Thursday, February 11, 2010

Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky *Review*

Barbara Delinsky had plenty of opportunities to make this book a warm fuzzy feel good book about a very serious subject- teen pregnancy. Not just a simple overcome-with-passion-in-the-backseat-of-a-car teen pregnancy, but a pregnancy pact.

Not My Daughter is the story of a group of girls who make a decision to all become pregnant together so they can support each other during the trials of raising a child. What they don't stop to consider is not only how it affects their lives, but the lives of those they love as well.

Many authors try to take the approach of showing a problem- one small problem- solving it and giving their novel a happy ending. And while this story does have a happy ending (because most of us like it that way), Barbara gives the teenagers and their parents, multiple problems to work through to get there.

The book follows Susan Tate, a single mother and principal of a high school in which her daughter Lily attends. Lily decides, along with her best friends, to have a child because she loves children and thinks she would be a good mother. Susan is disappointed that her daughter has made a decision like this without thinking everything through and sad that her daughter will face tough times ahead as she did when she herself got pregnant at the age of 17.

Lily hasn't thought about how to support the baby, who will take care of the baby while she finishes school, or how this will mess with her mother's job, and the teen pregnancy program Susan has worked so hard to incorporate into the school. Soon the school board is not only questioning whether she is a good principal, but whether she is a good mother as well. Couldn't she have seen this was going to happen? If she was a good mother wouldn't she have known what Lily was planning? Susan then starts to question it herself.

Many more problems arise throughout the book and I'm not the one who wants to tell you everything that happens. While I was not blown away by this book, I did think it was worth reading as it brought things to the surface I would not have considered myself. I listened to this on audio book and at times I got the voices mixed up in my head just because there were so many female characters. This might have been a better book to read in print. On a scale of 1-5 I would give this book a solid 3.


  1. I liked this book a lot, but it is pretty frightening for a mother of a teenage daughter to read.

  2. Diane- I only have boys, but these girls didn't tell the boys what they were planning and that is scary to me!

  3. Delinsky always throws in a lot to think and talk about.

  4. My book club talked with Delinsky last Feb to discuss While my Sister Sleeps. We had a lengthy discussion about Not My Daughter. It was interesting to hear how the characters/plot were developed - I will read this one but most likely not until summer.

    Great review!

  5. Good review Angie - I would have rated it a three as well. I only wish that the parents would have reacted in more of a real way.... just accepting and moving on was not doing it for me. :)