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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 May 2014
Lizzie's Story is a very cleverly written book that explores teenage pregnancy in a number of ways. Looking at the options in front of her, Lizzie has to make a decision but she is surrounded by strong personalities and feels panicky and unsure about what to do.

The way the book is written allows us to see how different scenarios play out, and explore the choices and consequences that a young woman in Lizzie's position is faced with. It examines the many nuances in this situation, avoiding the 'easy' moralistic or paternalistic approach that many people leap to when thinking about young adults having unplanned pregnancies.

This would be a great read not only for teenagers, but parents of teenagers too. It's easy for adults to dismiss the degree of reasoning skills and emotional intelligence possessed by young people and this novel is a great reminder of just how mature many almost-adults are when they need to be! Lizzie has a huge decision to make, and in this book every possible outcome is identified and explored.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2014
Lizzie’s Story is a well-crafted and hard hitting slice of real life, as direct and as three dimensional as your own family. It forensically examines the excruciating dilemma of an unplanned pregnancy for a young girl caught in that hazy stage between childhood and adulthood with all its attendant passions and confusion. In tone it reads like a role reversal of Stan Barstow’s 60’s classic “A Kind of loving”. It also vividly illustrates the claustrophobia of a world of make do and mend in the 21st century. It wears its politics lightly and comes with a twist of acid humour. A novel and interesting look at a very real modern dilemma. Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 June 2014
A thoughtful exploration of the dilemmas facing any woman with an unexpected pregnancy, particularly through the eyes of the much-stigmatised teenager. What I particularly liked about this book was the many different decisions that shaped Lizzie's paths: How is my partner involved? What support do I want or need from my family? How does my best friend fit into this? What about university/work/money?

The pregnancy options weren't explored with equal weight, but I think that is reflective of real life. Women come to a pregnancy with pre-conceptions and beliefs and Lizzie is no different.

Despite Lizzie and her network being very vocal in their opinions, the book isn't preachy. The characters are flawed and their world views flawed along with them, which is refreshing.

Lizzie's Story is immersed in Lizzie's world and the real-life consequences of her many possible decisions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2014
OK, so I'll admit, not my usual fare but this was a really neat idea and well executed.... Loved the characters and if I had a teenage daughter, I'd be madly encouraging her to read this book without delay. Felt fresh, real and very honest.

And for a lifelong Judy Blume geek such as myself, it was totally convincing. Great stuff!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 June 2014
Great to read a book about teenage pregnancy which considers the whole story; the different choices, the people around you, and the continued path your life may lead, acknowledging that teenage pregnancy is not the end of your life, but can be the beginning of a new one. Through challenging the assumption that young people are unable to make such important decisions themselves, each scenario puts you in the mind of someone struggling to find her own voice and ultimately seeking those who will offer support rather than judgement. This provides a valuable insight into how to support young people and respect their decisions.

Recommended to anyone is a young person, knows a young person, or simply lives in a world with young people!
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on 23 June 2014
An essential criterion for any good book – as it is for any good poem – is that it should say something important about the human condition in a powerful way. 'Lizzie’s Story' does that from the beginning. I have rarely read an opening chapter so powerful and profound.

Lucy Hay has a sharp eye for telling detail and an almost pathological awareness of the discrepancy between human potential and actual achievement within the constricting contexts of family and social class. It hurts like Hamlet, and Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads.

The action is intimately observed, each character scrupulously and minutely drawn. Lizzie tells this story in all its manifestations, and each time you are convinced it must be largely autobiographical with the kind of descriptive detail one associates with someone’s personal reality – e.g. “I could see all five of my sisters, their eyes wide, at least one of them delighted I had fallen from grace with such a bump.” I could quote a hundred more examples.

For all those reasons I was SO not ready for what happened 22% into the story. I won’t give it away, but it is extraordinarily effective. I saw that technique employed in a film once, but I don’t recall having come across it in a book. I think it works spectacularly well.

This is an important book about the human condition. It doesn’t run along the tramlines of a predictable genre, preferring instead to follow the urgings of Lucy Hay’s heart, her scrupulous and endearing honesty, her superb eye and very sharp ear. How many Lizzie’s can there be? Well one, of course, but layered, deep, analytical and sensitive to the nth degree.

“Lizzie’s Decision” should be required reading for all teens (Michael Gove take note!). It’s a very thought-provoking and deeply enjoyable read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2014
Wow! Writing a book on a topic such as teen pregnancy means that an author has to tread a fine line between being lackadaisical and preaching.

This book does neither - it follows Lizzie's life immediately after she finds out something that will change her life forever. It does not preach, yet it does not gloss over everything. The balance is spot on.

Excellent characterisation and descriptions that make the reader want to turn page after page mean this is an excellent book for the YA audience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 May 2014
This author is thoughtful and insightful,the book is a must read for teens and Mums.It broaches a difficult subject with sensitivity and clarity,and deals with all aspects of teen pregnancy without bias,giving the reader much to think about and lends itself to further discussion.This is a very interesting book,well written and the subject matter is very important for young people to think about..I would recommend this book very highly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2014
I have read a few of the popular novels on teenage pregnancy over the years but for my money this is one of the best. The author brings a fresh and insightful perspective to a story that is very well written and thought provoking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 June 2014
I found this to be a very interesting book which goes through the various stages a young person must go through when they find out they are unexpectedly pregnant.

Very cleverly written - an enjoyable read
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