The first thing you need to know about Don’t Call Me Baby is that it’s not Young Adult at all, it’s actually much closer to a Middle Grade read, and i...moreThe first thing you need to know about Don’t Call Me Baby is that it’s not Young Adult at all, it’s actually much closer to a Middle Grade read, and if you approach it as such, you’re going to be a very happy camper. If, however, you’re looking for a YA read with everything that entails (including kissing, yes), you’re going to have to look elsewhere. I was forewarned and fully prepared for a younger protagonist, which is probably (at least in part) why I ended up enjoying this book immensely.
Don’t Call Me Baby is a surprisingly thought-provoking read. Imogene’s problems may that of a 15-year-old, but they will give any smart parent plenty to think about. We often underestimate our children and stop paying attention, even though we find ways to convince ourselves of the opposite. Imogene’s mother knew what’s best for her. A mother always does, right? But really, even we mothers are someone’s daughters and we make plenty of mistakes every day, we just hide them better.
To Imogene, a simple request for privacy meant years of arguments and miscommunications. Somewhere along the line, her mother stopped being a mom first and a blogger second, even though she constantly claimed otherwise – on her very popular blog, of course. I think bloggers, especially those of us who are a bit older, will understand very well how blogging can take over your life.
As a parent, I’m very conscious of my child’s privacy, even though she’s only seven years old. I’m not above sharing an occasional photo on Facebook with friends and family, but I’m always aware that there are boundaries and that she’s her own person, with a right to decide some things for herself. Since she’s still too young to do so, I keep her as far away from the internet as I can. However, I clearly see how easy it would be not only to live vicariously through her, but to share her life here for everyone to see. That’s precisely the trap Imogene’s mom fell into, and Imogene was forced to find a way out.
I think I’ll save this one for my kid to read in a few years. If she has fun with it, great. And if she somehow learns from Imogene how to get in my face and make me see my blind spots, then even better.
Robyn Carr’s Thunder Point series is a favorite of mine. All these books are perfect rainy day comfort reads that make me want to curl up with a blank...moreRobyn Carr’s Thunder Point series is a favorite of mine. All these books are perfect rainy day comfort reads that make me want to curl up with a blanket and a cup of hot chocolate and shut the world out. Her Thunder Point is a very small town with a tight-knit community. Everyone is up in everyone else’s business, but not one of them with bad intentions.
Consequently, I see all the characters as my dear friends. There is a couple at the center of each book, but the community is never neglected. We get to see those we’re already very familiar with, as well as those we have yet to get to know.
That said, it makes me incredibly sad to write a less-than-stellar review for this latest Thunder Point novel. Scott and Peyton’s story isn’t up to Carr’s usual standard, and as hard as I tried, I failed to get invested like I should have. Above all else I was bored and severely annoyed by their lack of communication.
Although present, the community I love so much took a back seat in this book, which would have been fine if Scott and Peyton were a strong enough couple to carry the full novel. Neither their romance nor their problems were big enough to keep me interested throughout, though, and I wished others were given a more important role.
Once again, Therese Plummer completely saved the day. She is the type of narrator who could easily read a phone book and make it sound interesting. Her confidence and voice characterization are practically unmatched. I doubt I would have finished this book if not for her. As it was, she made the whole experience more pleasant.
I will go back to this series, of course. I'm not quite ready to give up after one weak link. I just hope The Homecoming proves to be a diffrent kind of read, one closer to those first four I liked so much.