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The Girl Who Couldn't Say No: Memoir of a teenage mom [Kindle Edition]

Tracy Engelbrecht
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $8.78
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

A sharp, occasionally shocking, memoir that will change how you look at teenage mothers, The Girl Who Couldn’t Say No is told with frank South African humour and refreshingly mature insight. Tracy Engelbrecht tells the story of how she came to find herself pregnant at 15, and how she coped with pregnancy, birth and homework.
An eye-opener for teens and their parents alike, as well as a message of hope, empathy and respect for those who have experienced a teenage pregnancy.

No M-TV teen moms, no sugar-coating, no horror stories - just honesty, humility, humour and love. Real life.

Editorial Reviews


Naturally funny and candid style of writing keeps the reader engaged as she comes into her own as a parent. She is honest and humorous as she admits the mistakes she made, but also confident in her role as a mother, first and above all

With wit and humility, Engelbrecht shares her mistakes and triumphs, regrets and pleasures. She doesn't presume to be an agony aunt or a psychologist - just another girl, not so different from everyone else. --Cape Times, South Africa

It's not a cautionary tale of a Good Girl Gone Bad or even of a Bad Girl Made Good... It's just a little story of changes and adjustment, of love and destiny". This  is a refreshing look at motherhood free from the usual cheese and cliché.

About the Author

Tracy Engelbrecht is a writer and mother of two. She lives in Cape Town and doesn't grow freakishly large prizewinning vegetables, but she does do a nice lasagne and her children aren't in therapy yet, so things are going well. She hardly ever drinks pina coladas or gets caught in the rain, but she's working on it. That's the official story. The truth is, of course, much less exciting. I was once The Girl Who Couldn't Say No, but these days I'm mom and eternal tea-maker to a teenage son, and mommy and copious cuddler of a tween daughter - both unique specimens of delicious humanity, way cooler than you'd expect with me as a mom. I'm also blogger, a columnist and a Tweeter-in-training. What else? Ah, yes. Thinker, reader, pudding-fantasist, champion-napper and above all, a sensible girl. 

Hopelessly inelegant and perfectly inappropriate for every occasion, I wear my awkwardness like a badge of honour. I have to. It's the only jewellery I own not made from macaroni. I've given up on the pina colada thing (see above). It was never me anyway; I'm much more a creme soda float girl. Wif sprinkles.

Product Details

  • File Size: 315 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0051AUIVU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,022 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating, interesting, and very funny! October 17, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a guy. I'm not much interested in chick-lit, which I was afraid this was going to be. But the other reviews noted the humor, so as a free Kindle download, I thought I'd try it.

Oh, am I glad I did. The author paints a vivid picture of her life, and while she recognizes the serious importance of raising children, she doesn't take herself too seriously. I was reading on the train, and kept laughing out loud. By the time the 2 and a half hour ride was over, I'd almost finished the book, and persuaded three other people on the train to download for their Kindle or Kindle app. And I'm writing this review to encourage other guys to read it -- you're likely to learn something, and enjoy it along the way.

The edition could use some copy editing. Something odd has happened in formatting for the kindle, with erratic font size changes after words are underlined. After a while, you'll just shrug and read on.

I was a bit disturbed by the lack of any mention of legal intervention. Perhaps the laws in South Africa are different than in the United States. If a 14 year old turns up pregnant by an 18 year old in the US, he's likely to be going to jail for rape, regardless of whether the girl says she consented. This was apparently not an issue in South Africa.

These last two issues aside, I highly recommend this book!
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, Funny and Honest June 10, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've been wanting to read this book for quite a while and I was not disappointed. I bought it late on Sunday afternoon and thought I would read a few pages every night. I took a sneak peek at the first two pages. I finished the book on Monday afternoon. I was hooked!! Tracy's honesty and humour makes this a fabulous read. Easy and keeps you hooked. Tracy's writing style is fabulously refreshing.

Her story is captivating and honest. It is her story and she tells it well. It gave me insight to her as well as other young moms. I know this is her story only but I am sure that there are other young moms out there that experience much of the same. This gives me, the average reader, so much insight and a new found respect for every young mother, whatever their journey.

I would highly recommend this book. It's a good story. It is very well written. It is thought provoking. It is fabulous!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Girl Who Couldn't Say No October 30, 2011
By Erin
Format:Kindle Edition
Tracy got pregnant at 15. As with all teenage mothers, she struggled through all the hardships motherhood brings with it. This is her story of how she got through it and more.

Engelbrecht's humor and wit drew me into the book. I loved her wit and her sense of humor. There was, also, quite a bit of profanity in the book but it all belonged there. That was Tracy's personality and it gave you a real sense of her. As a mother, I found her insight on motherhood hilarious. I laughed out loud on several occasions, especially when describing toddlers, since that is the stage my children are in right now.

The first 2/3 of the book, I was really into. I loved reading her thoughts on what was going on in her life. It was all interesting. The last 1/3 dragged for me, though. I had a hard time getting through it. I don't know if I can pinpoint why, maybe it was the way she rambled off subject for pages at a time, though that happened through the whole book. Maybe it was the subject matter or the slight repetitiveness. I'm not sure. Either way, I didn't like the last part of the book. Plus my American brain shuddered every time I read the word "learnt". But her humor was still there.

It was a quick and funny read.

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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every bit a five star read. October 22, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a great book! I was captivated from the start; and although I read other books while enjoying this one, it was not due to disinterest but was my way of making it last. This book is open and honest and LAUGH OUT LOUD funny, not to mention being an absolute joy to read. Well written with none of the glaring errors which can be soooo distracting, I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read! Very funny and right on the mark October 18, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was well written and hysterically funny in parts. I could relate to quite a bit of her tale. Sometimes things just happen and you have to make the best of a unfortunate situation.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Read! December 31, 2011
By Jamie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I usually agree with the majority of reviewers on Amazon, although today I must disagree. This book was awful! I could barely get through it and I always finish books. Out of the thousands I have read this is probably in one of my top three slots for worst book. The author's personality was just not nice, she constantly complained about how people would look at her, pity her, or make rude comments toward her, all because she was pregnant at 14. She kept begging the readers to remember she was a "good girl" who allowed her inner Tracey control for a few minutes to have sex with some boy. Honestly the first twenty or so pages I thought I had bought the wrong book, I thought I was reading a book on someone with multiple personalities because she kept describing "rational tracey", "crazy tracey", and some other tracey telling her what to do and think. I understand she was trying to be funny but it came off weird and emotionally unstable; probably exactly the reason people were looking at and talking to her like she had a problem.

The author speaks about looking for "something in her life that was missing and trying to commit suicide" and finally (at the age of 14) finding what she was looking for: getting pregnant! the author acts as though this is normal and that she is better than her classmates who were doing mindless things like going to parties, school, having boyfriends, and acting like teenagers. Gee, that is what they are supposed to be doing! I would love to know the author's opinion on how she would feel if her own daughter became pregnant at 14 or if her son got a 14 year old girl pregnant when he was 18, similar to her situation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars very boring the writer kept getting off track with her story
Very , very boring the writer kept getting off track with her story. She seemed to ramble on and on at times about noting that had to do with the story line.
Published 16 days ago by bigredd
5.0 out of 5 stars funny heartwarming and real
This is a great read...I've read it twice and loved the book and the author...would highly recommend. It also made me realize that I never want a kid without a partner! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rachna
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice for a little escape
This was a fun and quick read. Tracy's wit made for some very funny moments that were perhaps a bit awkward when in the doctor's office.
Published 1 month ago by Klrtink
4.0 out of 5 stars very cute
Loved her sense of humor and her wit. Good quick read. Made me think of my own pregnancies and past boyfriends.
Published 2 months ago by Janet Edgar
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Wow, it was an interesting account of how a pregnant teenager in South Africa during the early 90's and how she coped with the stress
Published 2 months ago by The E Traveller
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet
I found this book delightful. Funny and Heartwarming. A good read for all moms. Makes you realize you can do it.
Published 2 months ago by Jaimie Garcia
1.0 out of 5 stars The book I COULD put down
It took 5 pages to describe why the baby should or shouldn't be bathed. To say this book was wordy would be a gross understatement. Read more
Published 3 months ago by ML Baker
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
I enjoyed it.
Published 3 months ago by Ashley
5.0 out of 5 stars funny
Cute funny memoir about a scary situation made real and honest. A quick good honest and funny read , worth the read for sure
Published 3 months ago by brake
3.0 out of 5 stars I can only imagine
It was interesting. I can't imagine what it would be like to have gotten pregnant at such a young age.
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Tracy Engelbrecht is a writer and mother of two. She lives in Cape Town and doesn't grow freakishly large prizewinning vegetables, but she does do a nice lasagne and her children aren't in therapy yet, so things are going well. She hardly ever drinks pina coladas or gets caught in the rain, but she's working on it.

These days, besides mom-stuff and the day job, she runs a support group for young and teen moms in Cape Town, South Africa.

Read more about Young Mom Support at

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