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At 16, Star's life has changed drastically now that she's become the mother of a baby boy. To learn what's best for him, Star's taking parenting classes at a center for teen moms. But she's having trouble keeping up with the baby's demands, and her grandmother is threatening to force her to put the baby up for adoption. To top it off, Wilson, a popular star athlete, is in denial about being the father. He doesn't know about Star's terrible, painful secrets. But as Wilson's friends and family push him to accept his responsibility, he learns the truth about Star's disturbing past, facts that change his life forever. Told from Star's and Wilson's points-of-view, Star in the Middle reveals a compelling snap-shot of the difficult lives of teenage parent.
Publishes in US: Oct 1st 2009
**My rating: 4/5**
Star in the Middle is a gripping and realistic tale of teenage pregnancy and the effects on the parents, their families, and how it changes your life.
Star, the main character, is strong and determined, fiercely loving and protective of her son. Although she does not magically know all of the answers to motherhood (who does really-- if they seem that way, they are pretending!!!) she takes the steps necessary to be able to care for him. She is enrolled in a parenting program where they teach and assist her in being a parent. There are some really strong role models at the center, and I am a fan of their wisdom and how they push Star because they care. Her Grandmother is also an amazing woman, she has many faults, but I can totally understand why she does what she does.
Wilson, the other main character (story is told in alternating points of view) is infuriating. I know that he is in denial, and this is a glimpse inside some males' perspective, but he was heartbreakingly clueless. And I mean this in the best possible way- because this means that he is well written and that his mindset was communicated. I appreciate the growth in his character though he has a long way to go, and I can't really say more without spoiling things.
Some of the side characters- Bridgett, Elizabeth and Todd really helped make this story amazing for me. They really have depth and I care about them more than I have really been invested in characters besides the main character in quite a while.
The plot is well paced, I think that information is given at just the right times, and that it never seems rushed or too drawn out. I appreciate that this book shows some of the hardships of teen parenting and does not do like some and glamorize the life of a teen mother. Babies are hard work- yes they are cute, yes they are amazing, but they can also be smelly, sick, and up all hours of the night. Not only is it realistic in the way that parenthood is portrayed but there are some deep issues talked about, and I believe that all sides of the issue are represented.
I had never heard of this book before the publicist asked me to read it, and I don't know if it is because I am a relatively new blogger, or if this book just has not gotten the attention that it deserves. I highly recommend that you check it you!!! It deals sensitively, realistically, and beautifully with hard subjects that we all should give more thought to.
I would love to hear what you think of the book and/or my review!
Here is the book trailer: