I received this book for free from NetGalley, requested from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by HarperTeen on April 22nd, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Family, Young Adult
Source: NetGalley, requested from publisher
All her life, Imogene has been known as the girl on THAT blog.
Imogene's mother has been writing an incredibly embarrassing, and incredibly popular, blog about her since before she was born. Hundreds of thousands of perfect strangers knew when Imogene had her first period. Imogene's crush saw her "before and after" orthodontia photos. But Imogene is fifteen now, and her mother is still blogging about her, in gruesome detail, against her will.
When a mandatory school project compels Imogene to start her own blog, Imogene is reluctant to expose even more of her life online...until she realizes that the project is the opportunity she's been waiting for to tell the truth about her life under the virtual microscope and to define herself for the first time.
Don't Call Me Baby is a sharply observed and irrepressibly charming story about mothers and daughters, best friends and first crushes, and the surface-level identities we show the world online and the truth you can see only in real life.
The premise for Don’t Call Me Baby was rather interesting and since I’m a blogger myself, I wanted to see how it all worked out in a novel. I wanted something to be able to relate to especially since I knew what blogging was all about. Instead, I got a story about a mother daughter relationship where the teenager in question starts acting like a brat and basically attacks her mom on the internet for the whole world to see. What was supposed to be a heart warming story, turned out to be a daily innuendo of whining and daily quips about a mom who loves her daughter so much that she blogs about her every day.
I knew right off the bat that this would be one of those delayed epiphany type of books where the main character finally realizes what they’ve been doing wrong, and will accept that they didn’t realize how grateful and appreciative they would be in the end. Imogene had all the necessary components of a teenager, but in a way she felt very juvenile. Her thoughts merely consisted of ways to get back at her mother. I thought that this wasn’t the best case since most teens also believe in other things, but her obsession with her mom to get her to stop invading her privacy was lack luster. If she really wanted her to stop, she would have said her little heart-to-heart in the first place. I thought it was also a little too long since the dance would have been a good climatic ending, but it kept going and I felt it wasn’t needed. Imogene’s mom didn’t even sound like a mother. Her posts were full of plugs about her sponsors and hardly anything about her daily life and quips. She was super controlling and I couldn’t believe the way she would speak to her daughter, her husband and even her mom. I pretty much disliked her right from the start. The bright spot of the entire novel was Grandma Hope. Now most of my quotes are from her and I just found her light-hearted and sweet.
Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this one too much. If you do like your contemporaries with a mother who is crazy controlling and a main character who doesn’t even know how or what she’s doing, then go for it.