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Unpregnant by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan - Review

Monday, November 4, 2019


Where did I get it? I bought it, I've had it on pre-order since January, can you believe?! I have been researching books about abortion because of something I want to write myself, and when I saw this book mentioned way back in January I ordered it immediately. 

What's it about? Veronica, known to her friend as Ronnie, has what appears to be a perfect life. She's about to be valedictorian, she has three lovely friends and a gorgeous boyfriend, Kevin. She has plans to go to Brown University in Rhode Island, many miles away from her home in Missouri. 

She is also pregnant. 

She does the test at school and ends up dropping it in the bathroom, where it lands at the feet of Bailey, Ronnie's old friend. The two girls were close in junior high, but Bailey's life turned a little chaotic and Ronnie stopped talking to her. Since then, Bailey has become the school outcast, the school loner. She teases Ronnie when she sees the test, saying that Ronnie's perfect life is over.

Ronnie doesn't feel she can tell her parents - her older sister had a baby young and her parents haven't really got over it. She decides to have an abortion, so she calls her local Planned Parenthood. They inform her that Missouri doesn't allow abortions for minors without parental consent, and Ronnie is only seventeen. The closest place that will give her a termination without her parents knowing is in Albuquerque, over a thousand miles away. 

Fortunately, Ronnie is supposed to head off to a cabin by a lake with her friends for the weekend to cram for finals, so she realises she can use that time to get Kevin to take her to New Mexico. However, this plan soon goes awry when it turns out Kevin has been keeping something from her. Ronnie is beginning to despair, but goes to ask Bailey for help. 

The two set off on the thousand mile trip involving cows, strippers, kidnapping a ferret, robbery, and putting a friendship back together. 

The book, despite its serious subject matter, is really funny in parts, and touching in others. It is political and doesn't apologise for that - it is scandalous that so many people have to travel so far for abortions in the US and in the UK and across the world. Safe access to abortion is a human right, in my opinion. It is also really, really good. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would read something else by the same authors. 

What age range is it for? 14+, I guess 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Yeah but no spoilers. 

Are any main characters people of colour? No. 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? No. 

Is there any sex stuff? It isn't graphic. There's no graphic bits in the whole book. 

Are drugs mentioned or used? No. 

Is there any talk of death? A little, not much 

Are there swear words? Almost none. 

What criticisms do I have? Almost none! I think it is a great example of contemporary YA. 

Would I recommend the book? Yes one hundred percent. 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? It arrived a couple of weeks back and was on the top of the pile. 

What do I think of the cover? It's so eye-catching isn't it!? I love it. 

What other books is it like? It's kind of the antithesis of Belly Up by Eva Darrows, I feel like they're a good pair of books. 

How many stars? Five out of five. 

Where is the book going now? I'm going to send it to my friend Janet as she said on Instagram she wanted to read it and we often share books!



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