CONCEPTION by Kalisha Buckhanon


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Naïve, inner-city teenager learns she is pregnant.

At 15, Shivana Montgomery yearns to love and to be loved. Her father is no longer around and her single, hardened mother, Annette, is resentful of her blossoming daughter and releases anger through daily verbal and physical abuse. At school Shivana and best friend Nakesha are not a part of the ‘in’ crowd; both are often the subject of ridicule. The girls define themselves through their sexual experiences, or lack thereof: Although Nakesha has had several partners, Shivana has had only one. Impressionable Shivana’s world turns upside down when she becomes pregnant by the father of the children she babysits for. The family lives in the same apartment building as Shivana and her mother, and the wife who employs her is expecting. At the same time that Shivana attempts to make major decisions, a new guy appears in her life. Rasul, much like Shivana, is coming of age in an unwelcoming environment. After a falling out with her best friend, Shivana lets Rasul into her world. The two must decide how to go on.

A poignant, heart-wrenching novel from Chicago resident Buckhanon (Upstate, 2005).

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-312-33270-9
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2007