Cover Image: Belly Up

Belly Up

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Member Reviews

I wasn't a fan. I think it just wasn't something that resonated with me, I couldn't get myself into this collection.
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This was such a lovely read. It really took me by surprise how much I enjoyed the story and the writing too. I really connected to the characters especially the main character and I think such a sensitive subject as to what she was going through was written in such a wonderful way. I really recommend that you pick this up if your looking for a unique coming of age story.
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This book tackles some big, potentially heavy subjects but does a great job of not making it feel heavy. Unfortunately I feel like it almost does this too much. While I overall liked the story I just never felt the stakes like you would expect from such a life changing situation. I feel like the book was pushed to have as little drama as possible when this situation would naturally have some drama no matter how chill the characters want to be. I would still read another book from this author because I feel like there’s good bones to the book so to speak and the meaning is there.
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*I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

This is such a great book. It is needed. There is a fantastic relationship between her and her mom which isn't something I see often in books. It is so healthy and it is nice to finally read a book about a positive teen mom experience. We want to tell people they have choices, yet it is rare to find books that aren't just doom and gloom. 

Unfortunately, I was mostly bored reading it. I couldn't help myself engaged. But it is so informative, diverse, and inclusive, it is hard not to like. It is so pure, sweet, and fluffy. It just wasn't for me.
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This is a great novel for teens. It talks the topic of teen pregnancy and how life changes. It was really well written. I love how these characters share their life with the reader. I cant wait to read this again and yes i would recommend it to anyone
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Sometimes you want to read about a heavy subject but you don't want to read a heavy take on said heavy subject. Enter Belly Up, by Eva Darrows. If you need to read something that will make your heart squeeze but also feel lighter, this YA about a pregnant teenager is for you. 

I featured it in the Young Folks list "Book Buying Recommendations for Mood Readers." https://www.theyoungfolks.com/review/140005/book-buying-recommendations-for-mood-readers/
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This book was awesome! It was very informative and was a realistic portrayal of what a healthy teen pregnancy should be. I highly recommend!
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On the rebound from a break-up, Sara has a one-night stand with a boy at a party and winds up pregnant. Unfortunately for her, she doesn't even know his name much less how to find him. Fortunately for her, she is surrounded by a supportive group of family and friends. She and her mom move in with grandma and she starts a new high school her senior year. She meets Leaf, a proud Roma boy who loves to cook and share his culture. Her best friend is asexual and loves nothing more than pampering. The rest of her friends run the gamut from lesbian, asexual, bisexual, and more. From this abundance of sexual diversity and the lack of real conflict, this story is a fairy tale and not very reassuring to many pregnant girls without such a support system.
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This was a good book, great for teenagers because they will feel a connection to everything the main character was feeling and going through. I didn't like the writing style however and the book sometimes dragged too much for my liking. 

I received a free ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. All thoughts are my own.
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This on just didn't click with me. The characters bordered on annoying me and it seemed to drag in parts, but this may not be the book's fault. It very well could be a case of the target audience is the only audience it's meant to please. It did have some very good messages about consent. There was also a lot of information about reproductive health. If it sounds good to you, then please give it a try.
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A fun yet important read full of well-rounded characters. Just the kind of contemporary my students and I enjoy best.
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I ADORED this book. Serendipity (Sera for short) is a normal teenager, living her normal teenage life with her single mom and best friend Devi. She recently broke up with her boyfriend, but is moving on and goes to a party with Devi where she meets a totally handsome stranger. They hook up and it's nice, but Sera forgets to get his number, which wouldn't be a big deal, but a few weeks later she finds out she's pregnant. This book is FULL of body positivity,  it is inclusive and sex positive. It portrays the real reactions and emotions of people making real life decisions. I think the author did an amazing job all around here. Other reviewers have called this Juno meets Gilmore Girls, and I love that comp!
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I really enjoyed this book, but I have some mixed feelings about it. Overall, my reading experience was fantastic. I flew through this book and I had such a fun time reading it. It was compelling and entertaining. However, there were aspects of this book that seemed unrealistic. One of the main complaints that I've seen in negative reviews of this book was the vocabulary. The main character said things like "amazeballs"... which was a little much. But I got used to it, so I think if you know what to expect, that won't be an issue. This was such a cute contemporary and I would recommend it for anyone who wants a book on the topic of teen pregnancy that still manages to mostly be light and and easy to read.
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SPOILERS AHEAD

Belly Up is a contemporary YA novel that delves into the topic of teen pregnancy with a comedic twist. It is a novel by Eva Darrows, the pseudonym for bestselling writer Hillary Monahan. The book is one of many multi-genres that she writes with everything from horror to, in this case, comedy.

The beginning is written plain enough but with a humor in it that is genuinely witty. The way the book addresses the reader directly isn't something many are accustomed to at first. With that in mind, it quickly becomes clear that it was the perfect way for the story to be told.

Sara, or Serendipity, the main character, is a character that you love to love. She has a distinctive voice to go along with her opinions and thoughts - these driving the story forward. She is such a funny narrator. Every word she speaks draws a smile from the reader. It makes for laughter and a tone that is relatable for anyone. 

The reader can really feel themselves in the place of the main character. This is true even if the circumstances are unconventional. They still manage to resonate with the individual. You can see the character's struggles as she comes to terms with an accident resulting from her choices. The way the narrator can go from relatively self-assured and witty to vulnerable in seconds is a nod to the great writing style.

The narrator has a grace about her that allows her to walk from the sad to the humorous without it feeling forced or rushed. Sara has a strong sense of herself and what she believes. With a unique perspective and humor about life, she is such a nice change from the angst driven MC's of other novels. It's such a refreshing thing to see Sara look back on her past decisions with an acceptance of the "mistakes" made and still find herself through them.

Sara is written so as to feel like a real teenager. And teens can be notoriously hard to write for anyone but these ones were done well. It didn't read like someone out of touch with young people trying to force them onto the page. I enjoyed the way the teen pregnancy was approached with the appropriate amount of concerns but also a sense of real life wit. The cruelty and shaming faced but the main character is something that makes the reader feel for her, which I would argue is the point of storytelling.

The generational relationships ground the story. They are dynamic and craft something that would truly lessen the narrative if they was taken away. It breathes life into the book so that you can see how these strong women are finding themselves and relating to each other. Eva Darrows demonstrates the growing connection between Sara and her "kid" in a way that is the heart of the story.

Devi, the best friend of Sara, as a character could have been flat and one-dimensional but is instead one who is a valuable addition to the narrative. Devi and Sara are such a great duo with their shared language and comradery. Their relationship is such a joy to see evolve and grow.

The story itself is lighthearted and fun while still not becoming too silly or dumbed down. It is different than what is expected of a typical teen pregnancy story. Characters are endearing and lively. The conflicts propel it forward to keep readers entertained and engaged. 

The diversity of the book and its characters is so encouraging and allows anyone to find someone they can see themselves in. Everything from Romani to asexual representation is present. It is a fact that for some may be the first time they've seen them in literature. Commentary on issues that impact minority groups and diverse individuals truly add a level of social reflection.

I went into the story with minimal expectations but was proven wrong by the book and author in the best way. Being glued to the page is commonplace when reading it as most are unable to separate themselves from the words on the page. The story is a delicate mixture of funny and heartwarming in its simple but strong telling. A perfect ending was delivered as wholesome and cathartic. Most of all it was full of a promise of the future for Sara and all those around her.
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Title provided via netgalley for an honest review

I really like books that touch on subjects that have a stigma attached. Darrows does a really good job detailing everyday life. It is a fact that teenage girls get pregnant and it changes their whole lives. I really appreciate authors who can delve into these kinda of topics and not glamorize it, but make it real - the good and the bad of teen pregnancy and similar issues.

I definitely enjoyed this because you get just the feel of this story and how real it is.
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An atypical story about teen pregnancy that avoids problem novel cliches. Darrows has talked about the book being influenced by the movie Juno, and it shows. Hand to teens who recently enjoyed With the Fire on High, as they will likely enjoy this book's take on teen pregnancy. Realistic but not depressing, uplifting without being too easy.
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Thank you NetGalley and Publisher for this early copy,

It was a well-written young adult novel that dealt with important topics.
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This book was so good. I love that it had for real situations. It didnt sugar coat anything and it wasn’t just about a romance. I would love to see a second book.
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Very cute book! heartwarming and realistic. I didn't have a chance to finish it before the publication date, but I very much enjoyed the journey and the family dynamics within.
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Thank you to Netgalley and Inkyard Press for access to this book in exchange for my honest review.  I am a sucker for young adult novels.  I love them.  I don't read them nearly enough.  When this book fell into my lap I was so excited!

Teen pregnancy.  This entire book is about a young teenage girl who makes one slight lapse in judgement and ends up pregnant.  This is her journey through her pregnancy with her friends and family.  She ends up moving a town away at the beginning of her pregnancy and probably was the best thing for her. 

Understanding.  I hope as a parent I will be as loving and understanding as Sara's mother.  Sara also has a supportive grandmother, Mormor, and the world's greatest friends.  There's even a little romance from Leaf thrown in here.  *sigh* There were such GREAT people in this one.

Snarky and laugh out loud funny.  With a topic as serious as teen pregnancy, this book manages to be a light, funny, and snarky read.  It is a lovely book to take your mind off of all the problems in the world.  It's a quick read too!

There never was a lack of respect in this book.  Guys...sh#t happens.  Sara is still in high school and well...high school never ends so you know how kids (and people) can be.  It is important to remind yourself to surround yourself with respectful, solid friends.  I am so glad Sara manages to do that in this book.  Even though she is dealing with her life derailed from her ivy league college dreams, she changes her outlook and still remains positive.  This really was a feel good read, even with the heavy topic of teenage pregnancy. 

4 star read.  This book made me glad I have the friends I do, who are just as supportive as Sara as they are of me.  It really made me feel good to know that in the real world, there are people like Sara's friends and that's important to remember.  Teenage pregnancy isn't the end of the world (it's not ideal I know), but this book serves as a reminder that no matter what you're going through, things will get better and you can make it through.  Great young adult read!!  Go pick this one up now!
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