By Catherine Greenman
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Romance, Contemporary Fiction
Reading Level: 7th grade
Interest Level: 9th-12th grade
Teaser: The first time Thea falls in love leads to a life she never thought she’d have.
Summary: Thea is an independent teenager who has taken care of herself most of her life. Her father is a recovering alcoholic and her mother is too wrapped up in her business to really focus on Thea. Thea is a good student who attends a prestigious high school in New York. One day, she meets Will, and she falls completely head over heels for him. She has her first time with Will and even though it was not perfect, she feels like Will truly cares about her. Until a month later when she takes a pregnancy test that reveals she is pregnant. At first, Will and Thea freak out about having a baby, especially because Will is graduating and beginning college soon. Realizing that her relationship with Will has a long way to go, Thea reaches for her independence again and ends up contacting her father. She begins staying with him so that she can get her life back on track.
Information about the Author: Greenman writes on her website, “I grew up in New York City back back when subways took tokens and you could buy something called Bubble Yum in stationery stores. I went to Stuyvesant High School, like Thea, my protagonist in Hooked and like Thea, I really sucked at math and science…I went to a small college in Ohio called Kenyon where I learned it was okay to hate math and science if you loved other things, in my case English and Art. When I finished I went back to NYC and got my first job writing for a magazine called 16. It’s not around anymore but I had some memorable experiences. I got to go ice-skating with the New Kids on the Block and ask an eleven-year-old Leo DiCaprio what he liked to do on a date…Eventually I got married and started having kids. When I had a baby, in addition to thinking, “This is really hard, this baby thing!” I thought a lot about when I was a kid and how much I’d changed. I started wondering what it would have been like to have a baby when I was much younger. What kind of mistakes would I have made? How would I be different now?”
Critical Evaluation: I loved this book very much. The part I liked the most about it is that Thea ends up finding a hobby since she cannot really get up and go do anything while she’s pregnant. By the end of the novel, that hobby that she picked up just for fun is looking like it is turning into a business. I think that it is important for teens to see stories like these. TV is saturated with teen pregnancy shows right now and this book actually shows somebody who found a source of income while she was pregnant. Teens need to be shown young women like Thea rather than teens who got pregnant just to be on TV.
Curriculum Ties: Teen Pregnancy, Crochet/Knitting
Booktalk Ideas: What are your hobbies? Did you accidentally stumble upon them or did you want to try it from the start? Write a paragraph.
Challenge Issues: Teenage Pregnancy, Sexuality
Challenge Resources: Rationale for choosing this book (see “Why Did I Pick This”), Engage students and parents in discussions about intellectual freedom, ALA Library Bill of Rights,Challenge Resources from the American Library Association
Why Did I Pick This: I picked this book because of its realistic themes. It is also a very light-hearted book and sometimes readers just want something cute and funny to read rather than a drama.
Greenman, C. (2011). Hooked. New York: Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers.