Monday, December 01, 2008

Review: Planet Pregnancy

Planet Pregnancy
Linda Oatman High
2008; Front Street; 978-1-59078-584-1 (hardback)

Some cover, isn't it? You can't see it on the picture, but the cover features a small dimple to represent the protuding navel on the pregnant belly. This is a great example of a cover that serves the story and then some.

Told in the first person, Planet Pregnancy relates the journey that Sahara takes when she discovers she is pregnant. When I started this book, I was surprised by the free verse that it's told in. There's been plenty of novels in verse in the YA world. Yet the verse in this book is full of rhymes and sing-song rhythms. It reminded me of the poetry I wrote in middle school, very earnest and equally determined to rhyme. While this helped me see Sahara's perspective much more easily, I was also a bit taken aback to see an author going there: writing verse that was not technically accomplished, but that served the character so well. For that reason, I have to applaud Linda Oatman High for showing this kind of restraint by valuing character over craft.

While this book doesn't say anything new about teen pregnancy, it still offers a visceral look at one teen's struggle with how her life is changed now that the stick has a pink line. This might be a good read-alike option for fans of Sonya Sones, once they've exhausted her published works.

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