Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Life ain't easy

Shivana is 15, living on Chicago’s South Side, has no father, and has no ambition in life. She has a job as a babysitter, which gives her a little money. It also ends up getting her pregnant because she is having an affair with the children’s father. Shivana can’t tell her mother what has happened. Her mother would be upset. Shivana must keep her secret. And she does, for a while. Soon things hit the fan and everyone knows what she has been up to. Added into the mix is a neighbor boy. Shivana wants nothing to do with him at first, but then she starts to like him.

Weaved into the story is Shivana’s unborn child who has a narrative of its own. The fetus talks about its previous lives with other mothers. It’s a unique concept that I haven’t seen, but at times it can be long winded, and I wanted to get back to Shivana’s story. I enjoyed this novel, but if you are looking for a feel good ending, then keep browsing because this book isn’t for you.

However, I think the author does a wonderful job of keeping the novel realistic. While not every teen can relate to all aspects Shivana's life I believe the character's voice draws the reader in. We feel her helplessness and we also want to shout at the book and tell her that she’s making bad choices.

Teens who are looking for something realistic with an urban feel will enjoy this book.

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