Monday, May 16, 2016

Review: Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann

Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann
Series: Standalone
Published: May 3rd, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow
240 pages (eARC)
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Acquired this book: Via Edelweiss in exchange for honest consideration
Warning: May contain spoilers
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Addie has always known what she was running toward. In cross-country, in life, in love. Until she and her boyfriend—her sensitive, good-guy boyfriend—are careless one night and she ends up pregnant. Addie makes the difficult choice to have an abortion. And after that—even though she knows it was the right decision for her—nothing is the same anymore. She doesn’t want anyone besides her parents and her boyfriend to know what happened; she doesn’t want to run cross-country; she can’t bring herself to be excited about anything. Until she reconnects with Juliana, a former teammate who’s going through her own dark places. 


I’ve only read two other books told in verse: To Be Perfectly Honest and What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones. Since I enjoyed them, I was intrigued by Ask Me How I Got Here when I discovered it on Edelweiss and saw that it was told in verse. While I enjoyed the style and the overall messages of the book, the story felt rushed to me and I wasn’t able to really connect with the characters or the story.

Ask Me How I Got Here deals with a lot of serious issues and serious topics: teen pregnancy, abortion, sexuality, feminism, life choices, the hypocrisy and sexism in religion. Despite dealing with all these things, it never felt like an ‘issue book’, which I appreciated. Addie was smart and funny, and I enjoyed seeing things from her perspective. The pregnancy and abortion happened with little fanfare (which seemed like a missed opportunity for a lot of real emotion, in my opinion), and the story dealt mainly with the aftermath and the unexpected changes Addie experienced. She lost interest in cross-country running, which was once her life, distanced herself from her family and friends, and found it difficult to enjoy the things she once did. I sympathized with her, but never felt myself truly connecting with her. There were times when I thought ‘I know I should be feeling more’, but I just didn’t.

SPOILER (highlight to view): One of my favourite parts of the book was Addie developing feelings for an old friend and former cross-country teammate, Juliana. It was unexpected, and the moments between Addie and Juliana were some of my favourites. I hadn’t heard anyone talking about this book being LGBTQ - probably because of spoilers, but at the same time, I feel going into it knowing the MC is bisexual would be a draw for many - so it really was a wonderful surprise.

Ask Me How I Got Here is a quick, enjoyable read, but it’s not one of those books that will stick with me. That being said, I would recommend it for fans of contemporary YA who enjoy stories about self-discovery that explore themes of sexuality, religion, and feminism.



Have you read Ask Me How I Got Here? What did you think? If you haven't read it, do you plan to? Do you enjoy books told in verse? Do you have a favourite?
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1 comment:

  1. I love how novels in verse are often so heavy and deep. Now I'm in the mood for one.

    ReplyDelete

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