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Magan: Me, Him, Them and It by Caela Carter

Book Cover for Me, Him, Them, and It by Caela CarterMe, Him, Them, and It by Caela Carter ( web | tweet )
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 320
Target audience: Young Adult
Keywords: high school pregnancy, neglectful parents, adoption, teen raising a baby
Format read: ARC from NetGalley (Thanks!)

Summary: Since Evelyn’s father’s return to her mother after an affair with the family dentist, their house has been silent. Evie begins doing drugs, drinking, and having sex with Todd (a boy she most definitely isn’t dating), trying to capture their attention. Now Evelyn, 16, is pregnant.

Evelyn’s parent’s no longer speak to one another (or her) unless absolutely necessary or they’re in the midst of a massive fight. They circulate in individual little bubbles around one another in their giant, quiet house. Evie doesn’t trust her dad, whom she refers to as The Stranger, after he abandoned their family to have an affair. (He moved back in shortly after his departure.) Her mother, a lawyer, is all about The Facts and has a difficult time letting her guard down to show any emotions.

Naturally, Good Evelyn thinks she can become Bad Evelyn to capture their attention. She’s the valedictorian of her class, participates in clubs, is a star runner, and an artist. The only sacrifice she doesn’t make in her pursuit to stir up trouble is her grades — she wants to flee her house as soon as possible by getting into an Ivy League college. She begins drinking and doing drugs, drops out of all of her extracurriculars, and has many a steamy rendezvous with Todd, her non-boyfriend.

Her parents continue to orbit in their own little universes until Evie is forced to tell them she’s pregnant. She has many conversations with squirrely, petite Mary at Planned Parenthood about what her options are — abortion, adoption, or raising the baby. Once her parents become involved, they decide it would be best for her to live with her Aunt Linda in Chicago until she has the baby so no one in Jacksonville “has to know.” A cover-up story is generated that Evie’s aunt is extremely ill and she needs to help take care of her. Even her best friend, Lizzie, is kept in the dark.

While she assumed her parents would take note of her bad behavior, she didn’t anticipate they’d exile her. The only positive is spending time with her Aunt Linda, her wife Nora, and their two daughters, Celie and Tammy. She receives a rude awakening when she arrives at Linda’s house and is given a detailed list of rules outlined by Nora. Evie struggles to find a new balance — How could she possibly keep the baby? She doesn’t know how to be a mom. How could she she possibly love it? How could she even consider giving it up? In her detached state, she’s free to let these overwhelming thoughts consume her.

Evie was so full of spunk and so unparalleled that she immediately caught my attention from the beginning pages. She has a very unique voice and her story examines how difficult it is for a young girl to be in the position to make decisions that will affect her (and others’) entire life. Evie’s vulnerability and fragility were the perfect balance to the angry, abrasive girl that we meet in the beginning. She goes through quite the realm of emotions, yet even when she tries to withdraw into herself she’s pulled out of her cocoon of loneliness by a pretty amazing cast of supporting characters — lovable Aunt Linda who is always willing to listen, another pregnant girl at her new school, Maryellie, who is unrelenting in her pursuit to become friends, and Celie and Tammy who easily wiggle into your heart and force you to love them.

While the majority of the focus is on Evie’s decision and the time lapse of her pregnancy, every other aspect of Me, Him, Them and It kept me engaged. I sought resolve for her parent’s marriage, wanted her broken friendship with Lizzie to be mended, and hoped for Nora to loosen her reigns even the smallest bit. The pacing is fantastic, and the writing incredibly relatable. While One Pink Line, a book I read at the end of 2012, looked at the long-term journey of a girl’s decision to keep her baby when she got pregnant in college, Me, Him, Them, and It was an emotional juxtaposition chronicling a year of Evie’s life.

[For those of you who are maybe saying, “Hmm. A teen pregnancy book? I dunno,” I encourage you to look beyond that. You’ll be embracing a book overflowing with friends and family full of backstories and intermingled story lines – something so much more.]

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June 26, 2014 - 9:00 am

My Best Friend, Maybe by Caela Carter (YA Review) - […] from the past: Magan reviews Caela Carter’s ME HIM THEM AND IT  (now out in […]

February 25, 2013 - 12:01 am

Book Review: Me, Him, Them,and It by Caela Carter | Tripping Over Books - […] Magan @ Rather Be Reading: “Evie was so full of spunk and so unparalleled that she immediately caught my attention from t… […]

February 8, 2013 - 6:43 am

Lori - I was really anxious to read this one, but I just keep putting it off. I’m a little sensitive about the whole pregnancy and baby thing at the moment. 🙂 But this one does sounds really good. I need to pick it up.

February 7, 2013 - 8:24 pm

bookrockbetty - So random that you posted this– I was just thinking about teen pregnancy yesterday– how it’s such a relevant issue, yet I haven’t run into much in all my YA reading. 🙂

February 7, 2013 - 5:58 pm

Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life - So I’m not going to lie, I’m one of those people that would have said “Hmm, a teen pregnacy book? No, please,” before I read your review. But honestly, I think this book is for me. Like seriously. I can already relate to Evie so much- I’m pretty studious, get straight As, and am one of those people that gets disappointed when she gets a 92 on her Algebra 2 test (which, yes, just happened). And I also have a few extracurriculars that I’m really passionate about (debater in the house!). And I’m a writer (in my free time, of course). So it seems like I’m super similar to Evie. I’ve also felt the need to do something bad, sometimes as well, which is something I don’t admit easily. But when my parents don’t even say anything when I tell them I got a 97 on a super hard test, or a 112% on my AP Biology test (well, I got a good job on that one, but not a very enthusiastic one), I kind of feel the need to ‘act out’ like so many people at my school do to. So I can 100% relate to Evie and her decision to do something like that, honestly. Which is precisely why I’ll be reading this one now.

Thank you SO MUCH for this review, Magan. Seriously, this book is so similar to me in so many ways that I think I just need to read it.

(Also, sorry about that super confessional and super long paragraph. I’ve been feeling kinda disappointed lately, and I just had to gush that when there are so many similarities between the MC of this book and me.)

February 7, 2013 - 4:47 pm

Alexa Y. - Oh wow, it sounds like Evie goes through quite the journey! I think I would read this one just to find out what she does decide to do and how she copes with it all.

February 7, 2013 - 2:04 pm

Nikki @ Foil the Plot - While issues books aren’t typically my thing, I do like how this one deal with a wide variety of problems. I think the whole affair/divorce thing is probably most intriguing to me because it feels a little more relatable. And I can always appreciate a well-fleshed out cast of characters and beautiful writing. Fabulous review!

February 7, 2013 - 1:24 am

Bookworm1858 - I adored Celie and Tammy-they were my bright spots when Evie’s darkness pulled me down. I know she was in an impossible situation but it was not unforeseeable and I found her incredibly annoying.

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