Cover Image: The Surrogate

The Surrogate

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Toni Halleen tells the story of The Surrogate from the four main characters' points of view. Although this made it easy to follow the plot, I found that I didn't connect with any of the characters. In this book Cally agrees to become a surrogate for Hal and Ruth. Hal already has two sons from a previous marriage and it seems as though Ruth has waited too long to decide she wanted a family besides her career. I want to thank NetGalley and Harper Collins Publishers for an early copy to review.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

3 stars

This book starts off well enough. It’s got a very intriguing plot line and the writing is very good. I think I was just waiting for a twist or turn that never came. I thought the ending left a lot to be desired but it was an interesting book, overall.
Was this review helpful?
Ruth and Hal a childless couple hire Cally to be a a surrogate for them.  Cally gives birth to a girl and sneaks out of the hospital before she can be discharged and before the transfer of the baby can occur...

With the help of her ex boyfriend Digger Cally and Digger go to his uncle's cabin.

Ruth and Hal track Cally's whereabouts through the credit card purchases on the card they gave her..

When Cally is taking a nap Digger takes the baby to his sister's , figuring he''' get a reward if he returns the baby to Ruth and Cal.

Due to after birth complications Cally winds up at the hospital for treatment it turns out she had become pregnant before the artificial  insemination and the embryo miscarried but not completely.
Ruth & Hal are at the hospital as Hal's son is in a car accident and is in a coma . He comes out of the coma but is paralyzed.
Digger and his sister are also at the hospital with the baby whom appears to be sick, she is jaundiced and dehydrated.

Ruth and Hal decide to give Cally full custody of the baby and Ruth becomes pregnant and gives birth to a boy.
Was this review helpful?
This book was very interesting, even thought it was told through two different perspectives which I normally do not like. I did find that the author did this one with grace and smoothness so as a reader I was easily able to follow who was talking and what story line was coming up with out a lot of confusion. This in turned led me to a much more enjoyable read and made the story that much more exciting. Each chapter was nice and short so that it really packed a punch with the reader. This book was everything I was hoping for and more. It is all about a young woman named Ruth who wants nothing more than to be a mother but unfortunately that just doesn't seem to be in the card for her and her husband. Desperate for what they want they stumble upon young Cally, who agrees to let the couple have her child. Things look bright for the new couple who are about to get everything that they wanted when something happens and Cally changes her mind on the whole adoption and runs away with the newborn child. That is when the book really takes off as you see each person's reaction to the disappearance of the newborn, and it becomes murky who is right and who is wrong. This book will really have you looking at adoption more carefully. One of the reasons I really liked the chance in perspective was that it shows how even though Cally was doing a terrible thing, she wasn't a bad person and was just desperate
to keep her child and was fighting the only way she knew how, which I'm sure all mothers would do under normal circumstances. This is a great read that I was unable to put down I loved the characters and the story was something that I had to read to the end.
Was this review helpful?
This book has an intriguing, though frequently explored premise: what happens when the birth mother in a surrogacy situation decides to keep the baby. The characters are varied and well drawn and the settings and situations interesting, so the book kept me reading and changing my mind about whom I was rooting for. I did think it fell apart a bit when all the characters converge at one location in a somewhat contrived way, and at times those scenes seemed almost farcical. The ending is satisfying but perhaps a bit too unrealistically neat. All in all, though, I thought it was compelling and well written and would recommend it. Many thanks to Harper and NetGalley for an e-ARC of this book.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author, for an ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.
I thought "The Surrogate" by Toni Halleen was an addictive story which had a very interesting look at surrogacy. 
I thought Ms. Halleen did a good job of portraying each character's feelings & viewpoints. 
The story was told from multiple perspectives, jumping back & forth in time.
The author used short chapters, which allowed the book to read very quickly & easily. 
I would definitely read another book by this author.
Was this review helpful?
You definitely get what you sign up for when reading this book - a story about a surrogate mother who decides she wants to keep the baby. It delivers on the promises made in the synopsis and successfully does what it sets out to do. It was a fun way to pass the time and reads quickly. 

I like the multi POV and varying timelines used, I think this made the story much more interesting than it would have been if told linearly. You root for different sides throughout the story and feel sympathy for both parties involved, although one side is portrayed in a much more negative light. 

My major complaint upon finishing is that surrogacy felt to be portrayed rather negatively, when it can be such a beautiful thing in reality. The events right at the very end really hammered this point home and kind of irritated me. 

Thank you to the publisher, Netgalley, and the author for the chance to read this book early in exchange for an honest review!
Was this review helpful?
Not the most engrossing book I’ve read lately! This book encompasses the journey of Ruth, a fortysomething journalist, and her attorney husband, Hal, as they decide to use surrogacy as the path to a new baby. Ruth is in desperate mode and Hal complacently goes along for the ride on this path through surrogacy. Nineteen year old Cally agrees to carry a baby in exchange for college money and a chance at a bright future. Little does she realize the events she will set in motion with her decisions. Read this story to find out what happens when Cally changes her mind and takes off with the baby to a remote location in the middle of winter! 

This book was not the mystery/thriller I thought it would be and the characters were a bit annoying at times, but the details on surrogacy were interesting. A very predictable ending that was a bit far-fetched! 

This ARC copy was received from Harper Publishing and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
Was this review helpful?
This was a really engrossing book and a very interesting look at surrogacy.  In her early 40s and unable to have children, Ruth and her new husband Hal hire Cally as their surrogate. After the birth, Cally has a change of heart, enlists the help of her ex-boyfriend Digger, and runs away with the baby. The chapters are alternatively narrated by these four characters, which works really well for this story. The author does a great job of portraying each character's feelings and viewpoints. My heartstrings were tugged for both of the women, as they are both in very difficult positions. With short chapters, the book reads very quickly and easily. I found it hard to put down. Things get pretty intense toward the end, but it all wraps itself up nicely with an ending that made me smile.
Was this review helpful?
I have really mixed feelings about The Surrogate. It is listed as Mystery/Thriller, but it definitely isn't. I'd consider it more like a family drama. Sure, there's the mystery element of what's going to happen with baby Nell, but overall, it follows the main characters of Hal, Ruth, and Cally and the surrogacy journey. 

While I felt empathy for Ruth, who desperately wanted to become a mother, I didn't really connect with her. There were definitely times I found her annoying. Hal's character just seemed like he didn't really care about having another child and was only doing it for Ruth. I liked Cally, and respected that she was doing this to help continue her education. But can also understand why she didn't want to give the baby up.

The ending felt a little blah to me. I was happy for everyone but it was a bit predictable. 

An okay read. 3/5 stars for me.
Was this review helpful?
This is told from multiple perspectives, jumping back and forth in time, primarily the first few days after the 20-year-old surrogate Cally decides she wants more time with the baby and instead of signing the final documents, makes her escape from the hospital with her screw-up ex-boyfriend. 

I had empathy for Ruth, the 42-year-old who didn’t find her love in Hal until her body decided it was too old to procreate. I would also feel powerless in that situation because even if you have your surrogate sign paperwork that says she won’t drink caffeine or otherwise live up to the very high standards society seems to expect pregnant women to fulfill, you can’t actually control the behavior of another human being, no matter how much time you spend with them. However, that said, she comes across as super bitchy. I’m one hundred percent sure I’d act the exact same way in that situation, but it still didn’t endear me to her. 

Cally enjoyed being pregnant and needs the money for college. She liked having all the attention focused on her. Feeling a living creature inside her body for the final months of pregnancy once Baby began kicking and the pain of childbirth could certainly get your thinking a little scrambled, but she makes one bad decision after the other, so it was also hard to like her. 

I immensely disliked the ridiculous, predictable ending.

I was given an advance copy from NetGalley. This novel RELEASES NOVEMBER 2, 2021.
Was this review helpful?
A good read but parts dragged a bit for me. I was never really sure where the story was headed and when we finally arrived to the big finale, I felt underwhelmed.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Harper and NetGalley for an early copy of The Surrogate. What a wonderful debut!! This was a good read, a bit far fetched in many places But still good.  I felt for all the characters, such a tough decision in life, surrogacy is. It brought out many different emotions and was a very good ending.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Harper and NetGalley for an early copy of The Surrogate. This was a good read, a bit far fetched in many places But still good.  I felt for all the characters, such a tough decision in life, surrogacy is. It brought out many different emotions and was a very good ending.
Was this review helpful?
I would like to thank NetGalley for an Advance copy of This book.
This was a gripping thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat. The story was well written and kept me guessing with an amazing ending.
Was this review helpful?
I read this book in one day as I could hardly put it down.    It was a bit predictable but had some good twists and turns in the storyline.  I found it an enjoyable read.
Was this review helpful?
This is a story where it’s hard to decide who is the bad guy, who’s in the wrong and who is right? Every time you start to lean to one side, the book shares the other sides viewpoint and has you questioning things again. This is also a fast paced, person on the run book, so it’s a bit nail biting. If you’re looking something to engross you completely, this is an unputdownable book you’ll love.
Was this review helpful?
This is an interesting book and thought provoking. 
Ruth desperately wants a child but is unable to carry a baby. Her and her husband agree to a surrogate. Cally seems to be the perfect option. Things quickly go south after the baby is born and Cally and the baby disappear.  
This book brings up many questions about fertility and motherhood.
However, I feel the way the author leaves you feeling about the idea of surrogacy is very negative. It seems that she wants to portray it as a bad thing and overall it made me walk away feeling frustrated with the book and the characters.
Was this review helpful?
There were many times I thought this book was going to be more likeable than it was,. I do like the idea of a couple desperately wanting a baby of their own and wife not being able to carry it, hence the need for a surrogate. GOSH, all these characters were so unlikeable, especially with Ruth's whining! Cally and her boyfriend Digger are also horrible people and I am glad the book kept them as the villains with no redemption. After their actions, neither of them deserved it.

Predictable ending but some good suspense, just missed the mark with me. Cannot recommend unless you want to read a book about an innocent, annoying couple being too niave and trusting to pair of strangers who seem too eager to help them be parents. YOU WILL BE DISAPPOINTED!!

I would read another book by this author in the future.

Thanks to Netgalley, Toni Halleen and Harper for an ARC in exchange for honest review.

Available: 11/2/21
Was this review helpful?
The Surrogate by Toni Halleen

#seventythirdbookof2021 #arc 

CW: infertility, surrogacy, kidnapping

I was interested in the premise of this book, but boy are none of the characters relatable  or likable. They’re all pretty terrible people based on what I read, but not one of them is a fully formed character. No one is fleshed out, and no one has motivations that are ever clearly shown. We’re thrown into the plot as Cally, a surrogate for a wealthy couple, kidnaps the baby in the middle of the night before the handoff (not a spoiler, literally in the plot description), and the chapters go back and forth between the kidnapping and earlier during the negotiations and pregnancy, alternating between characters. It takes place in 2001-2002, and I feel like the time setting was an easy way to avoid cell phone existence, although even I, a kid just out of college at my first real job, had a cell phone at that time. Also, I’m pretty sure most hospitals don’t have fully openable windows in the maternity area. Plus, a love interest at the very last minute?! So messy. Nope, nope, too many plot holes. 

Thank you to @netgalley and #harperbooks @harpercollins for the advance copy. (Pub date 11/2/21)
Was this review helpful?