Me, Him, Them and It by Caela Carter
Published: 26 February 2013 by Bloomsbury
Pages: 310 (hardcover)
Genre/s: YA, Realistic Fiction
Source: Own library
ME is Evelyn Jones, 16, a valedictorian hopeful who's been playing bad girl to piss off THEM, her cold, distant parents. HIM is Todd, Evelyn's secret un-boyfriend, who she thought she was just using for sex - until she accidentally fell in love with him. But before Evelyn gets a chance to tell Todd how she feels, something much more important comes up. IT. IT is a fetus. Evelyn is pregnant - and when Todd turns his back on her, Evelyn has no idea who to turn to. Can a cheating father, a stiff, cold mother, a pissed-off BFF, and a (thankfully!) loving aunt with adopted girls of her own help Evelyn make the heart-wrenching decisions that follow?
Me, Him, Them and It is a book that screams 'issues'. A pregnant teenager, a family that is dysfunctional at best, a lesbian aunt and adopted cousins all pile together to make a book that has a hell of a lot going on, and I was interested to see how Caela Carter could pull all this together.
The most memorable thing about this book is definitely the main character, Evelyn. As her relationship with her parents has disintegrated, she throws energies into becoming a 'bad girl', and thus ending up pregnant at sixteen. She's not the most easily likable character, and her lack of ability to make a decision or even communicate to those closest to her I found quite frustrating, but also understanable. By vocalising something it becomes real, when all she wants to do is stick her head in the sand and hope it all goes away.
The family dynamics in Me, Him, Them and It are what really make this book different. Evelyn spends almost the whole book interacting, avoiding or fighting with her family, and it's quite unusual to get this much parental and extended family involvment in a Young Adult novel. Everyone who bemoans this lack I would imagine would be rather interested in reading this book, although it's definitely not all rainbows and butterflies. It is realistic, and although at times I wanted to shake Evelyn's mother (or, more accurately, slap her), the connection between her parents behaviour and Evelyns is logical.
There's very little romance in this book - there's the father of the baby, with whom Evelyn has a relationship, but it's not overly close or developed and for large parts of the book he is absent. This makes the book feel far more realisitic, but if you need a bit of romance in your YA novels, this one would probably be a little disappointing. For me personally, it's not a deal breaker, and I really liked that Carter didn't just add in a romance for the sake of it.
Me, Him, Them and It ended in a way that I had a few issues with, but they were personal issues of mine, rather than the book itself - I just didn't feel comfortable with the resolution, and although I'm sure the author did her research, it just didn't feel 'right' to me. Along with the fact that I found Evelyn hard-going at times, this book was just missing a little something to make it really memorable for me, but I could see it being a great read for those looking for YA novel that really focuses on family interactions.