27 October 2014

Book Review: OMG Baby! by Emma Garcia

"This ISN'T a book about babies... It IS about two people, one unexpected pregnancy and a question…

Viv and Max were best friends for years, then they were lovers and then it all went terribly wrong. Now finally they are to be reunited.

Viv feels sick. Not just with nerves at seeing the gorgeous Max again, but because there's a small chance she might… quite possibly… most definitely… be pregnant. It's thrilling. But also terrifying.

At thirty-two Viv doesn’t have a job, only eats fruit when there’s nothing else, and can barely meet the needs of her foster cat. And whilst she knows that Max is the love of her life, they don’t exactly have the most stable relationship…

Then, as Viv's long-lost mother reappears on the scene and they all end up sharing an apartment, all hell breaks loose.


Rating: 3/5

You can buy OMG Baby! as a paperback or an eBook now.

Although I wasn't particularly overkeen on Emma Garcia's debut novel Never Google Heartbreak, something kept drawing me to the cover of the sequel to that book called OMG Baby! which has been sat on my bookshelf for a few months now. I decided I would give it a try and see if this one would be a book I would love. I didn't really remember too much about the first book, other than the main characters were called Viv and Max, so I sort of went into this as if it weren't a sequel, my mind being refreshed by the story as the new book went on. Things are briefly touched on from the first book, but this story can definitely stand-alone too, with the characters at a new stage in their lives... expecting a baby!

Viv and Max have finally gotten together, and are in for a shock. Viv is surprised to find out she is pregnant, and Max is delighted, sure he's going to be a dad to a baby girl. Although they aren't quite set up for parenthood, living in separate flats and neither earning especially good money, they are determined to make it work. But when Viv's estranged mother turns up on her doorstep after years of silence, Viv is sure her impending motherhood is the ideal way to bond with her own mother, and so invites her to stay with her and Max in her small London flat. Unfortunately, Max and Lorraine don't exactly hit it off and Viv finds herself stuck in the middle, as well as juggling her new company and pregnancy...

Don't get me wrong, this is a fun read. It's a light-hearted look at pregnancy for the unprepared, with Max and Viv both happy to admit they haven't got a clue what to expect or how to raise a human being between them. In fact, I'm sure that's like most people when they find out they are pregnant, and there were some humourous moments - Viv is genuinely clueless and it's funny finding things out along with her, and her funny reactions to things. However, what I didn't like about Viv was how she was treated by her mother (and how she kept on letting herself be treated like crap by her) and consequently how she treated lovely Max because of those problems. I wanted to give Viv a shake and tell her to wake up, and at times found myself so frustrated with the way it was going I had to put it down for a while and read something else.

Viv's mother was quite possibly the worst character in a book I have ever read. And I've read a lot of books and horrible characters, believe me. There was nothing - NOTHING - redeemable about this woman at all. The way she takes advantage of her poor pregnant daughter, the way she manipulates people and situations, and how she had so little care for Max was just awful and I couldn't stand her. I also couldn't understand how Viv couldn't see through her, and it left me really frustrated, and took away from the other things I enjoyed about the book overall. Some of the other characters are more light-hearted, such as Damon from Viv's workplace who did make me smile, and lovely Christie who she has started a new company with, but Lorraine just left such a sour taste in my mouth.

As the book went on, I enjoyed the progression of the story and how Viv and Max confront their new circumstances together, even against the odds of Lorraine conspiring against them. Garcia's writing is easy to read, quite pacey and did make me smile a lot as I was reading. There was a touching addition of a friendship storyline between Viv and her best friend Lucy, who goes through a horrible time in the book, and I enjoyed a more sensitive and soft side to Garcia's writing amongst all the humour. It was a good read, I did care about the story and the characters, and wanted to finish it, but I can honestly say I've never encountered a character I have hated so much and been so cross at before, so much so it hindered my overall enjoyment of the book sadly. I do hope there will be more from Emma Garcia, a very promising voice in women's fiction, but hopefully without the abominable Lorraine!

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