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{May 14, 2013}   {ARC Review} Screwed by Laurie Plissner

16669468From Goodreads: Flattered by the attentions of Nick, the cutest guy in school, seventeen-year-old Grace Warren, captain of the math team, lets down her guard and gets pregnant the night she loses her virginity. Hopeful that Nick will drop to one knee and propose when she breaks the baby news to him, Grace is heartbroken – Nick wants nothing to do with her. Her best friend, Jennifer, thinks she should get an abortion, but Grace is certain that her morally upright parents will insist that she keep the baby. After she comes clean to her super-religious, strait-laced parents, they surprise her by insisting that she terminate the pregnancy to avoid humiliating the family. But when she sees the fetus on the ultrasound, she decides she can’t get rid of it. Deciding to save the tiny life growing inside of her, Grace must face the consequences of being that girl – the good girl who got knocked up.

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This novel is absolutely, 100% amazing, and even days after I finishing it, I am still haunted by the story.  It’s one of those that really makes you think, mulling over the character’s choices and decisions, and wondering if, faced with the same adversity, you’d be able to do what Grace does.  She amazes me, as do all young women who choose adoption over abortion.  Truth be told, I wouldn’t be here today had my birth-mother not made the same choice as Grace, so this story definitely hits close to home.  But, it isn’t just the choice to keep the baby that is difficult for Grace.  It’s her parents’ abandonment of her, as well as the talk among her peers and community, that make it fifty times harder.  With no support system, I feel I’d never make it through the long nine months, but Grace perseveres and finds solace and true love, which made this heartbreaking tale one of triumph, one that will stay with you long after the last page, and one you definitely need to read—it will make you laugh, and cry, and rage all at once, it’s that good.

My only issue with this novel is that it seems to be making a derogatory statement about religious people.  In a secular society that already looks down on religion, especially Christianity, tagging the more conservative as bigots and the like, this novel furthers that belief.  Had Grace’s parents not been religious, the fact that they disown her wouldn’t have been as big a deal—still a big deal, but not as big—because so much more is expected out of someone who claims God and religion, as if they are not allowed to be human, be selfish, or make mistakes.  I feel the author chose to make Grace and her parents religious as it adds much more to the shock value, and believe me, some of the things Grace’s parents do shocked me to the core, but it also irked me just the tiniest bit that it becomes a religious issue and not so much a human issue, anymore.  I don’t think that it was done intentionally, again, readers and publishers are always looking for shock value in novels, but even so, coming from a religious background, I did view it as a bit of a dig at religion. 

No matter what, disowning a child should never happen, and I definitely was livid and angry, and didn’t want Grace to ever speak to her parents again, let alone forgive them, but then again, that just goes to show how religion can also be a healing power, allowing Grace to be the bigger person.  So, basically what I’m trying to say is, I dislike how the novel seems to look down on religious people, but at the same time, this is such a well written, well-rounded story that smoothes itself out in the end.  And, I highly recommend this novel to all!  Four and a half stars.

4.5 stars

 

F+W/Adams Media has ben extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on May 18, 2013.
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