Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann (Review)

23266647Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.

3.5

Ever since I read One by Sarah Crossan, I’ve been looking for another free verse book to read. When Ask Me How I Got Herepopped up on Edelweiss it immediately caught my interest, especially as I had heard some good stuff about Heppermann’s Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty.

After a careless night with her boyfriend, cross-country runner Addie ends up pregnant. She makes the decision to have an abortion, and as a student at a private religious school, she doesn’t wish for anyone to know. For her, it was the right choice, but things don’t feel the same. She doesn’t enjoy cross-country anymore and she has difficulty finding enjoyment in the things she did before. That is until she meets an old teammate Juliana and finds comfort in their new relationship. Ask Me How I Got Here explores sexuality, religion and the decision and choice to control one’s own body.

There’s no doubt about it; Ask Me How I Got Here is an incredibly quick read – I read it in one sitting. I enjoyed the free verse, but I think it may have perhaps hindered the story. Neither the characters or relationships felt quite as developed as they could have been, and the pace was incredibly quick. Yet at the same time, there is emotion in Addie’s narrative; Addie is exploring and placing a critical eye on religion, what it means to her and how she feels about it in relation to its views on abortion.

Whilst important in its discussion about abortion and choice,Ask Me How I Got Here also explores Addie’s sexuality, and I particularly enjoyed her relationship with Juliana. I did feel that perhaps it sends the message that having an abortion changes who you are (which isn’t necessarily true), it is an important book nonetheless, and one I would recommend to readers looking for a quick but sensitive read.

RATING: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)

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