Review: At What Cost by J. Andersen

At What Cost by J. Andersen
Release Date: June 3, 2012
Publisher:  Astraea Press
Pages: 235
Source:  Publisher

During her junior year, sixteen-year-old Maggie Reynolds expected to shop for prom dresses not maternity clothes. Now, instead of studying for the SATs, she’s reading, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Maggie’s ‘Mother Dearest’ lives in fear that Maggie will somehow taint the family name, so Maggie can’t turn to her for help. Meanwhile, her father is oblivious to anything but his 9-9 job. And her boyfriend, Justin? She’s pretty sure he’ll stay by her side.

While Maggie wrestles with her options, Justin offers a solution: abortion. It would solve all her problems quickly, easily, and effectively. And her parents would never know, which means they won’t throw her out and cut her off like they’d always threatened if she got herself knocked up. But an easy decision becomes difficult when Maggie’s aunt discovers her secret and sets out on a mission to stop the abortion, putting a kink in Maggie’s plan. Now Maggie must decide which choice she can live with: abortion or teenage motherhood. Either way, it’ll be a tough road to travel.


Review: Probably what I liked most about this book is that it did not glamorize teenage pregnancy. Instead, it gives a very real and sometimes brutal look into what every young woman must deal with when she finds herself pregnant; lost, scared, alone, and unsure what is the right decision to make. I found certain parts – especially talk about abortion – almost difficult to get through, but completely unable to put my e-reader down as I wanted to find out what happened next.

Pregnancy isn’t the only topic covered in this book. In addition to finding herself pregnant, Maggie is left feeling like the last people she could talk to and count on for support is her parents; instead she leans almost exclusively on Justin, her boyfriend and father of her unborn child, and eventually on her Aunt Rachel who figures out that Maggie’s pregnant. Throughout the book Justin proves to be an absolute jerk while Aunt Rachel becomes a very important person in Maggie’s life. Maggie’s father is too busy working all of the time to provide for the family, while her mother is too busy trying to be better than everyone else and instilling in her daughters that they’re a reflection on the family and nothing less than perfection will be tolerated. I really disliked Maggie’s mother throughout almost the entire book.

This story was beautifully written and kept me from doing anything else but reading until it was finished. However, the ending was extremely abrupt and seemed almost unfinished. You’re left wondering if there’s going to be a sequel to see what happens next.