Nina Chickalini has been caring for her family since her mother died of eclampsia while giving birth to Nina's younger brother, Ralphie. Nina's dreams of moving out of her neighborhood in Queens and seeing the world has been put on hold until Ralphie graduates from high school and her familial obligations have been met. Joe Materi, her next-door neighbor & best friend is a workaholic. He longs to be a father and begins to half-jokingly suggest that she be the surrogate mother. Nina considers this and agrees one day. The story continues with the pregnancy, the both family's assumption they will marry, and Nina's goal of reaching "Independence Day" which is conflicting with her feelings for Joe and the baby. At the same time, Joe is slowly beginning to realize that he also has feelings, may have always had feelings, for Nina.
I have to agree with the reader below that pointed out that fact that this book was written in present tense. I am not sure what the goal was to write in present tense, perhaps to draw the reader more into the story, but quite frankly, it threw off the rhythm and flow of the scenes, especially the serious and intense ones. In addition, the reasons behind Nina's consent to have Joe's baby are a little off. She seems like an intelligent woman, but the fact that her main reasons to have Joe's baby is that she feels indebted to him for his kindness to her family over the years mixed in with the feeling that this is her only chance to know what it would like to be pregnant seems a bit odd. However, the scenes between Joe and Nina are tender and sweet. The main and secondary characters are likable, as well.
Overall, "The Nine Month Plan" is a sweet story between two best friends who are selfless to a fault and do not realize that they are truly meant for each other. It's an enjoyable and entertaining read, if you can bypass the present tense in which it is written and the reasons for which Nina decides to have Joe's baby. I hope that "Once Upon a Blind Date", the Chickalini continuation to "The Nine Month Plan", with Nina's brother, Dominic, in the title role, will fare better.