Me, Him, Them, and It by Caela Carter
Source: E-galley from the publisher
Publication: February 26, 2013
___When Evelyn decided to piss off her parents with a bad reputation, she wasn't planning to ruin her valedictorian status. She also wasn't planning to fall for Todd-the guy she was just using for sex. And she definitely wasn't planning on getting pregnant. When Todd turns his back on her, Evelyn's not sure where to go.
Can a distant mother, a cheating father, an angry best friend, and a (thankfully) loving aunt with adopted daughters of her own help Evelyn make the heart-wrenching decisions that follow?
I go into every book with an open mind, and it's no secret that even when I don't care for a book, I try to find something I liked. I was excited to read Me, Him, Them, and It because I love issue-driven books set in a contemporary setting. But this book. I have never felt so utterly let down and insulted by a book since I started blogging. It's so bad that I debated on even posting a review, but I DID agree to read and review Caela Carter's debut novel, so...here goes.
I hated the main character, Evelyn. I can put up with a lot from a lead character if they're a mean girl, or immature, and grow over the course of the book - one of my favorite books is BEFORE I FALL. But Evelyn wasn't even naive...she was just stupid. She had unprotected sex for months and never once considered getting on birth control until her friend was shocked enough to suggest it. EVEN THEN, Evelyn only considered birth control to get bigger breasts. She regularly told her boyfriend it was fine to have sex without a condom, and the thought of getting pregnant NEVER crossed her mind.
There was SO much wrong with Me, Him, Them, and It. If these characters are supposed to be in touch with real teenagers, then I am really worried about the future of the human race. Evelyn's parents are some of the worst parents I've read about. Evelyn's "friends with benefits," when confronted with the fact that he's going to be a father, "just can't." Can't be a dad, can't take partial responsibility. There's no character development beyond the surface for any of the characters, except one or two side characters.
Part of what bothered me SO much was that "Evie" refused to make ANY decisions about her baby's welfare. She referred to her unborn child as "it" for the entire book, and routinely told her baby "I hate you." She flip-flopped back and forth on abortion until it was almost too late, then on adoption versus parenting for literally the rest of the book. She was more interested in moaning about her situation then doing ANYTHING about it. (Also, I didn't like the message about abortion - believe in it or not, but it was treated as no big thing.)
Also, there were remarks made in this book that really hurt. Evelyn's aunt, who she lives with during her pregnancy (because it's her parent's great idea to "hide" her) is gay, and Evelyn made numerous disparaging remarks like "my aunt's partner...or whatever she is," or "her wife...or whatever." I realize that being gay is something not everyone is comfortable with, but I think you can still write about it in a respectful manner - or not at all.
I struggled SO MUCH with Me, Him, Them, and It. I struggled with Evelyn's rebellious ways, and that she hurt herself and her future to hurt her parents for THEIR problems. I struggled with the *messages in this book - drugs and sex are fine, the repercussions don't matter, that you can give up your baby and start fresh like nothing ever happened. I could have over-looked some of this if Evelyn had done anything to redeem herself, but she didn't.
This book did not work for me. I kept reading because this book was a train wreck that just kept happening, over and over again. The only part that touched me was Evelyn's relationship with her young cousins, which was sweet and endearing, and possibly the main reason I kept reading. Other than that, I breathed a sigh of relief when Me, Him, Them, and It finally ended.
* I will not be providing buy links or author information for this book.