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Monday, April 21, 2014

Review: 'Don't Call Me Baby'

Don't Call Me Baby
By Gwen Heasley
YA realistic fiction
April  2014
HarperTeen
ISBN: 978-0062208521

Imogen has had it. She is 15, starting high school, and she would love to have a normal family life. Instead, every moment of her existence is photographed and chronicled by her mother, a famous mommy blogger.

Instead of living a normal private life, Imogen is Baby and she has been on display since before she was born. But she has her best friend, whose mother also is a well-known blogger, and they have an English class in which student blogs are assigned. It's time, Imogen decides, to get her life back.

Gwen Heasley's Don't Call Me Baby starts off as a humorous, breezy story in which daughters square off against moms. She's got the online persona down. She's got the reader right there with their daughters.

And then the author does something even better. She goes for higher stakes than the two teens getting their moms to pay attention to them.

Heasley also weaves into her story how a big blogging commitment affects a family, how a blog can be a hungry monster that must be continually fed and a brand consistently maintained if a blogger is to create an online presence. She shows both sides of what it means as young people come of age in a digital age during which their baby pictures and other embarrassing moments of their lives are stored forever on some server.

She also creates an engaging story of how moms and daughters try to talk to each other but miss each other's point, how family members keep trying to find their way to each other and how friends can be humanly fallible and yet remain totally awesome.

©2014 All Rights Reserved CompuServe Books Reviews and reprinted with permission

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