Don’t Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley

Don't Call Me BabyDon't Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley
Published by: HarperTeen on April 22, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Family
Pages: 304
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on AmazonBook Details
Rating: ★★★

All her life, Imogene has been known as the girl on THAT blog.

Imogene's mother has been writing an incredibly embarrassing, and incredibly popular, blog about her since before she was born. Hundreds of thousands of perfect strangers knew when Imogene had her first period. Imogene's crush saw her "before and after" orthodontia photos. But Imogene is fifteen now, and her mother is still blogging about her, in gruesome detail, against her will.

When a mandatory school project compels Imogene to start her own blog, Imogene is reluctant to expose even more of her life online...until she realizes that the project is the opportunity she's been waiting for to tell the truth about her life under the virtual microscope and to define herself for the first time.

Don't Call Me Baby is a sharply observed and irrepressibly charming story about mothers and daughters, best friends and first crushes, and the surface-level identities we show the world online and the truth you can see only in real life.

The first thing I noticed about Don’t Call Me Baby was that Imogene’s mom’s blog must have horrible SEO. We get snippets from her blog like:

Do you remember when she was born? If you don’t, click HERE. Do you remember when she first walked? If you don’t, click HERE.

Linking out of context (i.e. just making the word “here” a link to a post) does not make for good SEO!

But onto serious matters.. 😛

Don’t Call Me Baby is fun, a little fluffy, quick, and entertaining. It wasn’t a super amazing read, but I do think it’s a good book if you just want something fun and quick. I read this in one sitting. I had just DNF’d another book and I just laid down in bed, picked this one up, and didn’t move until I was done. It was so easy to breeze right through it—I love that!

This book was definitely a family/life lesson kind of thing, but as a blogger myself, I was a bit torn. Ultimately, the main character Imogene absolutely HATES blogging. So you can see the problem, yes? Despite our differences there, I actually got along with the story okay. I could see the double standards that her mom had. Imogene’s mom would blog about Imogene’s first period and lack of acquiring dates to dances, which is SO HUMILIATING for her!! And everyone at her school could see that and laugh. Then Imogene blogs about her mom and how she feels like her privacy has been violated through her mom’s blog, and her mom threatens to ground her for posting “hurtful and humiliating posts” about her. Massive double standard.

What to do with a chronic bed-wetter? (Luckily, Imogene’s grown out of that phase.)
Imogene’s mother’s blog

God that’s embarrassing to see on your mom’s blog…

So in that sense, I totally got where Imogene was coming from! It was really easy to relate to Imogene and understand her actions. I think it’s more towards the end when I started to get iffy. View Spoiler »

I think the other big disappointment for me was when Imogene and her best friend Sage got into a big fight. They were in this fight for at least half the book! Up until that point I was really enjoying Don’t Call Me Baby. Imogene and Sage were this awesome duo and it was like “the daughter bloggers vs the mommy bloggers”—I loved it! But once their fight started, things dwindled. It was suddenly a bit less exciting because Imogene was on her own and away from her awesome friend… it was just so much more fun when they were together.

I also think that Don’t Call Me Baby is for a younger audience than I’m used to. The main character is in 9th grade and only 15 (also, since when is 9th grade still not high school? Apparently she was in 9th grade but in her last year of middle school..). The fact that she wasn’t even in high school made the book feel a lot younger, and I guess overall the whole tone of the book was younger than I was used to. I do think that younger audiences will be able to connect with it a bit more than I was able to.

I know I had a lot to say, but despite all my opinions and thoughts, I did enjoy this book! Since it was a tad young for me, I saw it as more of a fun, quick, fluffy book. It had some funny moments and quirky characters (I LOVED Grandma Hope!). Don’t Call Me Baby is a great book if you’re in the mood for something light and entertaining!

The Verdict

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13 comments

  1. I’m actually about 30% through this book right now and it’s pretty cute so far. Like you said, it’s a bit young but it’s not bad really. Glad you enjoyed it. After some reviews I’ve read about it I was a bit nervous to start it.

    sabriena recently posted: Best Book Of March
    1. Wow, yeah, some of the ratings on Goodreads are not great!

      I don’t think it was an amazing book, but I think it was kind of fun and enjoyable, in a bit of a fluffy way.

  2. I actually clicked on “here” to see where I would end up! Lol!
    I really like the story of the book, but I think it would also bother me a bit that she’s still in middle grade! Didn’t know that! I think I’ll pick it up at some point. It does sound light and fluffy!

    Nadia @ Nadia Reads recently posted: Judge a Book by its Cover
    1. Hahaha, nowhere in this case. 😉

      Yeah the book was younger than I was hoping for. I think you just have to be in the right mood for it.

  3. There is certainly a point to be made about mums who blog about their kids. *Everything* about their kids. In a near future, I can imagine a whole generation of people debating on how to get a (child) privacy back!
    By the way, the French in me has a really hard time to understand “fluffy” in the context of a book. I see that more and more in book blog. When I searched it with Google, I got rabbit photos! O_o

    Lily recently posted: Oust, Hiver, Oust !!!
    1. “Fluffy” kind of means:

      Not serious
      Lighthearted
      Doesn’t really dig deep into emotional issues. It’s just “fun”.
      Sometimes a bit silly.

      So kind of combine all those and you get “fluffy”. Most of the time, when I say a book is fluffy, I also mean that it’s nothing ground breaking. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that I called fluffy that was also AMAZING. It doesn’t mean it was bad, I just consider fluffy to be more of a book that you read when you’re looking for light entertainment, rather than something emotionally gutting and really phenomenal. Kind of like watching a chick flick. I love watching chick flicks, but I don’t expect them to be award-winning films. They’re just for fun, lighthearted entertainment.

      1. Oh, nothing to do with rabbits then 🙂
        Thank you for the clarification. My guess was not even close. I thought it meant something like “emotional”, sort of cheesy but not in a bad way (if that’s possible). Anyway, I know what it means now. Thanks!

        Lily recently posted: Oust, Hiver, Oust !!!
  4. I felt the exact same way about this one! Very fluffy. Like you, I thought the tone was a bit young (and seriously how is 9th grade not high school? That totally threw me.) I hated when Imogene and Sage were fighting. At first I thought it was going to be a great book about a strong friendship (it wasn’t really a bad friendship) I just hated the whole fight. Really the book was okay for me, but it definitely didn’t stick out as something I will remember. (I also wish that the author had done a bit more research about blogging. The posts seemed so forced and I was seriously wondering how she had so many followers…)

    1. Yeah I would not have been interested in her blog lol!

      But I think the book would have been a lot better if not for the big fight… that’s when it started going downhill for me. At first I adored their friendship!

  5. I’m pretty sure ninth grade is in high school. I distinctly remember the upperclassmen telling us freshmen that the swimming pool was on the fourth floor (we have neither a swimming pool nor a fourth floor).
    I typically read books about older characters, and I’m not sure if the MC’s age would bother me significantly. I also don’t read a lot of fluff that doesn’t have romance. That being said, Don’t Call Me Baby sounds really interesting.

    D. @ The Nerdy Journalist recently posted: Weekly memes feel like chores after a while
  6. Yeah I feel like this book is really geared towards the younger audience because I felt like everything moved so quickly (after only one day outsidei n the sunshine she was preaching about going unplugged and stuff and I thought that was so weird because it was only one day and then Sage got mad at her over ONE post like that was weird too) but it was kind of fun overall. I liked the idea of going “unplugged” though, because it’s so nice to be outside and unplug in a werid way haha 🙂

    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted: Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins

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