Saturday, May 18, 2013

ARC Review: Screwed by Laurie Plissner

Title: Screwed
Author: Laurie Plissner
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: F+W/Adams Media
Goodreads | The Book DepositoryAmazon

Grace was the girl who always did everything right, until the night she fell for a boy's sleazy line and became pregnant. Nick couldn't care less about pretty math-geek Grace or the baby he fathered. He's had a dozen girls like her, and he'll have a dozen more. When Grace confesses to her super-religious, strait-laced parents, they deliver a shocker: They've scheduled an abortion. All they want is to pretend this never happened.

When Grace balks, they literally throw her out in the street. A rich, elderly neighbor takes her in, and, with the help of the friendship she needs in Charlie, the old woman's great-nephew, she must make the toughest choice of her young life. The people she believed in were only playing a role, while others, in an unlikely way, are true heroes.

Grace can never have the life she planned, but she has one chance to be the person she will have to live with for the rest of her life. Her choice will cost her, big time, either way--and no one can make it except her.
Review by Nara

I personally feel that Screwed seemed to be a very realistic portrayal of what it would be like to be seventeen and pregnant. While the writing was very simplistic (very tell, tell, tell with little show), I found that this actually wasn't a bad style of writing. A fair proportion of the time, it was just the thoughts of the characters being explicitly stated- somewhat like a stream of consciousness, except from many characters' points of view (even those really minor characters which might appear for two pages and then not be talked about again). The majority of this review will be about the characters, so here goes:

The Parents
Jesus Christ, the parents are absolutely horrible. Overly pious, uptight, hypocritical buffoons, and honestly one of the worst literary parents I've read about in Young Adult fiction (short of the physically abusive ones). Whenever I think about what they did to Grace:

The dad was especially horrific. He was sexist and annoying, and was the one who came up with the plan to kick out Grace unless she had the abortion. Basically, he was a bastard and I wish I could throw him into the fires of Mt Doom.

The Neighbours
The "rich, elderly neighbour" who takes in Grace, Mrs T, is freaking awesome. Seriously, I wish I had a kindly neighbour like her! She was very supportive of Grace, and gave her a lot of good advice. She was probably my favourite character in the novel, just because she was so all-round fantabulous.

And Charlie- that kid is amazing. Granted, he was a bit sappy, but he was definitely kind, smart, funny, rich (cue music: Now I ain't sayin' she a gold digger). Also that killer combination of dark hair and blue eyes....The relationship between Charlie and Grace was very sweet, building up slowly from friends to best friends to more-than-friends (*wink wink, nudge nudge*). Although I do think it was frustrating at times, since they were so blind to each others' feelings when as the reader they were so freaking obvious, on the whole, I think it was quite realistic.

The Pregnant Kid (+Her Best Friend Who Didn't Really Fit in Any Other Category)
First: Grace's best friend Jennifer. Dayum, that girl was sassy. Her comments were just hilarious, especially because it was like she had no filter whatsoever. I do have to say though, that at the start, she seemed a bit bitchy from not believing Grace about who the father was to callously telling Grace to basically "get rid of it", but I suppose in the end, she turned out to be a supportive (although somewhat judgmental) friend.

Grace- she was just so strong willed. She stuck to her convictions even at the expense of her relationship with her parents (which she obviously valued very highly). She was also strangely forgiving- even with her parents at their absolute worst, even when I was filled with utter rage, it seemed that Grace felt nothing but sadness and despair. While I pity Grace for the events that occurred after the pregnancy (i.e. getting kicked out, being taunted at school), I actually don't feel as much sympathy towards her regarding her getting pregnant. Maybe it's a horrible thing to say, but I feel that it was kind of her own fault.

I think that the title, Screwed, is pretty clever, as she's screwed in the sense that she has no other options left, but she's also literally been screwed (nice one, Laurie). Overall, Screwed was a fun but thought-provoking read that would probably be suited to younger young adult readers.

Liked it

Overall: 8/10
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3/5