Summary: 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.
(Summary from www.goodreads.com - Image from www.univisionnews.tumblr.com )
My Review: I saw this story when it broke, and marveled at Gaby’s maturity and gumption. When I saw the book displayed in my town’s library, I snatched it up, eager to hear her observations and conclusions. Gaby chose to fake a pregnancy, something she was quite familiar with, being the eighth child of a teen mom as well as watching the majority of her siblings becoming teen parents. She details how difficult it was to deceive the teachers who had invested so much in her future, her friends, and the hurtful and snide comments uttered by her peers.
Toward the end of the experiment, she writes “… Did they think that getting pregnant had also affected my eyesight? Did they think I couldn’t see them huddling together, putting their hands over their mouths to cover whatever insults they were sharing about me? I wanted to hide. It was exhausting to feel like people were judging me all day.” Her experience and the research she put into this project led her to some pretty eye-opening conclusions. I was surprised to find myself tearing up when I read of her great reveal.
This was a fast read. It’s interesting, if a tad preachy, but it moves quickly until the end. Be warned, this isn’t Jane Eyre … it was penned by a high school student, and the epilogue(s) felt more like a mash up of endless repetition and a Miss America speech. This would be an interesting book to discuss with a slightly older mother-daughter book club (say, freshman and sophomore age) or a good book for a quick read.
My Rating: 3 stars
For the sensitive reader: There are a couple cases of foul language. However, for a book that’s about teen pregnancy, it’s surprisingly clean.
Sum it Up: This was an interesting read from a remarkable girl about peer pressure and her own personal views. No Newberry, but worth the two hours it’ll take to blaze through it.