*Warning: Contains Spoilers*
“Getting what you want is only the beginning.”
I finally read And Baby Makes Two by Dyan Sheldon. This mildly light hearted yet extremely realistic and hard hitting books is one of my favorites. Dyan Sheldon has a way of connecting with her audience and really being able to describe a teenage mind and life. This book is about a fifteen year old girl, Lana, who makes some seriously bad decisions and ends up going through a much deserved hard time. Unlike most books to do with teenagers this isn’t a love story, it doesn’t make teenagers look like deep, misunderstood young adults and it isn’t afraid to be raw. One thing I have noticed with YA books is that most of them show parents as uncaring, distant, busy or just in general misunderstanding whereas they show teenagers to be smarter, deeper, and more mature than they should be. This book turns the tables around which is nice because it’s different from what we are so used to reading.
Lana is a very petty, immature, lost, naïve and silly fifteen year old. She and her mother have a very complicated relationship which mainly seems due to a lot of miscommunication and mildly due to Lana’s stubborn and unforgiving nature. She blames her mother for pretty much everything from her bad grades to global warming. She only lets herself live in her make belief day dream because I guess she is too young and innocent to realize that the world isn’t what it seems.
On her fifteenth birthday Lana excitedly puts on a bunch of makeup and wears a very revealing and skanky dress that her mother refuses to let her wear which leads to a huge quarrel between the two. She ends up going to a burger place alone and there as she drowns in sorrow and self-pity she meets a men she thinks is “THE ONE” (foreshadow: he is an asshole).
The two date for a while and she quickly decides now that she has met the perfect man there is no need for her to bother with school (where she was failing anyway) and it was time to take her relationship to the next level. She and her boyfriend, Les, decide to have sex that is sloppy and that she definitely doesn’t enjoy. Unfortunately, she ends up pregnant however unlike literally everyone else she is absolutely thrilled and looks forward to starting, what she believes, a family with Les.
Les who is less enthusiastic about the whole situation and acts like a perfect jackass towards her and the baby. Even though he regularly wants to have sex with her, he is not ready to take any responsibility whatsoever. Lana’s mother desperately tries to tell Lana that having a baby is not as fun as Madonna makes it look. Les, on the other hand, goes on a trip to Greece (without Lana) who goes into labor and has a baby girl called Shinola.
After Lana has the baby, Les finally shows up referring to the baby as “it” and definitely not having the moving reaction Lana hoped for when he sees Shinola for the first time. He is still only interested in sex and eventually Lana finally starts to see that have a baby isn’t what the movies make it seem like. Her mother too starts to slowly stop trying so hard and begins to give up on Lana.
The ending is quite a turn from the starting but it actually makes a lot of sense, Lana learns what growing up and taking responsibility is really like and her mum learns that she needs to let go- Lana is definitely not a baby anymore.
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