1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful and Realistic,
This review is from: Believe in Me: A Teen Mom's Story (Paperback)
Believe in Me by Judith Dickerman-Nelson depicts the growth and challenges of teenage pregnancy with an accuracy and sentiment that transcends the youth genre. Her story is fiction but clearly finds its roots in her own life. As such, she takes a very realistic and simplified tone with her narrator of the same name. This simple manner juxtaposes well with the heavy undertones and complicated situations present in the novel. Judith's predicament and transitions are ones I would expect in a teenage pregnancy, but it is the narrator's own attitude that makes this story unique. While Judith maintains the naiveté that many who are young and in love fall victim to, her own outlook in the face of her multiple challenges pulls readers into her world.
Nelson's incorporation of God into the novel adds a realism that affects the entire story. Judith's parents and the parents of her boyfriend Kevin include Catholicism in their views; these views greatly influence the relationship between their two children. It is not the traditional beliefs of Catholicism, but the uses of those beliefs in the face of conflict that makes the story interesting for the reader. Judith's own religious belief is prevalent as well; her decisions seem at their most mature when she draws solely from her Christian teachings. Her beliefs actually draw many more readers in, as her attitudes and actions shift from the norm of what is expected in teenage pregnancy.
I think readers will definitely enjoy what is both a love story between Judith and her boyfriend and Judith and her unborn baby. The transformation of love Judith undergoes not only affects her, but every other character. Dickerman-Nelson's story of teen pregnancy stands out because of its positivity in the face of realistic and unfair circumstances. The author never becomes preachy, and never loses her ground in the face of truth. By the end, I was fully invested in Judith's struggle for the stability of her child.