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Friday, October 7, 2011

Hooked by 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.


This is my third teen pregnancy novel, and the first that I've really, really liked. The first was Dessen's Someone Like You which just didn't have any appeal for me at all, and the second was such a terrible experience, in fact, that it became the only book that I have ever reviewed negatively.I was pleasantly surprised with Catherine Greenman's debut novel Hooked and dually shocked by the negativety of other reviews I've seen.

The entire novel is very fresh and relatable; it's a sweet (and sometimes not-so-sweet) story of teen romance, pregnancy and parenthood that hasn't been told before. The plot is thoroughly developed and carried out perfectly. The writing is stunning and shines with personality. The characters are what draw you into this book from the start, and keep you hooked--Thea especially. She's your average teenager--sort of--with doubts about college and the future, issues with her parents, and boy troubles. Until it gets a little trickier; pregnancy tends to do that.

There are common stereotypes and misconseptions in our country about teen pregnancy. This novel--and Thea herself--push the boundaries of these stereotypes until they've been completely demolished. Thea is not irresponsible (at least not any more so than any other American teen), she is not extremely poor, she is not a hooker, she is not a slut. She is on the pill. She uses protection. The affect that this has on the reader's view of the novel is overwhelming: this could happen to me.

And, of course, this just happens to be Hooked's selling aspect. The fact that it is so relateable just makes you admire Thea so much, and question those stereotypes that I'm sure most of us must have hidden in the dark corners of our mind; the kind that comes up when you see a pregnant girl in the hall at school, or overhear someone in the bathroom talking to their doctor over the phone about the effectiveness of the pill.

I absolutely loved this novel. Don't listen to what anyone else says. It's fantastic.

Grade: A+

1 comment:

Lydia Kang said...

Great review! I hadn't heard of this one. New follower, hi!


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