During her junior year, sixteen-year-old Maggie Reynolds expected to shop for prom dresses not maternity clothes. Now, instead of studying for the SATs, she’s reading, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Maggie’s ‘Mother Dearest’ lives in fear that Maggie will somehow taint the family name, so Maggie can’t turn to her for help. Meanwhile, her father is oblivious to anything but his 9-9 job. And her boyfriend, Justin? She’s pretty sure he’ll stay by her side.
While Maggie wrestles with her options, Justin offers a solution: abortion. It would solve all her problems quickly, easily, and effectively. And her parents would never know, which means they won’t throw her out and cut her off like they’d always threatened if she got herself knocked up. But an easy decision becomes difficult when Maggie’s aunt discovers her secret and sets out on a mission to stop the abortion, putting a kink in Maggie’s plan. Now Maggie must decide which choice she can live with: abortion or teenage motherhood. Either way, it’ll be a tough road to travel.
*Young Adult RONE finalist award and the USA Best Book Award finalist in Youth Issues *
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Lauren stared at Maggie with wide eyes. “Pregnant? You’re flipping pregnant?” Apparently, the word “flipping” was supposed to convey the substantial amount of shock Lauren had for the bomb Maggie had dropped. It worked. Maggie wished she had such a word to use herself. But she needed something stronger.
“No. I’m late.” Maggie tried to convince herself it was just a fluke. That she was late due to the stress her mother continually heaped on her or the new year of school starting, but the possibility she might be pregnant scared her to death. Still, she tried to keep her head.
Lauren wriggled like a worm on a hook. Being calm was not her forte. “Holy pig snot! That first day of school!” her voice trailed off.
“When you were looking at your calendar and got all weird and sick looking.”
“That’s when you figured it out, isn’t it?”
The thought sucked Maggie back into that disgusting, dirty bathroom where she counted and recounted the days on her calendar realizing she had skipped her period that month.
“Yeah, but I could just be late,” she said hopefully. “The stress of school starting and all. I’m just late.” More than anything, she wanted this to be true, but the view of the calendar in her mind grated on her stability until it was a flaky pile, blown away with one wisp of breath.
“You trying to convince me or you?”
Maggie shot Lauren a narrow-eyed glare.
“Well, did you and Mr. Justin Davis use… you know,” Lauren asked, tucking her arms across her chest.
She hated when Lauren called him that.
She leaned in and whispered it like a dirty word. “Protection?”
Thinking back, Maggie couldn’t remember. Playing that night over in her head a thousand times made the details a little fuzzy. “Yeah. I think so.”
“You think so, meaning you may not have?”
Maggie leaned back against the bed. She shook her head. “No, I’m sure we did. I made sure.”
“Mags! If you were drunk, how would you know? You were drunk, right? Please tell me you were drunk.”
“Not every time. I’d know, right? I’m sure we did. We had to.” They had used something, hadn’t they? Suddenly the purple butterflies clinging to Lauren’s walls flew at her as the room spun. Maggie choked down the bile rising in her throat and breathed deeply to steady the quivering of her lips.
“Well, if you did, it didn’t work, and if you didn’t, you’re an idiot.” Lauren slapped a hand over her own mouth. “Sorry, I didn’t mean that.”