ARC Review: Unpregnant by Jenni Hendriks & Ted Caplan (Jessica's Review)

Title: Unpregnant
Authors: Jenny Hendriks and Ted Caplan
Publisher: HarperCollins
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 272 Pages
Publication Date: September 10th, 2019

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Veronica Clarke never thought she would wish she’d failed a test until she finds herself holding a thick piece of plastic in her hands and staring at two solid pink lines. Even the most consistent use of condoms won’t prevent pregnancy when your boyfriend secretly pokes holes in them to keep you from going out-of-state for college. Veronica needs an abortion, but the closest place she can legally get one is over nine hundred miles away—and Veronica doesn’t have a car. Too ashamed to ask her friends or family for help, Veronica turns to the one person she believes won’t judge her: Bailey Butler, Jefferson High’s own little black cloud of anger and snark—and Veronica’s ex-best friend. Once on the road, Veronica quickly remembers nothing with Bailey is ever simple and that means two days of stolen cars, shotguns, crazed ex-boyfriends, truck stop strippers with pro-life agendas, and a limo driver named Bob. But the pain and betrayal of their broken friendship can’t be outrun. When their fighting leads to a brutal moment of truth, Bailey abandons Veronica. Now Veronica must risk everything in order to repair the hurt she’s caused.

This was one of my most anticipated 2019 debuts, so when I found out that copies were going to be given away at BookExpo this year, I was practically over the moon. Needless to say, I started the line for the drop two whole hours early, and I was the first one on line and got the first copy they gave out. Which means I tore into it as soon as I got home, sped through it because it was so good, and then immediately wrote and scheduled my review ten seconds after finishing it, so I could get my thoughts out while the book was still fresh in my mind. So without further ado, let's get into my review!

As the summary explains, Veronica, as careful and as expert of a planner as she is, suddenly finds herself pregnant, unsure of how. Her and her boyfriend were nothing but safe -- but then she finds out that Kevin was secretly poking holes in the condoms as a way of getting her pregnant so he can guilt her into dropping out of Brown and staying with him. Veronica is, understandably, not on board with this decision, and she decides she needs an abortion, but she still is trying to preserve her perfect image that everyone at school sees when they look at her. Which is how she finds herself on the world's most chaotic, stressful, odd roadtrip with her ex-best friend and current social pariah Bailey Butler, traveling nearly one thousand miles to get a procedure that she doesn't even want anyone to know she needs.

This was, hands down, one of the funniest books that I've read in a long time. I never thought I'd see myself writing a review about how an abortion book was hysterical, but alas, here we are! There were so many hysterical scenes, jokes, and lines throughout this book that I just kept stopping to take pictures and send Snapchats of the funniest lines to my boyfriend, and also Emily and Amber. Even the acknowledgements were hilarious!! Another thing that I really liked about this book was how short the chapters were, because it made the reading experience breeze by. I finished this entire book in 24 hours because I kept wanting to know what was going to happen next, and the short chapters definitely lended to an easier reading experience, in a way.

My favorite character in this book was definitely Bailey. She was so headstrong, always sharing her honest thoughts and opinions, adventurous and unapologetically herself. Every time she was on the page, I felt myself cheering for her and laughing at her antics, even when she made some...shall I say...interesting decisions. (I won't tell you what they are, though -- read it yourself to find out!) I also think Veronica's character arc was really well fleshed-out from beginning to end, and you see her change in the best of ways.

Another thing that I really appreciated about this book was the way that such an important, often heavy topic was managed with so much humor and levity, but the important message behind being pro-choice still remained the same. The entire fact that Veronica had to travel nearly a thousand miles for the procedure because of in-state laws was one factor of it, and also the scenes where you see the abortion protesters really brings it to light as well. Another aspect of this that I think was really well-done is the fact that Veronica herself used to be a "church kid", so you see her come to terms with knowing what she was taught as a child about abortion (and also other Christian "sinful" topics such as homosexuality) were misguided and very black-and-white when the world doesn't actually operate that way. I think approaching the subject from that angle as someone who used to be on the "other side" adds another layer of contemplation, and hopefully people reading the book who are currently (or were formerly) in Veronica's shoes as a church-raised individual can see the harm in preaching hatred for something that so many women have to undergo every single day, making decisions about their own bodies, even if it isn't something that someone else would necessarily want to get done themselves. I'm going to attempt to show a lot of my pro-life family members this book, and hopefully it will open their eyes a little bit.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Unpregnant. If you're looking for a quick, hilarious read this September, I'd definitely urge you to check this one out and add it to your TBR, which you can do by clicking the Goodreads button a little closer to the top of this post, nestled among the other book information. This book will have you laughing from start to finish, flipping the pages faster than the speed of light, and you'll also be super disappointed when it's over. This is like no other road trip book you've ever read before, in the best of ways. I'll definitely be reading more of Jenni and Ted's work in the future! 



  1. Ahh this looks like such a great book, and I am in love with your review, Jessica! Great writing, and I can't wait to read this one.

  2. I've been curious about this book!! I do love books with short chapters and I'm kind of surprised at how you said it was funny. I wasn't expecting that & I kind of love hearing it. I didn't really want to read an abortion book that was super HEAVY and EMOTIONAL the entire time. And I can't stand preachy, so I hope it's not that. But I can kind of see that it's not from your review :)

  3. This was such a great review. Thanks for telling us about it.

  4. Sounds like a good book. Thanks for the review.


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