The Pregnancy Project by Gaby Rodriguez with Jenna Glatzer is not your usual YA novel. It begins by outlining the intriguing background of the main character, who also happens to be the author. Gaby’s family is filled with teen parents; her mother was a teen mom, all of her brothers have gotten girls pregnant, and her two sisters have both become single moms before turning eighteen. As far as everyone else is concerned, teen pregnancy is almost a habit in Gaby’s family. So why shouldn’t Gaby follow in her family’s footsteps? Isn’t it said that history repeats itself?
But Gaby has other ideas. She decides to do a report during her senior year on how society reacts to teen pregnancy, and this seemingly boring presentation leads Gaby to take on the burden of living down to everyone’s expectations. She decides to do a report that’s personal and complicated . . . she decides to fake her own pregnancy.
Because this book is written as a report rather than as a story with a traditional storyline, it is hard to critique it in a fair way. The plot seems somewhat unbalanced, with tedious and repetitive scenes drawn out slowly while the climax is handled in a sentence or two. After staying up late to reach the moment when Gaby announces that she’s faked the pregnancy, I was so disappointed by the rushed climax scene. I had to read it over again to supplement my understanding; it is so short and non-descriptive. Description seems to be a weak spot for this young author in general. The characters, the setting, and even Gaby herself are so inadequately described that I felt like I was missing half the story.
But the reason this book stands out from the rest is its message. Teen pregnancy is a real problem in our country, and I love the unique way that Gaby Rodriguez approaches it. There is no better way to tell this story than in memoir/autobiography format, and I also find it interesting to think that, although she is only 18 years old, Gaby is already role model for many teens.
The Pregnancy Project is fairly short, which means that the storyline is somewhat predictable, but not in a bad way. I, for one, enjoyed the security of knowing that everyone was going to survive with all their limbs intact, and would all be the better for it. It’s a nice change from the normal twisting and turning of all the action-packed thrillers out there. The Pregnancy Project is not boring, but it’s exciting in more subtle ways than most of YA.
I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Gaby’s experience, and hearing the events pre- and post-pregnancy from Gaby’s point of view. The best compliment I can give is that I’m glad this book has been written. It’s about time someone took the glamour out of 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom, and other shows like them!
Morgan Smith is a 13 year old living with her family and cat, Holly, in a small house in Pennsylvania. She loves pretty much every genre of books, from cheesy romance novels to dry nonfiction stories, but her favorite books are historical fiction. She has loved to write and read for as long as she can remember, and she also loves to swim, sew, cook, and so much more.