Review: Don’t Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley

Book Title: Don’t Call Me Baby
Author: Gwendolyn Heasley
Release Date: April 22nd, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA/Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Synopsis from Goodreads:
All her life, Imogene has been known as the girl on THAT blog.

Imogene’s mother has been writing an incredibly embarrassing, and incredibly 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, Imogene is 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.

Don’t Call Me Baby is a sharply observed and irrepressibly charming story about mothers and daughters, best friends and first crushes, and the surface-level identities we show the world online and the truth you can see only in real life.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:

I knew this one had potential to be really great or really terrible but I decided to read this one now because I really needed a light and fluffy read. Thankfully, I did get that but unfortunately this book leaned on the terrible side. Normally, I don’t make lists in my reviews but I will this time because I think it’s going to be the only way that I am going to be able to sort out my feelings about this book.

Disliked
  • Immogene- She lacked any sort of backbone. She was very passive about her mom’s blogging all about her. She lacked the anger that she swore she felt.
  • “Mommylicious” Meg- She was an absolute whackjob and she seemed to be more interested in her blogging life than in the real world- you know the place with sunshine and beaches and family time.
  • Meg’s husband-Yup, yet someone else who was a doormat. I mean hello, it seemed as though Meg and her readers made all the decisions about what to do if/when Immogene acted up.
  • Sage- She really didn’t understand where her mom’s concern for eating right came from. To be fair, neither did I until the book was nearly over. However, if she had just TALKED to her mother, I think things could have improved a lot quicker.
  • Writing- It seemed very juvenile. It seemed to straddle the edge between Middle Grade books and Young Adult books despite Immogene being 15 years old.The dialogue seemed overly simplistic 90% of the time. 
Liked

  • Grandma Hope- She basically saved the book for me.
  • Immogene’s longtime crush- He was all kinds of adorable. He clearly had a drastically different home life than Immogene had. I think that helped Immogene realize that her mom blogged about her because she loved her and was proud of her. 
  • The setting- I mean Florida, beaches? Great setting for this book.
  • The cover- It looked so serene and calm.
  • The ending- It was full of brutual honesty which I am all for.
So all in all, I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either. I didn’t particularly like most of the characters, but Immogene’s crush and Grandma Hope totally made up for the other characters. I could probably get away with giving it 2.5 stars but the ending helped a lot. So I’ll give it a firm 3 stars. Maybe others will enjoy it more than I did.

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