Reviewed by Grace Soledad

Thea is a junior in high school and she’s ready to grow up and move on with her life. She can barely tolerate weekends with her father, and her mother (ex-nightclub-owner Fiona) doesn’t even seem to care about her. Then she meets Will during a fire drill.

Will is the perfect boy. He just gets Thea, and like her, he’s so over high school. The relationship gets very serious very fast; first are the kisses, and the touching, and then one night, they start having sex. While visiting her father, Thea forgets to take her pill. Then Thea discovers the unthinkable: she’s pregnant. Thoughts of abortion and morals fly through her head and she wonders if she’ll be able to do the right thing. By the time she gathers up the strength to go through with it, it’s too late.

Thea is going to have a baby. Her relationship with Will becomes strained; embarrassment over being a teenage mother follows her everywhere; the shame of telling her parents is unbearable. Everything has changed because of a few nights when her parents were out of town.

Hooked follows Thea, Will, and the people around them through the ups and downs of pregnancy. It explores the struggles of having a child when you’re only just a child yourself.

As interesting as the premise was, I just didn’t like it. Most of my distaste arose because of the characters.

Thea was completely unbelievable. She had no common sense whatsoever and I had the feeling that the author just made her dumb so that she had an excuse to explain what happened. Thea seemed relatable in the beginning, but towards the middle of the book, around the time she became sexually active, I just couldn’t stand her. Will was likable enough but I just didn’t see the chemistry between him and Thea.

The worst characters by far were the parents. A trend in young adult fiction seems to be the parents having nothing to do with their children’s lives, but this was a whole new level of discomfort. Fiona, Thea’s mom, encouraged her daughter’s sexual activity, and “told Thea about her various escapades in the nightclub” when she was really young.

Another thing that made Hooked irritating to read was that it wasn’t very well edited. The text was extremely close together, and paragraphs went on for the entire page. I wish that somebody had caught the various typos scattered through the book.

Teenager pregnancy was an excellent topic for a book, but it was executed poorly and the characters fell flat.

Rating: 1/5

Grace Soledad is a teenage bibliophile who runs the blog Words Like Silver. She is described as “antisocial” because she constantly has her nose buried in a book or a notebook. When not reading, she can be found dancing, writing, or at the beach. 

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Tandem Literary. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.