Brown University bound Veronica Clarke is the type of person who plans everything, from finals cram sessions with her best friends to a romantic weekend with her boyfriend. What she didn’t plan are the two solid pink lines on a pregnancy test. After her boyfriend reveals that he messed with their protection in order to preserve their relationship, Veronica has to make a decision she never imagined she’d have to make: to get or not to get an abortion. Too embarrassed to reveal her plans to her friends and family, she soon finds herself on a fourteen-hour car ride with the black sheep of Jefferson High, her ex-best friend, Bailey, to New Mexico. Chaos and absolute hilarity is in store for Veronica and Bailey while confronting their friendship and the truth about themselves.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
In their acknowledgements, Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan write that they often told people that they were writing a funny story about abortion. In this reader’s opinion? They absolutely completely nailed their concept with Unpregnant, a book about one girl’s right to choose and so much in store.
Unpregnant follows high school senior Veronica, who finds out she is pregnant, likely thanks to the fact that her boyfriend poked holes in their condoms in hopes that Veronica would get pregnant and stay home instead of going away to college. Since she needs parents’ consent in Missouri to get an abortion, Veronica’s closest option is in New Mexico. With no car and too afraid to tell her friends or family, Veronica entrusts her ex-best friend Bailey to make the journey with her.
Unpregnant is the type of the book that is perfect for reading in one sitting because you won’t want to part from it for too long. This book is fairly short and fast-paced, as Bailey finds Veronica taking a pregnancy test in their high school bathroom right from the get-go. Bailey was for sure my favorite character. Although rough around the edges, she has such a good heart and so many amazing one-liners (not to mention an indisputable love for Kelly Clarkson and her absolute hatred for Veronica’s boyfriend).
From being chased by an ex to stolen cars to late night pit stops, Bailey and Veronica have a hilarious and chaotic trip to New Mexico. While maybe not realistic, all of their roadblocks were so funny and just felt right to the story. Throughout their antics, Veronica and Bailey find themselves trying to rebuild their friendship and discover what went wrong in the first place. Veronica feels very sure in her decision to get an abortion. However, she feels too embarrassed to share the news with anybody because everyone-including herself- expects her to be perfect all the time. Bailey helps Veronica overcome her issues, while also tackling some of her own secrets, like her sexuality.
During the entire time while reading, I thought about how perfect this book would be as a movie or mini series! I could imagine so many of the scenes and shots in my head, especially the very ending for some reason. I really hope Bailey and Veronica’s one-liners get included, especially when they call Kevin a list of not-so, but very much so appropriate nicknames from their car. WarnerMedia has production rights to the book, with a film based on Unpregnant expected to be released on their upcoming streaming service.
Overall, Unpregnant was a laugh-out-loud and immensely important read about self-discovery and friendship. It will make you angry, sad and happy in all the right places. Most importantly, this book sheds an important light on abortion and the lengths women must go through for their right to choose. Unpregnant takes a somewhat more light-hearted take on the YA abortion story—a theme that I wouldn’t mind seeing more in this genre. However, it was still frustrating that Veronica had to travel to another state just so she can have an abortion without her parents’ consent or having to appear in court. Not to mention that her boyfriend is for sure one of the biggest jerks- and that’s putting it nicely— in YA for messing with their protection just for his own sake. Unpregnant is the type of the book that may be polarizing based on people’s views on abortion, but for me personally, it makes me demand change even more.
Unpregnant comes out on September 10, 2019.
This review is based on an advance edition’s copy. By no reads did receiving this ARC affect my thoughts or opinions.
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