A “good girl” experiences an unplanned pregnancy and its aftermath.
Evelyn is a classic good girl, earning top grades and excelling in the art studio as well as on the track. When her parents start paying more attention to their acrimoniously crumbling marriage than to their daughter, she punishes them by becoming drinking, drugging, sex-having Bad Evelyn. Unfortunately, Bad Evelyn’s exploits become a punishment for her, too, as her protection-free sex with Todd leads to an unplanned pregnancy. Evelyn’s situation is the stuff of classic YA problem novels: What will she do about her pregnancy? How will she live with her choices? Will her heart, in fact, go on? Fearing expulsion from her competitive and deeply conservative Catholic high school, Evelyn relocates to Chicago to live with her aunts Linda and Nora and their daughters while she makes her choices and protects her GPA. Evelyn is a tough nut to crack, and she’s not particularly likable, but through all her self-contradictory crabbiness and emotionally withholding fears, readers may see someone recognizably real. First-time author Carter drags her narrative out, making readers angst along with Evelyn as she chronicles every week of her pregnancy and beyond.
Readers who relish self-indulgent inner monologue and expect dramatic arguments, seething resentment, tearful heartbreak, unspoken anxieties, unexpected friendships and ultimately, graceful reconciliation, will not be disappointed. (Fiction. 14-16)