Holding On to Zoe by George Ella Lyon

At first glance, this book doesn’t seem like it would be anything special.  A 16-year-old girl gets pregnant, the baby’s daddy takes off, and her mom is in denial about the whole situation.  Seems pretty much par for the course in YA lit, right?  If that were the whole story, I may be inclined to agree, but there’s a whole other level to Jules’ story that makes this story extraordinary.

Now that Jules has her baby daughter, Zoe, nothing else in the world matters.  A dad who took off years ago?  Whatever.  A mom who doesn’t support her?  She may come around some day.  The difficulties Jules faces trying to balance her work at the Toyota factory with caring for her infant daughter?  Absolutely worth it as long as Zoe is taken care of.  Of course, it would be really nice if Jules’ best friend would take an interest in Zoe or if Jules’ mom, Zoe’s grandmother, would stop pretending she didn’t exist.  I mean, why would a grandmother pretend her granddaughter didn’t exist, right?  Despite some of the dated references, I think teens will get sucked right in by the mysteries of Jules’ mind and will appreciate the way Lyon handled the delicate balance between Jules’ reality and the rest of the world’s.

Happy Reading!

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