PLANET PREGNANCY - Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) - June 2009
Seventeen-year-old Sahara has just left Texas and entered Planet Pregnancy, inhabited only by herself and “Embryo.” Sahara cannot imagine how she could be pregnant because “tragedy happens to other people, not me.” When Sahara becomes the stereotypical “catastrophe,” she is understandably frightened and shies from revealing her circumstances to those who might provide help and support as she attempts to make a decision that will alter the rest of her life. As the days tick by and Sahara remains silent, she is overwhelmed by the only three options she can conceive: to become a young mother, to give up her child for adoption, or to “Take Care Of It” and try to move beyond her mistake. Alone with her thoughts, Sahara’s terror deepens as her condition progresses, and her options quickly begin to run out.
Told in free verse that lends authenticity to the narrator’s teen voice, this novel chronicles the momentous nine-month journey that Sahara enters, starting with the shocking results of her home pregnancy test and ending after the delivery of her child. The discomforts of pregnancy and the anguish of being seventeen and on the verge of adult life are presented with humor and honesty, making Sahara leap off the page and become a girl who could be found in any school, anywhere in modern America. Although some readers might disagree with Sahara’s ultimate choice, the novel is a realistic and compelling read for any teen. —Jennifer McConnel.