Don’t Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley was an unexpected delight. I picked it up from the post office on Friday afternoon. After I got home, I did a few chores and then picked up the book to take a look at the first page or two. Fifty pages later, I was in. I hadn’t stopped after the first page or two. I was invested and I wanted to see where this book would go.
I originally agreed to review this book because it took something I love doing, blogging, and showed how it may not be all the rainbows and sunshine us bloggers think it is. This book is specific to mommy blogging and making someone, Imogene, rather than something, books, the subject of your blog. Imogene’s mother Meg takes the blogging thing to the EXTREME though. She has sponsors, she has companies send her all manner of things for review, and Mommylicious can plug better than anyone. Meg exploits her daughter big time, but she sees at as an outlet to show how much she loves her daughter. She genuinely does love to blog and loves her readers but most of the time it is at the cost of Imogene and her privacy (or lack thereof). The poor girl has zero privacy at a time in life where you just want the world to forget about you so you can get through the awkward stages of adolescence. Nope. Not happening for poor Imogene.
You guys know that I’m big on characters. I have to really enjoy the characters of a book or it won’t work for me. Don’t Call Me Baby delivers on the character front. I felt like each character brought something to the table. Even the prissy snotty “mean” girl who has teased Imogene mercilessly about being Babylicious. Imogene herself really developed as a character. She starts off mad with the universe and all the unfairness of it all in a why me sort of tone. Over the story arc she learns that you accomplish nothing sitting and moping and not DOING. Once Imogene realizes that not doing anything wasn’t going to get her where she wanted she worked out a plan. It was quite the plan. The only thing is that it didn’t really bring her what she wanted. This is where Imogene started to grow.
I’ve seen a lot of reviews for Don’t Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley that have basically said the same thing. “This book is light and fluffy and not all that deep.” I wondered if we were even reading the same book. There were some genuinely deep and insightful quotes in this one and either people missed that or just glossed over them. I guess that is reading for you. Each person will walk away with a different experience. I will tell you that while I read this book at a break neck pace, I really did soak it up and enjoy it. I think that it would be perfect for a summer day spent lounging around in the sun. The book is set in Florida and made this Illinois girl yearn for warm sunshine. Don’t Call Me Baby is a fun and light read but don’t write it off entirely. It’s got heart and will leave you with a smile on your face after you’ve spent some time with Imogene “Don’t Dare Call Me Babylicious” Luden and her quirky family and friends.