From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up As school begins, 17-year-old Rand knows that she is pregnant. She wants to tell her boyfriend, but after being away at camp all summer she doesn't feel as close to Kamran as she once did. Making matters worse, she is increasingly certain that he is dating her best friend behind her back. Because of this, Rand is all but cut off from her social group, and her controlling mother and emotionally absent father, still reeling from the death of their other daughter five years earlier, don't offer any emotional support either. When she decides to keep her baby, her parents force her to give up her dreams of art school to get a job. Just when everything seems like it couldn't possibly get any worse, Rand faces the dangerously early birth of her baby. In the end, she discovers not only who her true friends are, but also the truth about her sister's death. Along with a rekindled relationship with her parents, these facets of the story contribute to a somewhat resolved ending, though not much positive happens during this bleak novel. Even if other characters are not outright mean to her, almost no one treats Rand with any kindness. Some may appreciate Cupala's gritty realism, but others will find this overwrought book a real downer. Jennifer Miskec, Longwood University, Farmville, VA
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Haunted by the death of her older sister, Xanda, in a car crash five years earlier, Seattle high-school senior Miranda barely relates to her cold parents, quarrels with her girlfriends, and has sex with gorgeous Kamran, who dumps her. Then she discovers that she is pregnant. She finds support online with other expectant mothers, even though she isn’t truthful about her own scenario. And she loves her baby girl, Lexi, even in the womb, and that gives her hope after a long, painful labor and very premature birth. This lengthy, repetitive first novel draws out the family secrets. How exactly did Xanda die? Was her boyfriend drunk, or was it Xanda’s fault? Miranda’s mother is demonized, but teens will be held by the fresh take on the teen-pregnancy plot, and Miranda’s first-person contemporary narrative elevates this title above problem-novel clichés. Heartbreaking and hopeful, the details of Miranda’s bonding with Lexi and her discovery of kindness and family are the core of the story. Grades 9-12. --Hazel Rochman