Author: Ismée Amiel Williams
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: 12. September 2017
Rating: 2./5. Stars
Diversity: PoC (mostly latinx cast)
TW: homophobia, sexual assault, drug abuse, child death
Summary: Fifteen-year-old Mari Pujols believes that the baby she’s carrying will finally mean she’ll have a family member who will love her deeply and won’t ever leave her—not like her mama, who took off when she was eight; or her papi, who’s in jail; or her abuela, who wants as little to do with her as possible. But when doctors discover a potentially fatal heart defect in the fetus, Mari faces choices she never could have imagined.
Surrounded by her loyal girl crew, her off-and-on boyfriend, and a dedicated doctor, Mari navigates a decision that could emotionally cripple the bravest of women. But both Mari and the broken-hearted baby inside her are fighters; and it doesn’t take long to discover that this sick baby has the strength to heal an entire family.
Order here: amazon
Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Mari is fifteen and when she found out that she was pregnant, she soon grows to love her baby. In him, she sees a chance for a family member who will always love her and never leave her. But when she finds out that her son has a heart condition, it all gets even more complicated.
I quickly grew to sympathize with Mari. Her mother took off when she was seven, her dad is in prison and her grandmother always makes her feel like she’s a burden. But she has her girls and her boyfriend, who all support her.
The relationship that I most enjoyed, was the one between Mari, Yaz, Teri and Heavenly, her best friends, as they always hung around together and just had a really close bond, which was really great to read. The one between Mari and her unborn son, where also great to read. You could always tell that she really loved her son.
This is a fascinating contemporary that deals with heavy themes like teen pregnancy, sick babies, absent parents and drugs, all while never slipping in a too dramatic mood. Despite all of this happening, the story still manages to spread hope and it was really nice to see that.
I enjoyed the writing style, even though it was a bit hard to really get into it in the beginning since there’s a lot of Spanish slang used as well as weird grammar constructions. On one hand, this definitely gave the story and unique flow and it helped me feel more connected to the characters as the story was told in the way the characters actually thought, but sometimes it was just hard to read.
However, this story is sadly not without flaws. Mari often makes homophobic comments and so in the end, I didn’t like her character as much as I did in the beginning. Now, I know, she’s 15, but none of her homophobic comments are ever called out and so she just grows more and more unlikeable. Also, the plot was sometimes quite predictable.
All in all, however, this was definitely an interesting book to read and unlike other books I’ve read before, but sadly the homophobia heavily detracted from my enjoyment of the book and so I can’t rate it higher.