Monday, October 17, 2011

Review: Pregnant Pause by Han Nolan




Publisher Harcourt
Pages: 352
Source: Personal Ebook

Elly is sixteen years old, and pregnant. After returning to the US from Kenya she has been running wild, drinking, doing drugs and skipping school. Her boyfriend Lam is two years older than her but encourages her wild ways. When she discovers she’s pregnant, she didn’t worry right away. She never expected that she would carry the baby to term, she assumed she would miscarry. She continued her ways, until she realized that the pregnancy was real and she needed to deal with the situation. Her missionary parents were livid with her, they planned to return to Kenya, and Elly was given two choices. She could return to Kenya with them- without the baby, or move to California with her sister and give the baby to her. Sarah had miscarried three times, and would love to raise the baby with her husband. A stubborn Elly decides to marry Lam and remains up in the air about what to do. Both sets of parents are not thrilled but agree to allow them to marry. Elly will join Lam and his parents at the family summer camp and assist with the children. Their struggles escalate when Lam tries to convince Elly to give the baby to his parents who are still grieving the loss of their second child. Lam becomes distant, and Elly throws herself into camp life and begins to enjoy working with the children. Elly is constantly under the scrutiny of her in-laws, Lam is never around and her parents have gone to Kenya.

Pregnant Pause is a heartbreaking novel, a cautionary tale that demonstrates that endings are not always happily-ever-after. Elly’s character is very annoying when the book begins, but by the end she redeemed herself in my eyes. Clearly, Elly is a teenager and becoming pregnant hasn’t suddenly matured her. Lam is continuing her immature ways, and Elly tries to mostly ignore him. This book does not glamorize pregnancy in any way. The parents really bothered me, really, really bothered me. Both sets of parents tried to manipulate the teenagers into doing what they wanted. It seemed like Elly didn’t matter anymore, Elly was a rebel and would always be in their eyes. Elly’s parents never tried to guide their daughter, they set out their options and that was that, no further discussion. The parents were trying to do what was best for them, Elly would have to deal. Elly’s parents continually talk about the children in Kenya and how they are needed, while Elly is trying to wrap her mind around why her parents don’t think she needs them anymore. I would love for a second book because the ending was not at all what I was expecting, I do not want to give away any spoilers but the ending was fantastic.  I was in a complete shock, and my disgust for the other characters grew immensely.

11 comments:

  1. Rally does sound annoying g in the beginning. Just assumed he'd miscarry?? I've seen a lot of parents like hers too though who just are out there for themselves. I'm curious about the ending!

    My phone Internet is being super weird and won't let me delete anything.... That part at the beginning should say "she really" not Rally lol

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  2. It sounds like this book is very intriguing, and I am curious about the parents and their reactions to Ellie's pregnancy. I also admit to have my interest extremely piqued by the mention of you anger towards the ending of the book. I need to see if I can get my hands on this one. It sounds excellent! Great review, by the way!

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  3. This is one of those books that you know just from the name that it's not a light read. Wow. Pregnant Pause sounds like a very emotional read. I honestly don't think that I could stomach reading it, going from what you said that she thought she'd miscarry at the beginning. I think I'd be super frustrated with it. But great review! :)

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  4. I'm glad to see this book didn't glamorize pregnancy, because I think the media often does. You've got me very curious about the ending.

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  5. She does seem very annoying, and I am sure I would yell a bit at her.

    But I am glad to hear that it deal with real issues

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  6. I am always drawn to books about pregnant teens. I will definitely be checking this one out!

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  7. You've got me very curious about the ending of this book now. I think one of the reasons I'm fascinated by the experience of teen pregnancy was because of how many there were at my high school when I was there (and most of them disappeared during the duration of their pregnancy - sent away somewhere I'm sure).

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  8. I don't think I've read any books like this before but now I am really intrigued. Great review and I want to know the ending ;)

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  9. I'm surprised their aren't more teen pregnancy fiction books. This looks interesting.

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  10. Now I want to know what happens at the end! This sounds like a very intense, emotional read. I don't read a whole lot of contemporary stories, but I may give this one a try sometime soon.

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  11. this book is very good i'm 16 and i would recommend it to teens and adults and very good lesson to young pregnate teens

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