I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Don't Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley
Also by this author: Where I Belong
Published by HarperCollins on 2014-04-22
Genres: Adolescence, Family, New Experience, Parents, Social Issues, Young Adult
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Perfect for fans of Jennifer E. Smith and Huntley Fitzpatrick, Don't Call Me Baby is a sharply observed and charming story about mothers and daughters, best friends and first crushes, and our online selves and the truth you can only see in real life.All her life, Imogene has been known as the girl on that blog.Imogene's mother has been writing an incredibly embarrassing, and incredibly popular, blog about her since before she was born. The thing is, Imogene is fifteen now, and her mother is still blogging about her. In gruesome detail. When a mandatory school project compels Imogene to start her own blog, Imogene is reluctant to expose even more of her life online . . . until she realizes that the project is the opportunity she's been waiting for to define herself for the first time.
As a blogger, I really enjoy reading books with blogging as a theme. Gwendolyn Heasley’sáDon’t Call Me Baby is all about this girl whose mom is one of those mommy bloggers and she has had enough with being the main story. While Heasley’s book never really scratches too deeply below the surface, I thought this was a quick, fun read that was perfect for my readathon-come-down. I might not be joining the fan club for this book, but I certainly think thatáDon’t Call Me Babyáserves a pretty good purpose as a palate cleanser so long as you know what to expect going in.
First off, ignore the Jennifer E. Smith and the Huntley Fitzpatrick comparisons that are in the official Amazon description. If you go in expectingáMy Life Next Door swoons andáThe Statistical Probability… writing, you will find yourself sorely disappoint with this book. Instead, go into expecting lighter fare. Go into this book expecting something like Marni Bates, that’s the closest I can think of, light with a touch of serious moments.
Don’t Call Me Baby follows Imogene, daughter of Meg or Mommylicious. Imogene is totally embarrassed at being the subject of her mom’s blog, whether it’s the first day of school, her first period, or her first date, Imogene’s mom documents everything on her blog for hundreds of thousands of readers. Imogene is more a fan of unplugging. So, when her English teacher assigns a class project that will require each student to blog, at first Imogene is resistant. But then a brilliant, awful plan is created. She’s going to tell the world her side of the story and hope her message of give me my space will sink in with mom. Joining Imogene in her fight is her best friend, Sage, whose mom is a healthy living blogger. By the way? Imogene also has to deal with being attracted to Dylan, a boy who allegedly could be on a postcard?
Here’s the thing, Imogene is rather unoffensive. She’s young. She is neither popular nor unpopular. She doesn’t swear. She’s got a pretty solid friendship with Sage. So, hmmm, not going to spend much time talking about the main character, but I will say that her struggle and feelings are not unreasonable. I thought she was pretty easy to relate to and understand.
However, her grandmother Hope is the real star. Hope played in the LPGA which is the Lady Professional Golf Association. She watches the golf channel all the time. She drives a sea green convertible. She’s a sassy grandma and kind of the highlight of this book. All the scenes with Grandma Hope are a treasure.
I would recommend Gwendolyn Heasley’s book, Don’t Call Me Babyáto middle schoolers who want to try YA. This is totally one of those books that straddles the line between young adult and middle grade. The romance is chaste and innocent. There aren’t really any swoons either. Instead, the main themes are friendship and family. This is a sweet story, but yes, not one that I am about to evangelize about. Perhaps if I was younger, I would be more enthusiastic. Otherwise, yes, I recommend this to kids age 11-14, but yeah if you are outside of that age range, feel free to give this a shot.