ME is Evelyn Jones, 16, a valedictorian hopeful who’s been playing bad girl to piss off THEM, her cold, distant parents. HIM is Todd, Evelyn’s secret un-boyfriend, who she thought she was just using for sex – until she accidentally fell in love with him. But before Evelyn gets a chance to tell Todd how she feels, something much more important comes up. IT. IT is a fetus. Evelyn is pregnant – and when Todd turns his back on her, Evelyn has no idea who to turn to. Can a cheating father, a stiff, cold mother, a pissed-off BFF, and a (thankfully!) loving aunt with adopted girls of her own help Evelyn make the heart-wrenching decisions that follow?
I had an interesting reading experience while reading Me, Him, Them, and It. I am not really well-versed in pregnancy books, having only read a grand total of two including this one, but both I’ve read have seemed fairly realistic in terms of their portrayal of what the main characters are going through. But Me, Him, Them, and It isn’t just a pregnancy book, and calling it that does it a bit of a disservice; there are a lot of other issues surrounding Evelyn and the people in her life, which meant that the pregnancy wasn’t the only “big deal”, if you will.
Before I get into anything else, let me state up front that I did not get along well at all with Evelyn. She makes a lot of terrible choices (not the least of which is getting pregnant as a teen) that really turn her into someone quite unlikeable. She has a severe lack of good judgement; she is another case of a girl with brains who has no common sense. Throughout the book she chooses to ignore things she really needs to be thinking about and making decisions on. She pushes everyone away from her, too, which makes things even harder. And she comes across as rude and short-tempered for much of the book, which just further grates on the reader.
That being said, the issues portions of this book were spot-on and really wonderfully written. Evelyn spends much of this book in turmoil; her parents don’t speak to each other and she’s grown up in what she calls the “Silent House”. This silence transfers over to her interactions with nearly everyone, including her best friend, Lizzie. It was hard for me to relate to Evelyn because, while I might keep some things inside, and it’s not like I talk my head off, I’m never as silent as she is for much of the story. It takes her ver loving aunt Linda, Linda’s partner, Nora, and their two adoptive daughters to really pull Evelyn out of her shell and make her a sort of normally-functioning human. A lot of this book focuses on the importance of communicating your feelings with people, especially when you are angry with them and really need to hash everything out in order to move on.
I really loved Evelyn’s Chicago family, who she spends her junior year with in order to hide her pregnancy. I loved how Linda and Nora slowly got her talking and interacting, and I especially enjoyed reading Evelyn’s conversations with her young cousins, Tammy and Cecilia. But even when she begins talking, she still refuses to focus on the real issue: the fact that she is pregnant and needs to decide what to do about the baby. I don’t want to spoil the ultimate outcome, because Evelyn goes through several different choices, and while she isn’t always making said choices the best way, I, personally, was pleased with her ultimate choice. And I shall say no more about that.
If you’re looking for a really well done book dealing with the subject of teen pregnancy, then you should definitely pick up Me, Him, Them, and It. While Evelyn is not exactly the best character ever, her feelings and choices were ultimately very realistic and true to the problems she faces. I very much enjoyed the realistic portrayal of both her and the adults in her life, and appreciated the thoughtful approach the author took with the difficult subject matter.
An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.