Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hooked- Catherine Greenman


Pages: 276
Published: August 9th 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: Contemporary/ Young Adult fiction
Format: Hardback
Acquired: My own copy
Date Finished: 8th July

 Thea Galehouse has always known how to take care of herself. With a flighty club-owner mom and a standoffish, recovering-alcoholic dad, Thea has made her own way in her hometown of New York, attending the prestigious and competitive Stuyvesant High School. But one chat with Will, a handsome and witty senior, and she's a goner—completely hooked on him and unable to concentrate on anything else.
Always worried that she loves Will more than he loves her, Thea is pleasantly surprised when their romance weathers his move to college and Will goes out of his way to involve her in his life. But then, Thea misses a period. And that starts Thea and Will on a wild ride that neither of them could have possibly prepared for. When they decide to keep the baby, their concerned parents chip in what they can to keep Will in school and give both teenagers a comfortable place to raise their child. But when a freak accident leaves Thea shaken and threatens to upend their little family altogether, Thea is forced to turn to the last place she would have chosen for comfort: her stiff, uncompromising father.
This smart, touching first novel brims with realistic, beautifully drawn characters, and reminds us that love is never as easy or predictable as we might like it to be.

So a little while back the Misty - The Book Rat did a discussion topic on Buzz words and deal breakers and while I do believe I had a list ready to roll I never made the video. Needless to say Hooked [to use something totally cliché] had me hooked and it reeled me in with some of my favorite buzz words: Knitting, wool, crochet, teen pregnancy, dysfunctional family and love. Now while I loved those words and I admit I certainly was excited throughout the book every time she mentioned wool and babies; Hooked was not a perfect marriage from begging to end and here’s why.

To begin with there was a lot of inconsistencies in the story, parts where the writing made no sense and I felt were just there to be a filler for the real juice. At times the dialogue itself was confusing, sometimes I just had to read through it and hope that whatever she said would be relevant later on and some of it was, but a lot of the time it was unrealistic to what I know teenagers and even adults to talk like. Lastly Hooked has these characters that are so dense, maybe it is because the writing is meant to come across as simplistic, but to me it reads like a few of those contemporary books where the author sat down and just wrote a stream of consciousness ramble getting to know her characters before she fully fleshed them out and really began writing.

You’d think from those pointers alone that I would dislike the book, but actually I became addicted to reading it. It was so raw and real, the portrayal and the darkness that comes from pregnancy, especially teen pregnancy. It is not all happiness and cash flowing and I actually merited her for creating a family that while were rich did not indulge the main character. I think it made Thea, our main narrator a lot stronger in the end. Her parents are such self-absorbed tools, but it works because we get to see how Thea was raised and her parents influence. We also get to grow with her as her independence becomes stronger as does her passions to make the best life for her and her son.

It wasn’t only the teen pregnancy that had me reading till all hours of the morning though, but the dynamics of each relationship she has with her family and her bf throughout the novel and how those relationships change and progress. I felt this is where the real juice was. The honest to god real life where people struggle and things fall apart and then there is a turning point where you realize that you would do anything for this child and then you slowly start to grow up. I loved this aspect of the novel. She didn’t whine about it, she took everything on board, all the hatred and the disbelief and lack of faith everyone had in her and she turned it into success with her own mind and her perseverance and love for her child.

This novel broke my heart so many times and ripped it from my chest, there were so many moments when I thought I could not take it anymore and I was dying inside for Thea. My strong internal motherly instincts flared up and I wanted to gut Will for being so heartless and weak and for all the utter crap he put her through. He was not a very strong character and I certainly didn’t like him from the beginning but he sure as hell did a fantastic job in the novel in convincing me how strong minded women are and how proud we should be.

Along with will I hated, yes hated Thea’s mother with an anger so deep rooted I could have slapped her so hard it would knock her teeth out. She was a hypercritical, self-absorbed, self-important bitch. She was always complaining and fluctuating with her moods and to be honest she sounded like the type of mother who was not meant to have children. I could see why she could have driven anyone away.

My favorite character in the book was her father. Maybe it had something do with having that relationship with my own father throughout his sobering up, or maybe it was the way the two of them grew together over the course of the novel and what faith he truly had in his daughter even if he had a funny way of showing it. But I loved it.

I would recommend anyone to read it. Please give it a chance, I know there is a lot to dislike about the construction and execution of this novel, but the real gem is the story and the emotional impact is has. I could read it over again and I most likely will sometime in the future. But forewarning, if you are even the slightest bit crafty you may have the urge to start taking up crocheting or checking out wool stores.[ which is never a bad thing] This can get addictive. I would recommend this for all young adults as it is a perfect portrayal of real life and the implications, complications and triumphs that teen pregnancy can bring.

I am giving this:


Crocheted Bikini bottoms

1 comment:

  1. After reading Bumped, a dystopia about teenage pregnancy for profit, I had to prove to myself that my issues with Bumped weren't about the idea of teenage pregnancy. Instead, my issue was that it was just a silly book. Period. So I picked up Hooked by Catherine Greenman with one purpose in mind- prove to myself I was open to all kinds of Young Adult novels- even YA about tough subjects. I have one thing to say- This book proved it.