Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Holding on to Zoe by George Ella Lyon

I received an e-galley of this from, that is the only compensation I received for this review.

Jules's life has never been easy. Her dad left when she was really young, leaving her with a mom who selfishly ignores Jules's problems. On top of her bad homelife, now her boyfriend has left town. Unfortunately for Jules, he left after he found out she was pregnant. For Jules, Zoe offers her redemption, Zoe is her baby. Jules would do anything for Zoe and anything to keep Zoe safe, even when holding on to Zoe means putting her own health and sanity on the line. Jules will need her friend Reba, Reba's mom, Dr. Douglas, and even her own mother to put her life back in order.

This book was not what I expected at all. Without being too spoilery, Jules has problems on top of problems. Her problems run the gamut of selfish mom, absent father, sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy, abandonment issues, and mental health issues. I picked this up as a book about teenage pregnancy and it is so much more. At times her problems seemed like too much, but it was nice to see her mother finally start acting like a mother in the end, which made her problems seem more real. Thankfully Jules's best friend, Reba sticks by her and Reba's mother is like a real mother should be.

I love George Ella Lyon's picture books and her author presentations are great as well. This was a very different book compared to her usual stories, but it was still well-written.

Favorite Character: Reba was an ideal best friend. She was willing to stick by Jules no matter what and there was so many things she had to deal with regarding Jules.

Favorite Quote: "And what if the babies grow faster? What if they outgrow their moms? Can that happen?"

This is not my usual kind of read and at times Jules's problems seemed like too much, but overall it was well-written. I give it 3.5 bars of chocolate.

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