Book Review: Unpregnant by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan

Unpregnant by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan

Unpregnant by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan

Rating: 2/5

What it’s about:

Veronica Clark is a perfectionist. Seventeen years old, with a popular boyfriend and friends, and accepted into her top pick of college at Brown. What she didn’t expect was to fail at a pregnancy test even after always using protection. She soon finds out that her boyfriend tampered with the condom on purpose to get her pregnant and keep her from moving away. Veronica is determined to keep this secret from her family and friends and wants to get an abortion. She enlists the help of a past scorned best friend, Bailey, to help her make 900 mile trip to the closest clinic. ⁠⠀

What I liked:

I was intrigued by the idea of a ya fiction that involved the topic of teenage pregnancy and abortion. It took some guts to tackle those topics, especially since there are not alot of YA books out there that do. ⁠⠀

What I didn’t like:

All of the characters felt flat. There was no development on Veronica in the beginning of the story, so it was hard to connect with her or understand the reasoning behind her decisions. After the initial discovery of her boyfriends betrayal, his character seemed pointless. I now realize that the purpose of his character was to shed light on reproductive coercion (which was a completely new concept for me and is really important for women to know about), but the way he was portrayed made it hard to take his character seriously.

Final Thoughts:

I’m not quite sure if I would recommend this book in general. It’s a fast read, so maybe you are willing to give it a shot. Looking at Goodreads, readers either loved it or hated it.

The title is misleading because the pregnancy and the actual abortion part play such a small part in the story. I wish this book had taken advantage of the opportunity to help teen readers explore how teen pregnancy is life changing, how to deal with family involvement, and planning for the future based on their decision.

Refinery 29 did an interview with the authors and it definitely made me consider the author’s viewpoints on the book. If anything, this book could be a springboard for discussing things like access to legal abortions and reproductive coercion.

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