Belly Up by Eva Darrows

sydney_09's review against another edition

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This book is quirky and the family is quirky. It broaches on a subject many can relate too. I like how the author embraced the awkwardness of humans both teens and adults alike.

ashwolff's review against another edition

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The synopsis tells us this is a hook about. a “queer” teen who ends up pregnant.

What I liked about this book. The character of Leaf was a nice person. That’s about it.

This is a hard review to write, because I felt mislead by the synopsis. We’re led to believe our main character is a “queer” teen who ends up pregnant. I may just be old school, but I disagree. There is literally only one line in the book, where when she is attempting to fit in with a lesbian and a trans girl, she says “she think she might be bi”. Other than that, she only has relationships,/sleeps with THREE cisgender male characters. Only talks about being attracted or sleeping with those three male characters. I also felt like the fact that every character had specific labels was waaaaaay too much. Lesbian. Grey aromantic asexual, Demi sexual, possibly bi, just felt forced. I’m glad this book exists for that person who needs this specific amount of representation, but it’s not me.

Also, because of the non stop snarkiest of our MC, I felt like we never even got to know her, even though we were in her head the entire time. No one is that snarky 24/7. While the author may have been going for a Juno meets Gilmore Girls vibe, it didn’t work for me.

ARC provided by Netgalley in return for a review

girlreading's review against another edition

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4.75* From the lovable characters and multiple brilliantly explored relationship dynamics to the humour and writing style to the exploration of teen pregnancy and the wonderfully diverse representation throughout, I truly adored everything about this book.

(Leaf has completely stolen my heart and is officially up there amongst the best YA boyfriends!)

The only minor downfall for me was the use of language in conversations between Sara and Devi, which came across somewhat cringey and unrealistic (but maybe I'm officially old and this is how teens really do talk these days? Who knows?) and personally and found it quite distracting at times. That being said, that is literally the only thing I didn't absolutely love about this book because everything else? I absolutely loved.

I would also highly recommend the audiobook, which was superbly narrated.

raisingself's review against another edition

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Lighthearted, progressive, YA reproductive fiction about a quirky smart (possibly queer) Latina girl that uses a reckless one-night stand to get over her ex. Our main protagonist, 17-year-old Serendipity Rodriguez, is worried about everything except pregnancy until it’s far too late for the morning after pill. Belly Up is a dash of Juno, a dash of Gilmore Girls, and dash of your most common Tumblr threads on race, sexuality and gender identity. It’s also an interesting take on blended families and teenage romance.

The book is pretty diverse in terms of character and gender identity representation. My favorite character is a Romani demi-sexual teenaged boy that quickly becomes a viable and healthy romantic interest for Serendipity but to make him fit into the perfect guy box, Leaf is whittled away to the point of being over simplistic. There were also some clear missed opportunities in the story telling, specifically around the portrayal of the grandmother’s pseudo-abuse and emotional manipulation and how the narrative frames Serendipity’s educational options in some ways to focus more on a budding romance and complacency. I wanted more in terms of passion and ingenuity from such an academically intelligent and high potential chick. This is a book a reader will either thoroughly enjoy or find completely annoying.

* This book was received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. *

perusinghannah's review against another edition

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(6.2/10) - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Content warnings can be found here

Back in 2019, Amazon had a massive Black Friday sale on books. This book is proof that I will buy any hardcover as long as it's under five bucks, considering I am genuinely grossed out by all things pregnancy related and under no circumstances should have bought this. But I did, it fermented on my shelves for literal years, and now we're here. All this to say that my ratings include personal enjoyment, and this one therefore should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Let's start off with the main positive though: my personal revulsion of all things pregnancy aside, it was nice to see a story about teen pregnancy that was, for the most part, a positive experience for the main character. She was loved, accepted, and had a lot of support, which is a pleasant detour from the tone these stories often take.

It also made sure to represent a lot of different cultural backgrounds and LGBTQIA+ demographics, but the way it was done didn't entirely work for me. I found the way this was done so incredibly heavy-handed that it felt like the author was pointing with flashing neon arrows, and instead of the characters organically existing on page, it was done in such a pandering manner that they bordered on caricaturish.

And then, with everything else being so overtly pointed out, there is a grandparent in this that borders on abusive, who's constantly being excused for acting how she does. This is a woman who is emotionally manipulative and throws shoes at people whenever she's so inclined, and the fact that this is mostly used for comedic effect really did not work for me.

All things together evened out to a very mediocre three stars for me, but for reasons pointed out previously, your mileage may vary.

kaylakaotik's review against another edition

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Belly Up is a light and fluffy read. It's cute and funny. It was definitely a change of pace from your typical young adult book about teen pregnancy. This book shows that, although life alternating, teen pregnancy is survivable (especially when you have an amazing support system like Sara).

* This book was received from Inkyard Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. *

linwearcamenel's review

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emotional hopeful fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


aliyahhh's review against another edition

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This has to be one of the best books i’ve read. The story of a teenage pregnancy really shined light on the quiet subject and gave insight to the thoughts and struggles of being a young parent. 5 stars!

ericadeb's review against another edition

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This was a great look at pregnancy. I would have given it 4 stars but the teen speak was overwhelming. I wonder if teens would read this and just think yeah, that’s how you say stuff. But for me, the teen language was so cheesy and heavy handed that it felt forced. Also I had read reviews saying that there was too much talk of food in this book, and I kind of agree. What Sara was eating was constantly described in an unnecessary amount of detail. It didn’t take away from the story, but made me go food? Again? Really? But overall a good read. And I cried at the end.

sunshine169's review against another edition

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Sara (Serendipity) is a 17 yr old girl with good grades that made a poor drunken decision with a cute boy names Jack which resulted a unplanned pregnancy.

My favorite characters had to be the mom and grandmother. I see pieces of myself in Sara's mom!

Leaf, the boy who becomes Sara's boyfriend, is so sweet and amazing. I just loved his attentiveness and his love for cooking which reminded me of my own husband.

Sara's best friend Devi was pretty awesome and helped her throughout Sara's whole journey.

I am knocking a star off because yea it all felt like a dream. The only person to get angry was Jack's father. Everyone else took it in stride and it just didn't seem realistic for teenage pregnancy but if it was for anyone reading this that is amazing.

I had absolutely NO PROBLEM with everyone in the book basically being a form of representation but it really did feel like after a while the author was trying to make sure she was checking off a list. I enjoyed it though because that is real life. Everyone around you is different and that was represented in this book to the fullest extent.

I would like to find out more about Sara after becoming a mom. Does she eventually go to college? Inquiring minds need to know!

Thank you to Netgalley and Inkyard Press for an earc of this book in return for an honest review. It gets a thumbs up from me!