Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hanging On To Max by Margaret Bechard

Sam, a high school senior, is just barely able to keep his head above water. He's struggling at school, can't communicate with his father, and is a father himself - he's raising, alone, his son, Max. The story jumps between the past (Sam meeting and hooking up with a girl at school, Sam at his son's birth and realizing that Brittany, Max's mom, plans to give Max up for adoption, Sam blurting out that he wants to raise Max instead) and the present (Sam meeting an old crush who is now a single parent herself, Sam wondering if he can cut it as a parent, Sam wondering if there's a future for him out there somewhere).

I wish there had been more pages spent on Sam's 'past,' but that's only because the parts about Sam's 'present' are so strong. I wanted to hear more from Sam, what it was like when he and Brittany were having the discussions he alludes to. The book has heart-tugging realism that does not read as manipulative, but honest.

This is a book that's been out for awhile, but I just came across it, and I'm really happy that I did. Plus, I just love the look of the cover - it reminds me of Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland, but with a baby twist.

Find it at Amazon.

Read it with:
Slam by Nick Hornby
Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles
Dear Nobody by Berlie Doherty
Annie's Baby: Diary of Anonymous, a Pregnant Teenager, edited by Beatrice Sparks
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

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