Friday, February 19, 2010

Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky

Four 17-year-old high school students make a pact to become pregnant because they love babies and think that they will be great mothers. They are surprised and shocked when the news isn't received well by their families and when it causes problems for the mother of one of the girls. Susan Tate is a single mother who is also the high school's principal. Her daughter is Lily. She has never married but still has a close relationship with Lily's father. They live in a small town in Maine, a small, conservative town that is outraged by the girls' behavior and concerned that there will be other girls who will want to copy them.
The book wasn't all that great, the idea that intelligent, active, college-prep type girls from good homes would do this is a lot to have to swallow. I have a 17 year-old daughter and I can't imagine any of her friends thinking like that. I know that she wouldn't but she is the middle child of seven and remembers what the younger ones were like as babies. She knows how much work it is and wants to get a college degree and get married before she even thinks about such things. If you think that your young daughter might have romantic ideas about having kids then the book could be a platform to open the discussion up about it but honestly, even then it wouldn't be that helpful. The author spent too much time talking about how the daughter's pregnancy impacted her mother's job and not enough on why teenage girls shouldn't be thinking about getting pregnant, or even having sex at all.
The language wasn't bad but there were a couple of sex scenes, not with the girls but with Susan and Lily's father. Lily is aware that when her father visits, he sneaks into Susan's bedroom. Hmmm, so much for setting a good example for your daughter. Rated PG-16 for those scenes and for the adult situations in the book.

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