Review: Trouble, by Non Pratt

Trouble cover“Hannah’s smart and funny … she’s also fifteen and pregnant.

Aaron is new at school and doesn’t want to attract attention. So why does he offer to be the pretend dad to Hannah’s unborn baby?

Growing up can be trouble but that’s how you find out what really matters.”

I went to Niagra Falls on Friday, when I was in Canada to visit Wattpad, and the trip there was pretty long, so I took this book to read – and devoured it. Non Pratt is on the I’m Too Sexy For This Book panel with me, James Dawson, and Cat Clarke at YALC, so I needed to read this book anyway, but I was glad I did!

The crux of the story is Hannah dealing with being a pregnant teenager. How does she tell her parents? How does she tell the father of the baby she’s carrying? How does she deal with the whole school knowing? And what about her friends, too?

Hannah and her best friend, Katie, are fifteen, and they love going out to the park to drink and maybe smoke and hook up with boys. (And maybe some of you are thinking ‘what a slut’, but bear with me here.) And when Hannah realises she’s pregnant, she freaks out.

She wants to keep the baby, and that’s come with a lot of consequences. She freaks out about the alcohol she’s drunk between the time she gets pregnant and the time she find out she is; she worries about caffeine being bad for the baby. She wants to do well in her exams for the baby, as well as herself. She’s actually being incredibly responsible, and it’s a lot of pressure for a fifteen year old girl.

And then there’s Aaron – the new guy, who’s hiding the real reason he moved schools. The chapters cut between Aaron and Hannah’s POVs expertly, and they made the book way more engaging with both their perspectives on things.

And Aaron was such an amazing character. He’s troubled, sure, but he’s a good person. He wants to keep his head down and make friends, but when he sees how much Hannah needs his support, he offers to be stand-in father for her baby. Because he wants to help her out. He wants to do something good.

There was such a twist to Aaron’s backstory I really wasn’t expecting, and it made me love his character all the more. And then there’s the issue of ‘Who’s the Daddy?’ that keeps you hanging on for a while Hannah knows, but you don’t know as the reader for a long while. I’d guessed about halfway through, but I was looking for any hints that would prove me right.

I did feel that this book ended a little abruptly – I’d have liked to see more about how Hannah dealt with the baby afterwards, what role Aaron played afterwards, and such – but I guess that’s just a testament to how much I enjoyed this book, that I wanted to read even more.

This is the kind of book that some parents might think is a little controversial for their teenage kids to read – sex, pregnancy, and all that jazz?! Sure, okay, I see their point. But that doesn’t make it any less of a brilliant book. It had a lot of messages that might hit home with some people, and it was a great story and really well written, with fantastic characters.

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