The writing in this book is very simple, but that makes the extremely powerful story it’s telling feel much more accessible. Despite the rather adult nature of the topic, it feels like it’s written to a slightly younger audience than most of the YA fiction I read. Which is good, in my opinion. This is the kind of book both girls and boys should be able to read and understand before they reach high school.
“Thirty minutes feels like forever when you’re standing in a hot alley with abortion pills under your tongue.”
Our protagonist, Camille, found out two massive pieces of information on the same night. She got into an elite theater program, a goal that she has been working hard to achieve. And she’s pregnant. Unable to reveal the truth to her parents, Camille reaches out to her best friend Bea – – whose family is extremely conservative and Christian. Bea shames Camille about wanting an abortion. So Camille reaches out to a girl named Annabelle that she knows from the theater group. Annabelle agrees to drive her to get an abortion the next day, and Bea tags along.
I chose this book for my Travel square because these girls go on one hell of a journey. With very limited resources, they attempt to procure an abortion for Camille in several different places. They keep running into obstacles put into place by anti-abortion laws. Camille even gets tricked into trying to find help from a group that does not perform abortions, but instead shames mothers into keeping their children. She puts herself and her friends in dangerous situations as she looks for legal and eventually illegal solutions to her problem.
This book broke my heart. Camille’s sex education is lacking, due to policies at her school. She’s afraid to reach out to her parents after being shamed by her best friend. She puts herself in horrible situations after trying to follow the rules and being denied a safe abortion. Knowing that stories like this are happening all over our country every day terrifies me.