Post #27: Donorboy

Donorboy
Donorboy by Brendan Halpin

Post number twenty-seven is for Brendan Halpin's Donorboy, which was the last required reading assignment for my YA Lit class. YAY! I enjoyed this book, so it was a nice way to go out. Now maybe I can finish reading the two books I've been working on for several months, and also get through the new one I just got from the library. Reading for pleasure, what?

Slight spoilers follow, although I'll try not to get too in depth.

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So, the Donorboy in the title refers to Sean, who donated sperm to help a lesbian couple have a child. That child – Rosalind – has now been brought to live with Sean, because her moms were killed in a freak auto accident, and Sean decided to "exercise his parental rights". Rosalind is obviously grief-stricken, but she's also dealing with some not-so-nice feelings toward Sean, who took her when she really wanted to go live with her Aunt Karen (who isn't really her aunt, but was rather a friend of her moms). So Sean – a thirty-five year old public defender lawyer – has taken Rosalind in and suddenly has a sullen teenager on his hands. Rosalind has decided school is pointless when she's just lost her moms, and isn't do any homework. She's also taken up smoking and has pulled away from her friends, falling in with the Bitches With Problems group (this is Rosalind's name for them, btw, and not something I came up with on my own :-P). The book is basically told from alternating point of views, none of which are done through dialogue. See, Rosalind has been set up with a therapist who has told her to keep a Grief Journal, so Rosalind's pov comes through from those entries, which we get to read. Sean, meanwhile, sends emails to a friend of his in which he details his feelings on Rosalind and how he feels like he's not being a proper parent but doesn't know what he should do. We also get some communication between Sean and Rosalind via text message, and also some via recording, because Rosalind gets into some trouble at school and Sean has to go bail her out. Being a lawyer, he tape records the sessions, and they result in some of the funniest exchanges in the entire book.

Anyway, this was a very different book, in terms of its content. I have read books – or at least seen books – written via text/email/letters/etc., but I am pretty sure this is the first book I've read in which the main character had two moms. So, anyway, give it a read. There are some dark and sad things in this book – remember, Rosalind is dealing with some serious grief, and Sean has his own issues – but overall this is a funny, probably darkly comedic book about interesting subject matter with characters that you really can't help but love.

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