Monday, May 21, 2012

Shut Up by Anne Tibbets

Shut Up by Anne Tibbets
Premier Digital Publishing, February 28, 2012

Summary from Goodreads:
Mary's older sister, Gwen, has royally screwed up her life. Not only is Gwen pregnant at seventeen, but she's also decided to marry The Creep who knocked her up.
Now Mary is powerless to stop her family from imploding. Her parents are freaking out, and to top it off The Creep has a gross fascination with Mary while Gwen enjoys teasing her to tears for sport.
Despite her brother's advice to shut up, Mary can't keep her trap closed and manages to piss off Mom so much it comes to blows.
Mary doesn't know what to do, and all her attempts to get help are rejected. When she finally plans her escape, she fails to consider how it could destroy them all.
Screwed up family, teen pregnancy, potential abuse situations--of course I was drawn to this book, and Anne Tibbets definitely delivered. This novel comes in at just about 100 pages, but every single page is fraught with family tension. Poor Mary is the third of four children and has nothing to differentiate her from the rest of the family. She's not the first born, she's not the only boy, and she's not the baby. She's just...Mary. And sometimes (actually, a lot of times), Mary doesn't realize that the less visible she is, the better off she would be.

Mary's family is explosive to begin with, but once Gwen announces her pregnancy, the you-know-what really hits the fan. I spent most of the novel feeling sorry for all of the kids, not just Mary. Her parents appear to be so short-fused that looking at them cross-eyed will set them off. However, as the story progresses it becomes obvious that the reason for their anger, while completely misguided, comes from a very real origin.

Mary was an interesting character--her age was often blatantly obvious, made evident by some of the decisions she made. Sometimes, yeah, I almost did want to tell Mary to shut up. But it's that same naiveté that makes me wish Mary a happy ending. What it comes down to is that Mary is thrust into some pretty mature situations, and I wanted her to react maturely, forgetting that she wasn't mature. Does that make sense? Once I remembered that she was only 14, it was easier for me to sympathize with her.

Overall, this was a quick, enjoyable read and I would recommend it to fans of dark contemporary fiction.

eBook received from author in exchange for an honest review.
You can get a copy of Shut Up at Amazon or through Google eBooks.
Enjoy your reading!

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