If the writer of this book wasn't trying to make a political statement, I'm sure that someone is going to use this book and try to shove it down someones throat to try to change their mind. I really don't want to go into my own personal opinions about the whole abortion thing yet, but I can tell you this - this book is so unrealistic with the happily-ever-after ending that any kid who thinks that this may happen to her will be really disappointed.
I just read Twenty Weeks by Melisa M. Hamling. I liked the writing style and how she told her story, but her story is just so fairy tail like that it just about ruined the book for me. Okay, so I'm in a bad mood now. Not only because this book was depressing and there was so much crying in it that I hoped that something different would happen to make up for it all. But instead the writer went with the traditional, super predictive happy ending that I would have expected from an After School Special that used to be aired so many years ago.
The book started out pretty good. Our main character, Maya, and her boyfriend, Alex, go to a party and 'accidentially' try some ecstasy. Though they were trying to wait as long as possible before taking their relationship to include sexual activity (come one, they were only 16), they end up having unprotected sex that night. The ecstasy ended up with something else in it that made them really sick and Maya almost ended up dying. Of course, with a title like Twenty Weeks (which is a too obvious and probably really bad title for this book), Maya ends up pregnant.
Now, what I don't understand is why Maya, who seemed like she had a good relationship with her parents and sister... heck, even her relationship with her boyfriend seemed ideal - gets really stupid and starts hiding stuff from them - like the fact that she's pregnant!!! I don't know, I didn't have that great of a relationship with my parents - heck, they were borderline jerks at one point, but I know that when my sister had an unplanned pregnancy, they would have done everything possible to help her. Heck, even after the hell she put them through after my niece was born, they still did everything they could to help her. My dad accepted an early retirement in order to be his first grand daughter's main caretaker while my sister went to work and school.
So, why Maya all of the sudden turned stupid, I don't know. But then, I won't try to explain teenage behavior because we all know from experience that we all went through bouts of stupidity during those tender years. But Maya goes to a clinic to look into getting an abortion. She ends up having a really bad and traumatic experience right before she goes in for the procedure and she ends up keeping the baby after all. I can understand why she would think she was not worthy of her baby because of what she almost did, but you'd think that with all of the love and support she had around her that she'd get it in her thick skull that the whole point of the matter was that she didn't!
Two books in a row with stupid characters. What was I thinking when I downloaded these? Oh well, books read and now I'm bitter. I'm probably giving this book an undeserving bashing just because I'm in a bad mood now. I was expecting just something a little more different for the ending. But it just felt so rushed and short... and shallow. She may as well just wrote "and the lived happily ever after" instead and it would have had the same effect. Instead of drawing out the whole abortion thing (I know she has this whole political agenda hidden in there - yes, I'm being ornery now, so I'll shut up about this subject now), the writer should have had Maya have her baby a little earlier and concentrated on some kind of conflict after the baby was born to show how hard it is to keep a relationship alive with a baby around. Heck, this is universal no matter how old you are. Hubby and I didn't have our son until we were 33 years old and have had the usual fights on who got more sleep during those first few years.
I wish the writer would have gone into the characters with a little more depth. I feel like I kind of got to know Maya, but wanted to know stuff like what made her so smart in school? How smart was she in school? What did she want to be when she grew up? How did she really feel about having a baby? The story went into how Maya wanted to protect her boyfriend so much but didn't really get into how Maya felt about herself. Did she want the baby or not? She just kept going on and on about how Alex wouldn't want the baby. If the writer did mention it, it certainly was washed out by Maya's worry over how Alex would feel, or how her parents would react.
I think the talent for writing was there, but the story was just too naive and idealistic. Too much of a fairy tail and the subject matter was too mature to present it as a fairy tail. I just looked up on Amazon and it looks like this is the writer's only book. It also looks like it may be self published. If this is true, then I actually admire what she's done with this. Sure, the story can use a lot of help, but she still did a pretty good job for being her first book. I hope that someone with the right connections can help with her next book and get it properly edited. I'm sure that if she continues to stay in the controversial subject matter that she may be able to make a difference to someone out there... just not with this book.