Wednesday 26 November 2014

Positively Mine, Christine Duval

Pages: 204
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
Release Date: 19th December 2013
Edition: e-book, purchased

It is four weeks into her freshman year of college, and Laurel’s first test is unexpected. Discovering she’s pregnant isn’t exactly what she had planned for her first semester, and while she intends to tell her emotionally-distant father, being away at school makes it all too easy to hide.

An imperfect heroine plagued by bad choices and isolated during what should be the best time of her life, readers are sure to identify with Laurel as she confronts teen pregnancy, in secret.

I went into Positively Mine with no expectations other than for a quick, easy read, and that’s what I got, but it was also a thoughtful story about the struggles of teen pregnancy.

Stories set at university are ones I crave and I was really pleased to see university life portrayed for more than just the partying and the social side of it. From the beginning the academic rigour of Laurel’s school, the occasional loneliness of living in dorms with people you don’t know and the distance from home is emphasised. As Laurel’s denial of the reality of her pregnancy continues throughout the novel, so does the strength of these often ignored aspects of university life. It was refreshing to see them in YA.

There’s a lot of family politics in Positively Mine and it was all fairly standard: dead mother, dad pushed only daughter away because it was daunting, lack of communication, new family that Laurel isn’t a part of – and yet I still really felt for Laurel. It was the worst timing for lots of the things that she faced with her dad during her pregnancy!

I was a little disappointed about how little there was to do with the identity of the father. There was very little back story, no dramatic reveals or awkward and timely meetings, and I think that they could have worked brilliantly, especially with the presence of Mike or Audrey. moments like that would have added some spice to Positively Mine which I think it was a little lacking in for me, seeing as the family drama was expected and not really surprising.

Duval’s debut is a short, engaging read that enjoyed enough to seek out her future work. Worth a read on a rainy afternoon.


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