Don't Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley is the story of a teen struggling to step out of the spotlight her blogging mother constantly shines on her.
has been known online as Babylicious since before she was born. Her
mother started a mommy blog as soon as she found out she was expecting,
and she's chronicled Imogene's life ever since, from potty training to
bed-wetting to Imogene's first period. But now Imogene is starting ninth
grade, and she longs for privacy. She doesn't feel that she can
confront her mother about the invasive aspects of the blog, especially
since it's one of their household's primary sources of revenue, but when
a school assignment leads to Imogene starting a blog of her own, she
hatches a plan to serve her mother a little of her own medicine.
is a quick read and poses some interesting ideas about the prevalence
of the Internet in people's daily lives, but I can't really recommend
it. The book's problems start with the cover and title, neither of which
serves the actual book well. And then there's the content: clunky
dialogue, unrealistic and inconsistent characterization, and a tone and
plot better suited to a much younger audience -- more tween than teen.
Imogene and her friends are frustratingly immature, "Mommylicious" is a
caricature of a mommy blogger, and secondary characters are likewise
flat. The ending wraps things up a little too neatly, as well. While I
read through it to see how things would turn out for Imogene, I feel
it's not successful as a YA novel.
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)