March 11, 2012

The Pregnancy Project by Gaby Rodriguez

Title: The Pregnancy Project
Author: Gaby Rodriguez
Pages: 224
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books For Young Readers

It started as a school project…but turned into so much more.
Growing up, Gaby Rodriguez was often told she would end up a teen mom. After all, her mother and her older sisters had gotten pregnant as teenagers; from an outsider’s perspective, it was practically a family tradition. Gaby had ambitions that didn’t include teen motherhood. But she wondered: how would she be treated if she “lived down” to others' expectations? Would everyone ignore the years she put into being a good student and see her as just another pregnant teen statistic with no future? These questions sparked Gaby’s school project: faking her own pregnancy as a high school senior to see how her family, friends, and community would react. What she learned changed her life forever, and made international headlines in the process.
In The Pregnancy Project, Gaby details how she was able to fake her own pregnancy—hiding the truth from even her siblings and boyfriend’s parents—and reveals all that she learned from the experience. But more than that, Gaby’s story is about fighting stereotypes, and how one girl found the strength to come out from the shadow of low expectations to forge a bright future for herself.

When I first saw this book, I knew I wanted to read it.  Our popular culture is so teen pregnancy (and just pregnancy in general) obsessed recently and I thought this would be an interesting exploration of how people in "real life" (as opposed to MTV life) react to teen moms.  Also, there aren't that many memoirs out there for teens, so when a newer one comes out I like to check them out. 

Teachers are always trying to get kids to relate their school work to every day life and Gaby Rodriguez took that to heart and came up with a project that not only related to her life, but affected it on a daily basis.  I have to say, I was definitely hoping for more with this one.  It was a whole lot of 'and then this, and then this, and then this.'  It was interesting to read the details of everything she had to put together to fake it believably, but I wanted drama and grand feelings of betrayal, family members never speaking to her and her boyfriend again and that wasn't what I got.  After she announced that it was just a school project, everyone was just kind of okay with it.  There were no lasting consequences except that people wanted to interview her.  (Once again the media jumps all over teen pregnancy.)  It is a true story, though, so I guess I can't knock what really happened.  I think this concept would make an awesome fiction story, which I'd assume is why they made the movie.  I'm curious to see what that's like.  I love a good Lifetime movie and I would have to hope that they would add the drama I wanted.  I also kind of hope that someone writes a YA fiction book based on it.  It has a great premise, just not the outright drama I was looking for.


  1. I had absolutely NO idea this was based on a true story - I 100% believed this was YA fiction. Also, it's a movie? :s

    I'm not sure if that makes me want to read it more or less... I did really want to get my hands on it, but now I'm a little put off although I can't explain why!

    1. I know, I wish one of the contemp queens would take this story and work their magic with it and make it this crazy drama filled story, I think it would be awesome. The memoir was just kind of lackluster. I haven't seen the movie, but I'm thinking of seeing if it's on netflix, just to have something to compare this to. Let me know if you do check out the book, I'm curious to hear other peoples thoughts!