Sometimes you see a teenager with a baby and you wonder what in the heck went on in their minds to make them think it was a good idea. This is a book that will give you a little insight into what’s going on in that head.
Annie is young, fourteen. She starts going out with a boy, who is around sixteen. At first things are sweet. Annie isn’t even allowed to date, but she sneaks around and does it anyway. Danny is so nice. Danny is so amazing. Danny is just wonderful. She can’t live without him.
As time goes on Annie is pressured by Danny to have sex. Annie is a virgin and only fourteen years old. She is unsure of this new development. Soon Annie finds herself hanging with a crowd that drinks and does other things her mother would not be proud of.
Annie confides all of this to her diary, which she talks to just as she would a person.
Finally, Danny forces himself on Annie. The relationship turns sour and dominating, but Annie feels she cannot live without Danny and continues the relationship. She finds herself regularly having sex and finally finds herself pregnant. When she admits this to herself and to Danny, he accuses her of cheating. There will be no help from anyone outside of Annie’s family. Annie and her mother decide to keep the baby, but it takes a toll on both of them. Being a young mother is more difficult than Annie ever could have imagined.
What I liked
You guys know I think teenagers are stupid. I’ve said it multiple times. I’m not excluding myself from this remark either. I will readily admit that I was stupid when I was a teenager. It’s part of life. If you’re a teenager, you’re stupid, sorry if you don’t want to admit it, but you are, just wait a few years and look back on your teenage self. I liked that this book depicts the stupid way in which teenagers think. They get too caught up in “Everybody else is XYZ.” They don’t want to be left behind. They let the crowd control them too much.
What I didn’t like
Because this book is depicted as non-fiction I’m going to say it’s non-fiction, but I don’t really think it’s non-fiction. Maybe this really is the diary of a teenage girl. I have to allow for that. I have to take Beatrice at her word. So Beatrice somehow convinced this girl that she should publish her diary. Great. Our society is obsessed with shows like Teen Mom and Sixteen and Pregnant so we should love something like this, and we do. We love how Annie fell in with a bad crowd almost immediately after she started entertaining the idea of doing something her mother didn’t want her to do. We love how Annie got pregnant despite using various forms of birth control, because you never know. We love how the boyfriend says that the baby isn’t his and will threaten to tell everyone that Annie is a ho. We love how Annie feels ostracized from society. We love how the baby comes early and it’s really difficult to take care of a baby. Yes? Yes, we love it. We eat it up.
It’s almost too perfect for me. It’s not perfect as in good; this story is awful. What a terrible thing for a young girl to go through! It’s perfect in the manner that it all seems to play out how adults always say it would play out.
Look, I may say teenagers are stupid, and they are, but they’re not always so stupid that they don’t understand the consequences of their actions. It is true that some teenagers really are so dumb that they don’t understand that having sex might lead to pregnancy, but they’re not all that stupid. There are actually teenagers that do make good decisions. There are teenagers that do wait to have sex until they can emotionally handle it. Annie is stupid. I don’t even know of another way to put it. She goes against what her mother says, she develops this unhealthy infatuation with this guy, she becomes abused, she lets herself get that way, she continues putting up with the abuse, even though I know she knows there is something wrong with it.
Annie is basically a walking abstinence lesson. Don’t have sex kids because you’ll end up in an abusive relationship, you’ll drink, you’ll do drugs, you’ll get pregnant, you’ll be a burden on your entire family, it will be impossible for you to get a job, and so forth.
For that matter, there was way too much “info” in this supposed diary. Parts of the diary read like an article or a research paper. Really, the state passed such and such legislation concerning such and such in order to do such and such. Yes, and a stupid fourteen year old girl knows this because why? Could a stupid fourteen year old girl even articulate this passage of legislation? I may be too harsh here. I do realize Annie matured up a lot during the course of the diary and maybe she did really become so much more mature that she could talk reasonably about state legislation concerning welfare and teenage mothers. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe…it still all sounds too perfect.
Annie is immature. She has this girlish relationship with her diary. She’s still very much a child. For her to go from this child to a woman who takes care of a baby isn’t impossible, it’s just very unlikely.
Look here, whether or not Danny is real or not, he’s an abusive jerk. A young woman should NEVER allow herself to be in that type of situation. NEVER. NEVER. NEVER for any reason, for any excuse, NEVER. I find it hard to believe that Annie would fall in so easily into this type of relationship. Surely, this girl has more self-esteem than that. Are we still living in a world where we tell young girls either by action or word that it’s ok to be in an abusive relationship like this? What in Annie’s life made her think this was ok? Her father wasn’t around, so clearly this wasn’t a case of her looking at her father abusing her mother and thinking that’s how it went.
NO, girls, women, you do NOT stay in a relationship where a man hits you or sexually assaults you. YOU LEAVE. You rip whatever ties you have; it may hurt, but you get yourself out. You get yourself out before there are children involved. IF there are children already involved, you get out all the more faster because of them. Nobody deserves to be treated like Annie was treated.
I’m still not one-hundred percent convinced that this story was non-fiction, but the story definitely held my attention.
Do you think Annie allowed herself to be in an abusive relationship purely from the pull of Danny or do you supposed she had some example close in her life that led her to believe it was how things went?
As far as teenage mothers go, how do you suppose Annie made out in life?