Eighteen-yeaImager-old Mandy Kalinowski may be naïve and inexperienced but she knows that she does not want her baby to grow up the way she did—feeling unloved and unwanted.  In order to prevent a similar fate, she seeks help online, where she meets Robin MacSweeney, and she starts laying the groundwork for an open adoption.

Jill MacSweeney is pretty sure that her mother is losing her mind and cannot believe that she would even think of adopting a baby.  Granted, she knows that her mother is still grieving the loss of Jill’s father, but adopting a baby feels like a betrayal.  Almost like her mother is trying to replace her father with someone else.  In all honestly, Jill just wants things to go back to normal, however, she realizes that will never happen so she has isolated herself from everyone—her mom, her boyfriend, and even her best friends.  So when Mandy comes to live with them, just until she has the baby, Jill is determined not to become involved.

And at first, Jill’s plan seems like a good one and that it might actually work.  However, as this emotionally driven teen novel shows, families take on many shapes and forms and babies have a way of bringing the best out in people, even those that are determined to remain alone.

Cleverly told in alternating chapters from the viewpoint of Mandy and Jill, readers get to experience both sides of the situation and really get to know the characters.  Sara Zarr has written a humorous, compelling story that will leave you rooting for Jill’s whole newly-formed family.

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