Title: Me, Him, Them, and It
Author: Caela Carter
May Contain Spoilers
Wow, at times Me, Him, Them, And It is a hard book to read. Evelyn is a self-destructive teen, who is crying out for attention from her parents. Because her home life is so dysfunctional, nothing she does makes them bat an eye. Her mother is emotionally stunted, unable to communicate her feelings, and her father has been caught cheating, so he is struggling with guilt. He leaves for a time, but then comes back home, and everything is changed. The house is silent, nobody talks, and Evelyn is spiraling in a black depression she can’t escape. She is like her mother; unable to adequately communicate her feelings, even to her best friend. The words she longs to speak stick in her throat, trapped and suffocating her. There are times I was so frustrated with her, because if she would only SAY something, anything, she wouldn’t have to feel as though she’s carrying the burden of the world on her shoulders.
Evelyn has set a high bar for herself. She wants to be the class valedictorian, and she wants to attend an Ivy League university. It is so sad that neither of her parents has any clue how well she’s doing in school, or what her college ambitions are. Then she decides to punish her parents. She doesn’t want to be Good Evelyn anymore, and who can blame her. She received no credit at all from her distant parents, and she desperately wants their attention. Any kind of attention. The sad thing is, even as she begins indulging in dangerous behavior, they still don’t acknowledge her desperate cries for help. Then she discovers that the risks she has been taking have come home to roost. She’s pregnant, and she doesn’t know what to do.
This book is all about consequences. Evelyn has made a mistake, and now she has to face it. She has to decide what to do about the bean growing in her belly. Todd, the father, turns his back on her, and no matter how hard she tries, she just can’t tell her BFF what’s wrong with her. The only compassionate adult in her life is Mary, a counselor at the local planned parenthood. Because she can’t have a discussion with her mother, Evelyn makes Mary tell her mom that she’s pregnant. Ouch!
I didn’t want to like any of the characters in this book. Everyone is so absorbed in their own drama and agendas that nobody seems to care about anybody else. Evelyn irritated me at times, but then I stopped and realized that there were so many grown up decisions that she had to make, without much input from the adults in her life, and that she had every reason to be confused, angry, and hurt. Overwhelmed. Few of the adults in her life gave her any credit, yet they all demanded that she make a plan. Now. It’s not even like she had a good example of what a real family should be like to base her decisions on.
When she’s sent to live with her Aunt Linda and her family in Chicago, Evelyn is understandably upset. In her hour of need, her parents send her away. Once she falls into a routine at Linda’s, though, she does start to feel like she belongs. She slowly begins to learn how to express herself, though it is a painful and awkward process. And just when I think she is beginning to heal, and she will make a rational decision about what to do about the bean that she blames for ruining her life, she makes yet another impulsive, life altering choice. While the ending is upbeat, Me, Him, Them, and It had me feeling a bit out of sorts. The magnitude of Evelyn’s problem is staggering and her rage at her parents is all-consuming. The choice she must make will alter the lives of almost everyone she knows, and yet all of them leave her to make it on her own. The thought of an angry, resentful, and scared teen making of decision like this on her own just left me depressed.
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Review copy provided by publisher