24 May 2016

Today's Read: Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann

Review: Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine HeppermannWhat if you were a teenager who was doing well at parochial school and enjoying a decent social life but ended up pregnant? All your choices are difficult, and each comes with consequences. Addie has no doubt she made the correct decision, but she is not the same girl she was before.

Public School Kids Always Ask

How do you meet guys
if you go to an all-girls school? . . .

Even if we brushed with garlic toothpaste
we couldn't keep the vampires away.
Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann (Greenwillow, 2016, p. 1, uncorrected ARC)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: modern times, Minneapolis
  • Circumstances: Addie, a cross-country track star, starts dating Nick, a nice guy who plays the bass in a band. Soon they give into their passions, resulting in Addie becoming pregnant. After taking a pregnancy test, she tells Nick and her parents she wants an abortion. Afterward, her views on school, track, and her old friends change, and she must figure out who is she now.
  • Characters: Addie, a student at a Catholic high school; Claire, her friend and track rival; Nick, her boyfriend; various other classmates; her parents; her track coach; her English teacher; Juliana, an older girl who used to go to Addie's school
  • Genre, audience, style: contemporary fiction; young adult with strong cross-over to adults; a novel in verse
  • Themes: coming of age, finding one's self, making choices and living with them, friendship, dating, young love, family, relevancy of Catholicism
  • Thoughts: Heppermann explores tough issues in a respectful, nonjudgmental way. The poems are short and address different aspects of Addie's life over the course of seven months as she transforms from a carefree teen to young woman with a revised self-image. Addie has no regrets, but she has definitely changed—for example, her life is no longer an open book: Who will she tell about her abortion? How can she explain her new attitude about running? What about her religious training? Does still want to date Nick?
  • Recommendation: I read this all in one go, finding it difficult to put the book down. Later, I went back and read the poems more slowly, fully absorbing the words. No matter where you fall on the issue of a woman's right to choose, Ask Me How I Got Here will make you think. I loved it and recommend it without hesitation. Note too this would be a wonderful book club selection for adults and teens.


Catherine 5/24/16, 6:23 AM  

Sounds intense but good! Not a big poetry fan but I guess it makes for a quick read :)
My TT: http://whenitdoes.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/teaser-tuesday-richard-didnt-do-it.html

Karen and Gerard 5/24/16, 6:51 AM  

Sounds like a thought provoking read. Glad you enjoyed it.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 5/24/16, 6:57 AM  

The intro made me laugh, I'd try more.

JoAnn 5/24/16, 7:41 AM  

Sounds good... I'd give it a try!

Yvonne 5/24/16, 8:20 AM  

Sounds like an emotional, intense book. I'd keep reading.

Unknown 5/24/16, 8:23 AM  

From the small nibble you shared, I like the writing:)

My TT from Sister Dear

Daryl 5/24/16, 8:32 AM  

not really my cuppa but i know someone who'd enjoy it, thanks!

Kathy Martin 5/24/16, 8:59 AM  

This does sound good. Is it all in verse? My teaser comes from Whirlpool by Elizabeth Lowell. Happy reading!

bermudaonion 5/24/16, 9:02 AM  

Ooh, I love novels in verse. I need this book!

Laurel-Rain Snow 5/24/16, 10:18 AM  

Not a fan of novels in verse, but I love the sound of the themes, along with the challenges facing this young girl. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for visiting my blog.

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian 5/24/16, 10:40 AM  

Thanks for sharing this new-to-me book and author,

Literary Feline 5/24/16, 10:54 AM  

What a difficult situation to be in. This sounds like a worthwhile book. All too real a situation in today's society.

grammajudyb 5/24/16, 11:48 AM  

My book club has an interest in adding some poetry into the mix for the upcoming year. We meet September through May. I am going to suggest this one based on your recommendation. Thanks.

Paulita 5/24/16, 11:57 AM  

Always interesting to see someone trying a different format. Here's Mine

Sandra Nachlinger 5/24/16, 11:59 AM  

I've never read a book that was written in verse. Sounds interesting. I like the subject matter.
Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a commment.

Margot 5/24/16, 12:22 PM  

I like the occasional book in verse. I'd keep going with this one.

Alice Audrey 5/24/16, 4:02 PM  

Great teaser!!! Not sure where the guys come from, but I can see them flocking.

Mine is here: http://www.aliceaudrey.com/?p=13600

Girl Who Reads 5/24/16, 4:41 PM  

Being written in verse intrigues me. Girl Who Reads

Unknown 5/24/16, 6:03 PM  

Sounds interesting so I would have to keep reading. Enjoy!

Anonymous,  5/25/16, 7:43 AM  

This sounds like a really unusual read and I can imagine that poetry works well with such a gnarly subject. Thank you for sharing it and have a great reading week.

Verushka 5/29/16, 6:30 AM  

I like the plot and the questions this is tackling. But a novel in verse? Not sure. Hm.

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