Friday, 11 April 2014

Review: Don't Call Me Baby (AKA, I'll call you something, but it isn't very nice.)

Don't Call Me Baby

Publication Date: April 22nd 2014
~A copy was provided by HarperTeen and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review~


All her life, Imogene has been known as the girl on THAT blog.

Imogene's mother has been writing an incredibly embarrassing, and incredibly popular, blog about her since before she was born. Hundreds of thousands of perfect strangers knew when Imogene had her first period. Imogene's crush saw her "before and after" orthodontia photos. But Imogene is fifteen now, and her mother is still blogging about her, in gruesome detail, against her will.

When a mandatory school project compels Imogene to start her own blog, Imogene is reluctant to expose even more of her life online...until she realizes that the project is the opportunity she's been waiting for to tell the truth about her life under the virtual microscope and to define herself for the first time.

Don't Call Me Baby is a sharply observed and irrepressibly charming story about mothers and daughters, best friends and first crushes, and the surface-level identities we show the world online and the truth you can see only in real life.


A book has never angered me so much as Don't Call Me Baby, not even Shadow Kiss and that ending. I've also never wanted to hit a book so much in my life, there's not a lot of things that'll get me riled, but when it comes to double standards I will argue over it.
Don't Call Me Baby, while about taking a step away from this lovely laptop I'm typing off, going unplugged from the internet, it's also about Mother-Daughter relationships and these ones so dysfunctional it's bordering on emotional abuse. Yes, I may be dramatic but this woman is documenting every fucking aspect of her daughter's life online, on a worldwide famous blog- that now has sponsors and endorsements-She even asked her readers TO NAME HER BABY. And she nicknames her babyliscious- no one with one ounce of dignity would nickname her baby that, and create her own persona to make money off of her, even though Imogene's now fifteen.

Her mother- Sorry, mommyliscious, obviously took pictures of her growing up, and posted them on her blog. She talks about her first period, talking about how she's "filling out" There's no privacy, she's taking pictures of her just as she wakes up, she makes fun of her. She tells her what to so when to do it, makes her pose for photos, doesn't even ask her her permission on anything, including talking at a bloggers con, because obviously it's her daughter so she owns her, and when Imogene tries to talk to her, she just brushes her off.

Newsflash: You don't own your child. You don't make money off your child. You're not a Kardashian.

I'm not even going to go into the whole anyone including pervert opportunist could be scouring that blog. I know this isn't real, because it's utterly unrealistic, and believe me if that women was real, she belongs in a cell.
Then we have Imogene's friend Sage, whose mother is also a blogger, and goes to a different level. I'll remind you these girls are fifteen and not five. Yet Sage's mother controls what goes in her daughters mouth (don'tsayitdon'tsayitdon'tsayit.) only health food, forces her to eat these new concoctions she creates to post on her blog. No junk food, no sugar, no balance, nothing. This is how eating disorders start. That in itself, can lead to a whole vault full of shit for anybody, her mother taking control over everything she eats, which is 1) totally wrong, 2) obsessive over calories (okay, I am too, but this is me doing that. Not my mother) 3) can lead to body dysmorphia and other issues. Luckily for Sage, she doesn't feel guilty when she sneaks junk food.

When they have to start a blog for and experiment for school, they decide to do a backlash to get back at their mothers, and of course the mothers find out and demand they delete the posts because it's damaging to them, though it's the fucking truth. Also, freedom of speech anyone?

So, we do get a lame assed excuse as to why they act this way, that considering the majority of the book was focused on getting their parent's to stop, it's resolved pretty quickly and  annoyingly so. It was building up to this big fight-that never actually happened. They just talked, and miraculously, their mother's listened, though they've tried before and nothing happened. So suuuuure this time it did.
I've never wanted to burn a book so much in my life. And you can probably see it, but I swear a lot when I'm angry. I also originally rated this 1.5, but thinking it over, and how angry I'm still getting over it. It's a 0.5-1. And really, it's lucky it's getting that. When you want to punch a fictional parent in. the. face, and not feel sorry for it. It's serious.


Rating: 0.5/5