April 8, 2014

Latest Read: Don't Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley

Here are the basics ...
Don't Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley
Publication date: Apr. 22, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Received via Edelweiss from publisher (Thanks!)
Summary: All her life, Imogene has been known as the girl on THAT blog. Imogene's mother has been writing an incredibly embarrassing and popular blog about her since before she was born. Hundreds of thousands of perfect strangers knew when Imogene had her first period. Imogene's crush saw her "before and after" orthodontia photos. But Imogene is fifteen now, and her mother is still blogging about her, in gruesome detail, against her will. When a mandatory school project compels Imogene to start her own blog, she' reluctant to expose even more of her life online...until she realizes that the project is the opportunity she's been waiting for to tell the truth about her life under the virtual microscope and to define herself for the first time. (Adapted goodreads.com)
The good
This may come as a shock but I don't just read book blogs! I like lifestyle blogs that feature everything from DIY home projects (Young House Love) to normal every day life (Love, Taza). One thing these two favorite blogs of mine have in common is that there are a lot of pictures and anecdotes about their family, particularly their kids. I've often wondered how these cute toddlers will feel when they're teenagers and realize their baby photos have been posted on blogs, Instagram and Twitter for everyone to see. Don't Call Me Baby shows us some insight into what one reaction may be - utter embarrassment.

Imogene's mom runs a famous blog called Mommylicious and you guessed it -- Imogene is her mom's prime subject. She shares pictures of everything and details no teenager would want posted by their mother on the internet (bras, periods and boys - so embarrassing!). Maybe this was ok when Imogene was 3 years old and unaware of the situation but at 15, she's had enough. She's tired of having her picture taken and posted online constantly. Of every move she makes being up to debate among her mom's readers. Imogene tries to reason with her but her mom won't listen because the blog is her life and their family's main source of income. By the way, if you were ever curious about the "perks" of being a big blogger - you'll learn a lot about that here!

Imogene has one person who gets her frustrations and that's her best friend Sage, who is also the daughter and subject of a Mommy blogger. The last thing either of them wants to do is blog but that's exactly the assignment given to them in English class. They can choose their blog topic and they decide to fight back against their moms by blogging about them very honestly.  This does not go over well and we're treated to entries from both girls and Mommylicious. I loved this! Through Imogene's and Sage's blog, their friendship and interactions with their families (I adored Imogene's Grandma Hope and Dad), we learn a lot about the girls and who they want to be.

What Imogene learns about herself is the importance of disconnecting from the Internet and cell phones. That she wants to be in each moment, living in the here and now whether it's with family, friends or a cute boy (yes, there's one of those in this book too!). It's a message that got me thinking about my own life and I found myself agreeing wholeheartedly with many of Imogene's sentiments.

(No) reservations
None! Pleasantly surprised and impressed by this one.

Do I recommend?
Yes! I flew through this book. It's smartly written with great characters. And I think if you're a blogger too, you will especially appreciate what this book has to say.

Collaborative feature with Alexa! 

When did you start blogging and what did you blog about?
I first started blogging when I was 17 years old, under the name/domain withoutwords and it was a personal blog. I basically treated it like a public diary and looking back, I definitely over-shared at times.  But it was also a great outlet for my thoughts and to just write in general. Even though I've changed blog names throughout the years, I haven't stopped blogging since.

What are some of your favorite non-bookish blogs?
I've already mentioned Young House Love and Love, Taza but there's also A Beautiful Mess and Paris in Four Months. I love the writing and photos on all of these blogs!

2 comments:

  1. I really like the concept of this book! Now that I think about it, I'm glad my mom isn't a blogger! Lol! I'll add this on my to-read list!

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  2. I was definitely surprised by this book! I really enjoyed it, and I like that it sort of put blogging in a whole new light. There's definitely something for readers (especially readers who are bloggers like us) to take away from this book!

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