i.d.a.'s Reviews > Expecting

Expecting by Lula Belle
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's review
May 05, 2012

it was amazing

A wonderful first novel (yes! first novel!), with an ambitious, imaginative premise, that shows Lula Belle is sure to produce more works that leave readers as breathless and reflective as Expecting.

For readers especially who enjoy novels set in a dystopian US, Expecting is one to read. The world is one that sees John McCain elected president over Barack Obama in 2008. McCain dies shortly after taking office, and his VP, Sarah Palin, is now president. By the time we meet the teenage protagonist, Sheila, Palin has pushed the abortion agenda and Roe V. Wade has been reversed. Sheila is pregnant. Though seemingly far-fetched, Belle knows her stuff; the details of the legislative process are legit.

Expecting is a classic example of the monologic epistolary novel (English majors...anyone?): The story is told through a series of journal entries written by Sheila and the form is one Belle should continue to explore. As any first-person novel, we are limited in that we only hear from Sheila, but Belle masterfully shapes the other characters so that we come to know and love them too.

The book's most lengthy influence on me was Sheila. I couldn't stop thinking about her long after I finished the book -- even now I sometimes hear her telling me what she thinks of my jeans or a campaign ad on tv! I look forward to meeting more characters like Sheila from Lula Bella, because there must be more to come.
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Lula Belle Wow, I am totally gonna work the monologic epistolary novel definition at my next reading. Thanks for reading and for this lovely review.

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