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I Belong


Review: Don’t Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley

Don't Call Me BabyTitleDon’t Call Me Baby

Author: Gwendolyn Heasley

Genre: YA Contemporary

Series: N/A

Publication Date: April 22, 2014

Format: Paperback, 304 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062208527 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062208521 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin

Synopsis:

All her life, Imogene has been known as the girl on that blog.

Imogene’s mother has been writing an incredibly embarrassing, and incredibly popular, blog about her since before she was born. The thing is, Imogene is fifteen now, and her mother is still blogging about her. In gruesome detail. When a mandatory school project compels Imogene to start her own blog, Imogene is reluctant to expose even more of her life online . . . until she realizes that the project is the opportunity she’s been waiting for to define herself for the first time.

Quick & Dirty: A cute, quick read with an interesting premise and dynamic characters.

Opening Sentence: Click.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Imogene’s mother is more wrapped up in her blog than her daughter’s life. Her blog, Mommylicious, details every embarassing moment of her life as she grows up. Every week, Imogene is forced to review items for the blog and take constant streams of pictures that she would rather avoid. She never seems to be able to work up the courage to talk to her mom about it, and every year she swears it will be different.

Then, her and her best friend (also a daughter of a serious blogger) make a plan. They are making their own blogs, where they’ll explain their side of the story. It’s a quest for justice- they just want to be out of the public eye. This is sure to do the trick. But as their plan goes into action, the things they post are mean – almost more like vengeance. But how else will they get the point across?

This novel had a lot of good things going for it. One of them was the main character, Imogene. Her whole life has been dictated my her mother’s blog – even her name was chosen in an online poll. She’s grown up feeling oppressed and has never really spoken her mind, but in this book she certainly got her point across. I loved watching her develop from a shy and reserved daughter with a streak of rebellion, who wasn’t exactly sure the best way to communicate her message, to a wiser and more mature teenager. I also liked how by the end, she was seeing from other’s points of view – Imogene went through a lot of growth and I enjoyed seeing that process.

As for the romance, that’s something that I felt neutral on. The relationship was definitely fun to watch. The love interest, Dylan, started as Imogene’s all-consuming crush. As she got to know him, she saw sides of him that weren’t as perfect as she’d fantasized about, and she learned about the importance of seeing from other’s points of view. I liked how he encouraged her to be kinder to her mom – after all, her mother had no idea how against Imogene was about being in the public’s eye.

It did seem like a younger relationship, which made sense, as Imogene was a freshman and barely 14. I sometimes felt that her thoughts were more juvenile than her age, but that wasn’t a big problem, as it didn’t happen often. And altogether, I found this book to be a fun novel. It’s a quick read with a unique premise and the characters were fun to watch develop. I think that lovers of middle grade contemporary as well as young adult contemporary will be fans of this novel!

Notable Scene:

She starts trekking back toward the group. I try to keep up, but I trip over a root. I almost fall into the muddy swamp, but I grab onto a strong branch at the very last second.

Sage doesn’t look back, not even when I yelp.

Maybe Sage’s right about not knowing each other. The Sage I knew would’ve called out “root”.

crow4

FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Don’t Call Me Baby. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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