Seventeen-year-old Veronica Clarke’s perfect life screeches to a halt when she discovers she is pregnant.
A contender for valedictorian, she will be the first in her family to attend college—but her boyfriend intentionally compromises their birth control, and her life is thrown into chaos. Kevin’s always been “intense,” but Veronica and her straight-laced, straight-A friends thought it was romantic...until he proposes marriage rather than supports her plan to get an abortion. Veronica’s seen the impact of young motherhood on her sister and knows it’s not the right choice for her, but the nearest abortion clinic that serves minors without parental consent is nearly a thousand miles away, in Albuquerque. If Kevin won’t take her, who will? Enter Bailey: Veronica’s former best friend, high school loner, and, perhaps most importantly, owner of a car. A stilted transaction between frenemies soon becomes a whirlwind road trip. Both entertaining and educational, the novel contains detailed descriptions of Veronica’s abortion research, phone call to Planned Parenthood, and time at the clinic, which demystify abortion and build empathy for those who make that choice. Instead of centering the decision itself, Veronica’s narrative emphasizes the situational and emotional hurdles keeping her from what she knows she wants. All main characters are assumed white, and a diversity of experience is evident in characters’ socio-economic class and sexuality.
Timely, hilarious, and heartfelt. (Fiction. 14-18)