Author: Laurie Plissner
Release Date: May 18th 2013
Publisher: Merit Press
Flattered by the attentions of Nick, the cutest guy in school, seventeen-year-old Grace Warren, captain of the math team, lets down her guard and gets pregnant the night she loses her virginity. Hopeful that Nick will drop to one knee and propose when she breaks the baby news to him, Grace is heartbroken—Nick wants nothing to do with her. Her best friend, Jennifer, thinks she should get an abortion, but Grace is certain that her morally upright parents will insist that she keep the baby. After she comes clean to her super-religious, strait-laced parents, they surprise her by insisting that she terminate the pregnancy to avoid humiliating the family. But when she sees the fetus on the ultrasound, she decides she can't get rid of it. Deciding to save the tiny life growing inside of her, Grace must face the consequences of being that girl - the good girl who got knocked up.Starting a book with the prose version of the "How can you call it murder if it doesn't even have a heartbeat yet?" debate might make it boring for some people, but this certainly wasn't the case for me. That argument was the first amongst the many dilemmas for Grace, the main character here in Screwed, and even though I'm very much against abortion, I'm sure I would consider it too if I were in her shoes.
Grace was a typical goody-two-shoes with straight As, but even so, I never disliked her. I actually sympathized with her, enough to make me shed a handful of tears. She was naive and sometimes downright stupid, but it was nurture, not nature. I liked how she, for the most part, kept herself level-headed—the most obvious exercise of which was her choice to keep the baby. She also never made sure to blame the baby for her five-minute lapse of judgment, and she really surprised me when she decided to go through her senior year with her bulging baby bump for everyone to see. If that didn't prove the strength inside this twelve-year-old-looking seventeen-year-old, then I don't know what would.
But aside from understanding for Grace's situation, this book also gave me some characters to hate. First were Grace's parents, the kind of people I hate the most: church-going hypocrites. They volunteered for the soup kitchen and whatnot, but being the local head advocates of chastity before marriage, they were even worse than angry and disappointed with Grace when she told them about her pregnancy—they were hateful, all the time worrying about what their whole town would think of them in the face of the scandal. And second was Nick, father of the "bean" inside Grace, who thought of girls as conquests and planned to conquer twenty-one properties before he went off to college.
Although getting knocked up on her first time having sex—with a condom, no less—was nothing short of unfortunate, Grace still had luck on her side in the form of her personal support group. Her BFF, Jennifer, who was practical and sassy but ever-supportive; Helen, the ridiculously rich, loving, and helpful old woman who lived right across the street; and Charlie, who was a very nice surprise. I had absolutely no idea about his character because he's a no-show in the blurb, so forgive me if this is a little spoiler-y. Anyway, Plissner sure knows how to create an attractive gentleman of a character. Even if the growth of the romance between him and Grace wasn't shown very well, it was still believable enough to be sweet.
Admittedly, the plot could've used more complexity, but the characters shone enough to overshadow that. Also, the ending left me wanting a tad bit more, but it was still satisfying. Screwed definitely made me question a lot of my previously-solid opinion on teenage pregnancy and whatnot, and it has nailed down Laurie Plissner in my list of auto-read authors.
MY FAVORITE PART was when Grace went into labor—or, more specifically, that scene from Jennifer's perspective :))