Book Review: Ask Me How I Got Here

Ask Me How I Got Here
Published By: Greenwillow
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Page Count: 240
Source: Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

I love verse novels to cleanse my reading palate; they are quick reads but often pack a punch. Ask Me How I Got Here is one of the more difficult verse novels I have read as the subject material was hard for me to digest. This one tackles tough issues such as abortion, religion, and sexuality. I was shocked at how explicit some of the poems were, but I fully admit that I am a reading prude. 

Addie, the main character, attends an all girls school and has dreams of attending college on a cross country scholarship. She has everything going for her when she finds out that she is expecting a baby with her boyfriend. Addie decides that having the baby would end her future and she makes the choice to have an abortion. This segment of the novel was extremely difficult for me to read as I can't imagine making the same choice. The aftereffects of this choice haunt Addie for the remainder of the novel and send her down paths she never expected. As such, Addie begins to question her faith, her relationships, and her decision making skills. It wasn't pleasant to watch Addie spiral into the dark places in her mind.

While I didn't agree with Addie's choices and found her hard to like at times, I do feel this novel was well written and relevant. Many teens will be able to relate to Addie's situation more than I ever could. The serious themes of this novel are gritty and raw. I would certainly recommend being in the right frame of mind before spending time with Addie. There is a light at the end of the dark tunnel, but it takes some time for hope to be restored in such bleak circumstances.

One Last Gripe: I wanted more closure from the ending.

Favorite Thing About The Book: I liked that while disappointed, Addie's parents were supportive from start to finish. So many parents are distant or not approachable in YA literature.

First Sentence: How do you meet guys if you go to an all-girls school?

Favorite Character: I didn't have one. I sometimes have trouble connecting to characters beyond the main character in verse novels.

Least Favorite Character: Craig

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.