I also wondered about how my family would have handled it if I’d gotten pregnant and decided to keep the baby. How would they have reacted, initially and down the road? This may sound incredibly obvious, but one of the things that fascinated me about the idea of an ‘unwanted pregnancy,’ is that, unless you give the baby up for adoption, the decision to keep a baby is totally irrevocable. So it was interesting to me to see how parents of a pregnant teenager adapts to something they have no power to change.
I started writing Hooked before many of the teen pregnancy reality shows began airing, but I’ve had a chance to check out a few in the last couple of years. I think the thing my story shares with many of these shows is how much the families are involved, in whatever ways they can be, with the raising of the child. Many of the girls struggle to finish high school and many of them break up with the baby’s fathers. But nearly all of them have moms or dads who step in and help.
Like Thea’s parents in Hooked, their parents are full of regret at what’s happened to their daughters, but it doesn’t stop them from doing everything they can to continue ensuring their futures. In many cases it means watching their babies for many hours each day while they do homework or go to their jobs. I was surprised at the lengths many of these parents go to help their daughters, and it was reassuring to see these families continuing with their goals despite the potential setbacks of a baby.
That’s what compelled me to write Hooked in the first place: How families adapt to hard times, because that’s all they can do when it concerns their kid. In Hooked, Thea has it easier than your average teenager who finds herself pregnant at 16 or 17. She has parents who are able to support her financially as she figures out her life. Not everyone is so lucky. And then there are the scores of truly sad situations, where young girls are cast out from their families, oftentimes for a pregnancy that isn’t their fault. Those stories are the ones that make me realize how fortunate the ones with supportive families — no matter what the circumstances, actually are.
Thea Galehouse has always known how to take care of herself. With a flighty club-owner mom and a standoffish, recovering-alcoholic dad, Thea has made her own way in her hometown of New York, attending the prestigious and competitive Stuyvesant High School. But one chat with Will, a handsome and witty senior, and she’s a goner—completely hooked on him and unable to concentrate on anything else.Always worried that she loves Will more than he loves her, Thea is pleasantly surprised when their romance weathers his move to college and Will goes out of his way to involve her in his life. But then, Thea misses a period. And that starts Thea and Will on a wild ride that neither of them could have possibly prepared for. When they decide to keep the baby, their concerned parents chip in what they can to keep Will in school and give both teenagers a comfortable place to raise their child. But when a freak accident leaves Thea shaken and threatens to upend their little family altogether, Thea is forced to turn to the last place she would have chosen for comfort: her stiff, uncompromising father.This smart, touching first novel brims with realistic, beautifully drawn characters, and reminds us that love is never as easy or predictable as we might like it to be.
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