Title: Don't Call Me Baby
Author: Gwendolyn Heasley
Pub. Date: April 22, 2014
Genre: Young Adult
Rec. Age Level: 12+
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For 15-year-old Imogen, blog is the worst word in the English language. Imogen's mother, Mommylicious, is an immensely popular Mommy Blogger with fans around the world. Since before Imogen was born her mother has chronicled her experiences as a mother, dishing out advice, reviewing products, and posting all of Imogen's achievements and most embarrassing moments online for anyone to see. Everywhere she goes, random strangers recognize her as Babylicious, like the real Imogen doesn't even exist. Imogen is sick of her mother's online representation of their family, the edited, consumer-friendly version. When Imogen's teacher requires each student to start their own blog, Imogen tries to avoid it, until she decides that a blog is the best way to give her mother a taste of her own medicine.
Gwendolyn Heasley's DON'T CALL ME BABY is a lighthearted contemporary romp that successfully tackles the often confusing issues of virtual versus real-life identity and the increasingly complicated state of parent/child relationships when coupled with social networking.
This book is falls on the young side of YA and could very easily appeal to mature MG readers. In fact, I worry that more mature YA readers will be bored by it; the characters are quite immature and seemed very young in comparison to those in other YA.
The one element of this novel that I really just couldn't get past was how absolutely ridiculous and silly the mothers in this novel were. I really couldn't stand either one and, I have to say, these girls are much better adjusted and forgiving than I am because I would hold a grudge for much longer. Or maybe I wouldn't... it's hard to tell when my mother has probably never even read a blog, much less written one.