Pregnant Pause by Han Nolan
Description: Nobody gets away with telling Eleanor Crowe what to do. But as a pregnant sixteen-year-old, her options are limited: move to Kenya with her missionary parents or marry the baby’s father and work at his family’s summer camp for overweight kids.
Despite her initial reluctance to help out, Elly is surprised that she actually enjoys working with the campers. But a tragedy on the very day her baby is born starts a series of events that overwhelms Elly with unexpected emotions and difficult choices. Somehow, she must turn her usual obstinance in a direction that can ensure a future for herself—and for the new life she has created.
Review: I went into this book thinking it was going to be about a snarky pregnant teen who gets into silly scenarios. It it would funny and cute because she was pregnant and $assy! I didn't know what I was getting myself into.
Pregnant Pause is unlike any pregnant teen novel I've ever read. It's different in the sense that everything doesn't end up shitty nor perfect for the main character, Elly. It's a book that I could not put down for a week straight, and something that I'll always remember.
Pregnant Pause tells the story of Elly, a sixteen-year-old girl who gets pregnant by her boyfriend, Lam. Now Elly and Lam are the typical 'breaking the law' couple. They both do drugs, lie to their parents, and steal. She marries Lam (I just wrote lamb and I thought it was really funny) because she's in love with him, and he is the father. They then live in Lam's parents camp cabin. Since they run a fat camp, Lam and Elly will work there all summer, living in the back cabin.
The relationship between Lam and Elly was very stressful. I watch a lot of movies, and usually the druggy boyfriend and girlfriend are cute, and it's a Sid and Nancy type situation. Sometimes, the bad b0y gets straightened out, and they live happily ever after. But not in this case. Lam was a total douche and was only there for Elly when some other guy started hitting on her. Lam is babied by his parents, and usually situations like this make people grow up, but not for Lam. He continued to sneak around with girls and get stoned and come home to Elly. However, she stayed with him. Because she felt like shit after all the shit she pulled on her parents in the past. She felt she deserved to stay with Lam because nobody else will understand her. I can kinda understand that because she truly loved him, but when he comes home drunk and threw up on you, on your wedding night, that would be the end for me. Lam was not like the cute stoner guys in movies and books. He was a real jerk, that Lamb. Okay I'm gonna call him Lamb.
Elly also had a shitty relationship with her sister, Sarah, and her parents. Her parents gave up on Elly after all the stealing and juvie, so they spent most of their time going to Kenya and treating AIDS babies. I feel this was a huge metaphor relating to Elly and the baby. When Elly gives birth to the baby, her parents want nothing more than Elly to give the baby up so that Elly can come with them back to Kenya. But thy won't even dare think about caring for the baby themselves, or helping their 16 year old daughter, who has no job, no money, and no place to stay. Instead, they'll drop her and expect her to come and help these babies, who have no relation to them.
I feel like I formed a relationship with Elly as the novel progressed. I felt like she was my best friend and I was going through the troubles with her, and I've never really felt that way with any novel. I felt really close to her when she had to decide what to do with her baby, and when she finally made her decision with Lamb. As I got to about page 300, I really didn't want this novel to end, because I would miss Elly. I felt like one of the campers, leaving her forever. I'm going to miss all the people included in this book, even the scummy ones because they made my girl Elly stronger, and now she go on with her life.
Elly started out in the novel as a stubborn, angry girl. But her stubbornness really helped her out with the baby, with Lamb, with her parents. She fought for what she thought was right, and she pushed through any negative feedback. She had to do what was right for her baby, and I respect her so much for it. Her child will have a wonderful mother when it grows up. The way she treated the campers, and the way she treated the baby while it was inside her really made me believe that Elly is prepared to take on more responsibilities in life.
Nolan's writing was beautiful. Like I said before, I felt like Elly's best friend, and no other author has made me feel that way. I've very excited to read more of Han Nolan's works in the future, and become emotionally attached to more of her characters.
Overall, Pregnant Pause is a novel about gaining strength to move on, becoming independent, and realizing that sometimes, it's not always about you.
"I stay in the present because I hate my past, or at least I hate myself in the past, because I've always been kinda of a pain in the ass, and thinking about myself makes me unhappy, and I'm afraid of the future,so yeah, I stay present, but it's out of fear, and that fear never goes away."-Pregnant Pause; Han Nolan