetry, rape, love, depression, homosexuality, HIV, drugs, sex, teen pregnancy, mental illness, death, and self discovery. Join Mikayla, Shane, Harley and the rest of the people that surround their lives in this realistic, contemporary piece that Hopkins has built.


I have never been a fan of poetry or even contemporary books, if I want to be honest. I’ve never seemed to understand poetry or appreciate the realistic theme of contemporary books. Sometimes life just sucks, and, for the most part, I don’t want to read about it. I like to submerge myself into the unrealistic. The werewolves, vampires, witches, and other things that go bump in the night take me away from the realities of the world. It’s a chance to escape and put myself into a whole other universe. While Tilt, by Ellen Hopkins, was as real as it can possibly get, I found myself devouring it. I would sit down and read hundreds of pages at a time, lost in the depression that shaped the character’s lives. I was hooked plain and simple.

It took my awhile to get attached to Tilt, because I had to adjust to Hopkins unique writing style. I’ve never read a book by Hopkins before, so it caught me a little off guard that the entire book was poetry. It wasn’t difficult to read, though. Unlike the poetry that we’re forced to read in school, Tilt was an actual story with beautiful form and breathtaking words. It was also a very fast read. Most books fill up their pages with words, while Tilt had a brief section of words on each page.

Some of the topics that Tilt introduced were really easy to read, while others were really hard for me to get through. I loved the topic of teen pregnancy. I am so addicted to movies and books that discuss teen pregnancy because they are so real. Teen pregnancy is a major thing that goes on in today’s society. When I was a junior in high school, there were three senior girls who were almost to term with their pregnancy. Today, most of the girl’s from my very first high school are either pregnant, married, or both. I’m not kidding when I use the word “most.” Honestly, I don’t know a girl at my first high school who doesn’t have a kid or a husband. I thought that Hopkins beautifully portrayed how teen pregnancy truly is. She didn’t sugar coat it or make everything turn out okay. She was realistic with how things work in real life.

I did have a problem when it came to Harley’s story, probably because I related to her the most. I had a big issue watching a fourteen-year-old girl suffer through weight problems, deal with a dirtbag father, have divorced parents, and look toward other’s for love. The beginning of Harley’s story wasn’t too intense, but by the time I made it to the last quarter of the book, I found it very  difficult to read the pages dedicated to her. It wasn’t because the writing was bad. Actually, the writing was beautiful. However, I had big issues with some of the topics that came up in this story.

Ellen Hopkins did such a great job of portraying the love between Shane and his boyfriend. This is a very controversial topic for some people, but I was in love with it from the moment I read the synopsis. Gay love and homosexuality in general need to be more explored in young adult books, because it is a real life topic. Being gay does not make someone unequal or unimportant. I really enjoyed watching the growth of of Shane’s dad. He was really against Shane ever since he came out of the closet. He would preach to Shane and tell him what an abomination he was, and that really effected me. Shane, while a fictional character, reminded me of people I’ve met in similar situations. To me, Shane was a real person with his own issues and emotions. To me, he was no less than a straight person, and I loved him from the get go.

I had a bit of a problem with understanding who was who and who was related to whom. Everyone seemed to know eachother, and I was pretty lost throughout most of the book on how people knew eachother. It wasn’t a big deal, but I found myself kind of giving up on that aspect of the book.

The only thing that I really questioned in this book, besides who knew who, was how realistic it was that an entire branch of family was so messed up. I would have preferred that none of the characters knew each other, and that we were witnessing people from all over the United States.  I only say this because I have a large branch of family, and I know other people who do as well. I’m not saying that this can never happen to one family, but from my perspective, I’ve witnessed it usually being one family and the rest of their family stays out of it. However, I did enjoy how real and true Hopkins stayed to her story lines. She didn’t cut around the edges or add something fake in to draw in her readers. She told it how it was, and I really appreciated that.

I do have to warn people that the topics of rape and mental abuse are included in this story. Most of the guys, especially the teenage boys, in this story really offended and disgusted me. It is never okay for someone to pressure you into sex or to request favors that you are not interested in. It is never okay for someone to give you ultimatums or to make you feel obligated to do something you don’t want to do.  It is never ok for your partner to pull guilt trips or to constantly make you feel bad or worthless just to get their way. These are all forms of abuse, and if you’re experiencing them, then you need to contact an adult or the police. Please keep in mind that it doesn’t matter if you’re married or not. Abuse is abuse and rape is rape. Never put up with it. I want you all to know that you can always contact me about these things going on in your life, and I will keep it between us unless you officially tell me you’re a minor. You can go through our contact info on the tabs above and specifically request to speak to me. I will not judge you, but I am always here to talk to. You can also contact me via our twitter page.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was beautiful and realistic, and it moved me in more ways than I can express. To me, the ending was a little unfinished. I would really like to see what happens with the rest of their lives and how they work through their struggles. Everyone needs to go buy or borrow this book immediately, as it is a must read.


Pages: 604

Publication Date: September 11th, 2012

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Rating: : ★★★★½


Teaser Quote: “And if candor
strikes to forcefully,
step back, draw careful
breath, and consider the angle
your words must take
before you open
your mouth, let them leak
out. Because once you tilt the truth,
it becomes a lie.” 

Hooked- Catherine Greenman
Book Reviews
June 15, 2012 posted by Nichole

Hooked- Catherine Greenman

Thea Galehouse has always known how to take care of herself. With a flighty club-owner mom and a standoffish, recovering-alcoholic dad, Thea has made her own way in her hometown of New York, attending the prestigious and competitive Stuyvesant High School. But one chat with Will, a handsome and witty senior, and she’s a goner—completely hooked on him and unable to concentrate on anything else.

Always worried that she loves Will more than he loves her, Thea is pleasantly surprised when their romance weathers his move to college and Will goes out of his way to involve her in his life. But then, Thea misses a period. And that starts Thea and Will on a wild ride that neither of them could have possibly prepared for. When they decide to keep the baby, their concerned parents chip in what they can to keep Will in school and give both teenagers a comfortable place to raise their child. But when a freak accident leaves Thea shaken and threatens to upend their little family altogether, Thea is forced to turn to the last place she would have chosen for comfort: her stiff, uncompromising father.

This smart, touching first novel brims with realistic, beautifully drawn characters, and reminds us that love is never as easy or predictable as we might like it to be.

Thea Galehouse is a seventeen-year old junior in high school. Her parents are divorced, she’s struggling to get an A average in school, and she never really feels perfect. She’s too heavy, too dumb, too plain. All of that starts to change when she meets Will. Gorgeous, smart, risky Will. Thea instantly falls madly in love with Will and knows that he is going to be a part of her life forever. That definitely becomes true when Thea becomes pregnant with Will’s child.

Now that Thea’s pregnant, everything begins to change. Her schooling has been put on hold, she’s moved in with Will, and everything in her life begins to flip upside down. She now feels like she has no friends, not helped by the fact that her best friend, Vanessa, has moved away to attend college. With the help of her father, Thea slowly begins to get her life on the right track. She knows now that her baby is the most important aspect of her life, and she would do anything to make his or her life perfect.

I have a huge obsession with teenage pregnancy. I have watched probably every movie on the subject that you can think of. The obsession started when I was a preteen, but it started to fully develop in my sophomore year of high school when I witnessed at least three pregnant seniors. It got even more intense when I realized that most every girl I knew from my first high school had a baby or was married. One of my best friends from my freshman year, who is actually younger than I am, now has two little girls under the age of three. I don’t really know how to explain it to anyone, I am just fascinated with the subject of teenage pregnancy.

When I was first seen the cover of Hooked, I knew I had to read it. Not only was it something that I was interested in, but the cover was gorgeous. The cover instantly made me think of The Pregnancy Project and The Pregnancy Pact, two true stories that helped fuel my addiction.

When I started the book I didn’t really have an opinion. I liked how it gave a lot of background to Thea’s story. Instead of just jumping into the whole “I’m pregnant” scenario, Greenman focused a lot on developing Thea and Will’s relationship, which I thought added to the story. As the book progressed, I  got less and less interested. The whole thing seemed like a pity party. Teen pregnancy is a huge deal, yes. However, the whole thing was rather depressing.

This book really went against my own views, which made it hard for me to enjoy the book. I will be the first to say that I am 95% against abortion. There are a few cases, such as rape, that I believe are just causes to get an abortion. There are also a few other cases. For example, my aunt is prone to seizures. Well, she got pregnant several years ago, and her doctor told her that if she had the baby it would either 1. kill her 2. kill the baby. 3. both or 4. the baby would be born with an internal organ on the outside of his or her body. However, I am completely against it if you accidently get knocked up and want to get rid of the baby. There are other options out there, such as adoption, that are available if you don’t want to become a parent.

I was really upset by the fact that everyone was for Thea getting an abortion. Her mother didn’t even sit her down and talk to her about her other options, she just agreed that it was the best case scenario for Thea to abort the baby. When it came out that Thea did not get an abortion, her mothing completely freaked out. There was also some talk that the only other option was for Thea to put the baby up for adoption. I would not appreciate someone trying to tell me what I had to do, or not looking at every option with me, and I was really offended for her. Thea made it clear that she was going to keep her baby and noone supported her decision.

As some of you may have seen me mention in the past, I am very close with my mother. She is my best friend. In fact, we’ve often been called The Gilmore Girls. I was raised in an environment where all my options were always made clear to me. I was also raised to form my own opinions. While some families force their beliefs on their children, my mother wanted me to decided my own views on important matters. This in mind, I had a major problem with Thea’s mother. I’m sorry, but telling your child that she can smoke pot with you is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever heard. I’ve met people like this, and seriously? Why would you want to smoke pot with your kids? That’s not even ok. I also had a problem with Thea’s mothers attitude throughout the entire novel. She never forgave Thea, constantly threw it in Thea’s face how horrible her life was, and never really warmed up to Thea’s child, Ian. My mom would never act like this. Ever. My mom would do everything in her power to make sure I was living in good conditions and that I was safe. She would also smother my child. I fear that she’s looking forward to eventually becoming a grandmother just so she can make my life a living nightmare that’s filled with candy.

Thea’s father was my favorite character. Thea and her dad had a troubled relationship. He used to be a drunk and it wasn’t uncommon for Thea to witness her parents fighting or to have them trash talk the other when they were alone with Thea. Out of everyone, though, Thea’s dad really stepped up to support her and Ian. He made it clear that he wanted to be a part of her life, and he still wanted her to get a good education. He constantly reminded Thea that her life was not over simply because she had a child. Thea’s dad made it possible for her to get a job and did everything in his power to give both her and Ian the best life that he possibly could. Thea’s dad reminded me a lot of my mom. He wasn’t perfect, but you could see that he was doing his best.

The character of Will upset me a lot. He often implied that he was owed sex from Thea. He was also a terrible father and boyfriend. I had a big problem with the fact that he would thank Thea for sex. No girl ever needs to put out. Relationships are NOT based on sexual activities. If you decide that you don’t want sex, then don’t do it. If a guy cannot respect that, then they are so not worth you. It should be possible to have a relationship without any sexual activities. If a guy cannot accept a relationship that doesn’t involve satisfying his every need, then it’s probably time to pull the plug on that relationship.

As you can see, I had a lot to say about this book. It just upset me on so many levels. It was giving out these messages that just completely went against my beliefs, which in turn affects my review about the book. So do keep in mind that this book upset me so much because it challenged my beliefs, and it may not be like that for everyone.

A small warning with this book. There are some sexual scenes. However, the scenes don’t go into detail. It’s just basically made clear that they are sleeping together.

Overall, I didn’t like this book very much. I appreciated that it gave me so much to talk about, but it really upset me. I hope that others enjoy Hooked. If you do, then please come back and let us know. However, I learned that this is just not the book for me.

Pages: 276

Publication Date: August 9, 2011

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Rating: : ★½☆☆☆

Teaser Quote: “As the head came out I stared at the ceiling and imagined karate-chopping my way through it. I felt like I was on fire, along with the rest of the world. “It’s a boy!” the doctor shouted, and I looked down and they flopped him onto my bare chest. He was slippery and bewildered, looking right at me with wide-open, alien eyes. “Oh my God,” I cried. I sait it over, and over, and over again.”

Book Reviews
June 15, 2011 posted by Christina

Entangled – Cat Clarke

“17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with a table, pens and paper – and no clue how she got here.

As Grace pours her tangled life onto the page, she is forced to remember everything she’s tried to forget. There’s falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unravelling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there’s something missing. As hard as she’s trying to remember, is there something she just can’t see?

Grace must face the most important question of all. Why is she here? ”


It goes without saying that waking up in a completely white room with just a table, pens and paper isn’t an everyday occurrence in Grace’s life. The only person she has contact with is Ethan, who brings her her meals and is keeping her prisoner. But if she’s been kidnapped why is he so nice yet infuriatingly cryptic? And what the heck is she doing there to begin with? The answer is there but it’s not till Grace starts putting her story to paper that she sees the truth.

When I first read the blurb for Entangled I was totally intrigued. A girl in a white room and she doesn’t know how or why? Tell me more! That plus a killer cover and plenty of positive reviews, I was very eager to get my hands on a copy. By the end of the story, I wish I didn’t get sucked into the trap of pretty covers.

Now, there are plenty of people who will disagree with me since Goodreads has page after page of glowing reviews, but I just wasn’t feeling it.

Grace is not the type of girl I’d ever be friends with. She’s the type I would’ve shied away from in school since her lifestyle is something I was always taught was not the way good girls should act. I might not always like the main character or what they do but a good story can make me forget that, Entangled just didn’t quite deliver for me.

Is it petty to dislike a character because she drinks like a sailor? Every few pages Grace was doing something that involved alcohol and usually plenty of it. Whether it was meeting up with a friend (usually at a bar or pub), hanging out at home or attempting suicide, alcohol was there and it just started to seem excessive in the story. Plus at only seventeen she seems to have had more than her fair share of casual sex, it’s not till Nat comes along that she sleeps with someone she actually cares about.

Grace has some personal issues as well. Since her father’s death, her relationship with her mother has been distant and strained. Rather than deal with her feelings on both issues she turns to self harming for release. At first you feel sympathy for how she must be feeling and that she doesn’t have someone to really help her deal with her problems (most try to just make her stop rather than address why she does it to begin with), but when you see Grace more or less emotionally blackmail people not to abandon her or she’ll harm herself you see that Grace has taken things one step too far.

The alternating perspective of the story from the present to the past was well done and flowed without a hitch but the major plot point was kind of predictable. It wasn’t completely obvious and at one point I thought maybe I was wrong, but in the end, it turned out exactly as I thought which was a shame. The story ends on a hopeful note but still leaves a few things hanging which left me wondering how things would’ve played out and generally a bit unsatisfied, especially about who exactly Ethan was.

Entangled had a lot of potential and deals with some heavy issues but I don’t feel it handled them as well as it could have. I wanted to like Grace or at least be able to sympathize with her, but in the end I just couldn’t find a reason to like her. The only character I liked in the end was Devon. For many Entangled was a hit, for me it’s a miss.

Pages: 375
Publication Date: January 2011
Publisher: Pan Macmillan/Quercus
Challenge: Debut Author
Rating: : ★★★☆☆

Teaser Quote: “The same questions whirl round and round in my head:
What does he want from me?
How could I have let this happen?

Choices – Dianne Wolfer
Book Reviews
July 26, 2009 posted by Nikki

Choices – Dianne Wolfer

Elisabeth’s hand trembled as she lifted the jar of warm liquid. She wanted to run away and scream that it was all a mistake, but instead, she took a deep breath and poured her urine over the plastic pregnancy tester. A few drops spilt on the bathroom tiles.

She shivered, it was so unfair. They’d only done it a few times and it hadn’t even been that good. Not like it was in books or movies. She looked at her watch and crossed her fingers as her brother rattled the door handle.

‘I’m busy!’ she yelled.

‘All right, keep your hair on.’ He walked away. Then the blue lines appeared. Elisabeth stared at the tester and knew that now she had to make a choice.

When seventeen-year-old Elisabeth falls pregnant, she has a tough choice to make: keep the baby, or make alternative arrangements. Choices represents possible outcomes for both scenarios. Libby’s narration shows readers how Elisabeth copes with life after choosing to keep the baby, and Beth’s narration shows readers how Elisabeth’s life turns out after she has an abortion. So let’s talk about both perspectives…

When Libby’s parents flip out after learning about her pregnancy (and her desire to keep the baby), life becomes very tense at Libby’s house. She realises that she can’t live there for too much longer, not if she wants to have a healthy, stress free environment to bring up her baby. So, when Darren – Libby’s boyfriend, and the father of her baby –  tells his parents, although they’re awfully disappointed and angry with them both, they at least offer to help. They set Darren and Libby up in an apartment and Libby sets about finishing school via correspondence. Sounds kind of perfect considering the situation, right?


When the baby – little Daniella – comes along, Libby and Darren realise just how hard their lives have become. Darren starts his first year at uni while Libby is stuck at home with a screaming infant, no support, and no clue how to raise a child. Is life so perfect now? I think not.

Mixed into all that is Beth’s story. Same girl, different nickname. Same pregnancy, different outcome. Beth doesn’t tell Darren that she’s pregnant and takes herself off to the clinic to take care of the whole thing. Darren’s not stupid, though, and he knows something is up. He never really mentions anything about it, and just sends her an envelope of cash and a small, apologetic note. Soon after, he starts dating another girl and Beth starts on a path of self-destruction. Not eating and vomiting when she does eat becomes common practice for Beth. But her story isn’t all bad. She goes to uni (which is something Libby does not do) and she makes new friends, participating in all kinds of teenage rites of passage. Beth’s life ends up following a very different path to Libby’s.

This technique of narrating two scenarios through the same character is extremely well done. The experience of falling pregnant changes Elisabeth, and the decision(s) she makes about the outcome changes her even more. Personally, I actually ended up liking the Elisabeth that has the baby more than the version of her who didn’t – and that has absolutely nothing to do with her actual decision to keep her child (I’m not pro-life, I’m pro-choice). I didn’t like the girl that Beth became: the moods, the destructive behaviour. While I understand an abortion is a huge thing for a teenager to process, I felt like shaking her and screaming at her that it was her choice, deal with it!

If you’re interested in reading about teen pregnancy scenarios, then this book is definitely one you should read. I enjoyed it entirely, even the bits that frustrated me and made me want to shake the character 😛

Rating:: ★★★★☆