Friday, September 21, 2012

40 Things I Want to Tell You by Alice Kuipers

TITLE: 40 Things I Want to Tell You
AUTHOR: Alice Kuipers
PUBLISHER/YEAR: HarperTrophyCanada/2012
GENRE: Contemporary / YA
SOURCE: Local Library

Okay, wow. So when I said I was back at blogging again I was clearly lying. September hasn't been a great month for me reading wise so this is actually my first review. I'm a terrible blogger sometimes so thanks for sticking with me everybody. 

40 Things I Want to Tell You was a challenging book for me to get through. Bird is the golden child. She gets straight As, is dating her best friend, is planning on attending Oxford and even has an internet advice column set up. Overall, she's the kind of kid every parent dreams of. But then Pete comes into the picture. He's the new guy at school, kicked out of his previous schools so the rumours say. Bird can't help it. She's drawn to him and as the back cover says, one mistake can change everything. 

Now I don't know how spoilery the rest of this review is going to be, but if you don't want to know anything that's not on the back cover stop reading now. 

I don't think it's giving too much away when I tell you that Bird and Pete sleep together one night and that's that. Bird's pregnant and her life begins to fall apart. The rest of this book is really about dealing with the consequences. Teenage pregnancy is a difficult subject to portray in the media. I think this book did a commendable job, it wasn't perfect, but it was thoughtful. 

Bird isn't exactly the most likable character in this book. She's judgmental and manipulative. She hides things from her boyfriend, the father, her own parents and manages to drive away those closest to her. It was difficult to read. However, I thought that it was fairly accurate. I believed that that was how this particular character would react to an unexpected pregnancy. It was difficult to read and there were times when I really felt for Bird and times when I just wanted to shake some sense into her. Kuipers did an excellent job creating a real character with flaws and individual reactions. 

I didn't love this book and it took me awhile to get through, but I think that was partially due to the head space I was in when I picked it up. It's a bittersweet book and by the end I had a tear in my eye. Give it a shot because while I didn't love it, if you're into character driven books with lots of drama this might be the book for you. 

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