Belly Up
There’s a first time for everything.First time playing quarters. First time spinning the bottle.First totally hot consensual truck hookup with a superhot boy whose digits I forgot to get. First time getting pregnant.Surprised you with that one, didn’t I?Surprised me, too. I’d planned to spend senior year with my bestie-slash-wifey, Devi Abrams, graduating at the top of my class and getting into an Ivy League college. Instead, Mom and I are moving in with my battle-ax of a grandmother and I’m about to start a new school and a whole new life.Know what’s more fun than being the new girl for your senior year? Being the pregnant new girl. It isn’t awesome. There is one upside, though—a boy named Leaf Leon. He’s cute, an amazing cook and he’s flirting me up, hard-core. Too bad I’m knocked up with a stranger’s baby. I should probably mention that to him at some point.But how?It seems I’ve got a lot more firsts to go.

Belly Up Details

TitleBelly Up
Author
ReleaseApr 30th, 2019
PublisherInkyard Press
ISBN-139781335012357
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, LGBT

Belly Up Review

  • Candace Robinson
    January 1, 1970
    At first this had a Juno vibe but then it got a little more serious with things going on in today’s world. I tend to like to escape from that, and there was a lot of stuff thrown in. But I did really like Leaf!
  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    BELLY UP is just...such a pure read? It's funny and snarky and there's a lot of friendship and family relationships. Devi is Jewish and ace and the most supportive, lovely friend. Sara's mom and Mormor are wonderful and hilarious together. I loved Morgan and Erin and their relationship and how kind they were. And LEAF. Oh my God Leaf is just. He's kind and caring and loves to cook and he's so respectful and he's a fat Rom boy and I love him with all my heart. And at the center of it all is Sara. BELLY UP is just...such a pure read? It's funny and snarky and there's a lot of friendship and family relationships. Devi is Jewish and ace and the most supportive, lovely friend. Sara's mom and Mormor are wonderful and hilarious together. I loved Morgan and Erin and their relationship and how kind they were. And LEAF. Oh my God Leaf is just. He's kind and caring and loves to cook and he's so respectful and he's a fat Rom boy and I love him with all my heart. And at the center of it all is Sara. Sarcastic, funny, brilliant, Sara. She was so wonderful and authentic and optimistic. I loved the voice Darrows used for her and I loved the way she thought things through.This is absolutely a character-driven book, so if you're looking for something else, this might not be for you. Otherwise, it really is a way more diverse JunoxGilmore Girls mash up with the same kind of dry humor and family dynamics and I loved this romcom so much and cannot wait until y'all can read it.
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  • Dahlia
    January 1, 1970
    Definitely on the lighter side of reproductive YA fiction, like Juno meets Gilmore Girls meets Tumblr discourse on gender/sexuality with a really sweet LI (who cooks! My Kryptonite) and very supportive friend group. (I would not be mad if the finished book had a little recipe section at the back - just putting that out there, Inkyard.) Also, a big heads-up to anyone looking for fat and/or questioning bisexual and/or biracial MCs.
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  • Berit☀️✨
    January 1, 1970
    A diverse lighthearted story. A bit of a mash up of Juno and The Gilmore Girls. Sarah is smart and snarky with her future all planned out. But you know what they say about the best made plans... and getting pregnant the summer before her senior year by a stranger was not part of Sarah’s plans. Fortunately Sarah has an amazing support system around her. I do have to give major props to Sarah‘s mother and grandmother, not sure I would’ve handled the situation quite as well. I mean I’d be supporti A diverse lighthearted story. A bit of a mash up of Juno and The Gilmore Girls. Sarah is smart and snarky with her future all planned out. But you know what they say about the best made plans... and getting pregnant the summer before her senior year by a stranger was not part of Sarah’s plans. Fortunately Sarah has an amazing support system around her. I do have to give major props to Sarah‘s mother and grandmother, not sure I would’ve handled the situation quite as well. I mean I’d be supportive, but probably after I lost my temper a few times. Sarah also had an amazing BFF in Devi. Seriously we all need a Devi in our lives. Not only is Sarah pregnant, but she also has to start at a new school her senior year. Something that would not be easy even under the best of circumstances. Sarah is lucky enough however to find a diverse group of supportive friends at the new school as well. Even a boy named Leaf. This boy was so sweet, so kind, so supportive, and best of all he could cook! The only tiny problem I had with this book I thought things worked out a little too perfectly for Sarah. I know the girl got pregnant and she was going to have to deal with that, but... I thought it was all a bit sugarcoated, however they do say good things happen to good people and Sarah was truly a good person. Simply put this was a sweet diverse story filled with friendship, family, and love!7/10*** many thanks to Harlequin/Inkyard Press for my copy of this book ***
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  • Dill Werner
    January 1, 1970
    I was a beta and sensitivity reader on this book for ace, nonbinary, and genderneutral language and topics. Although I usually don't read contemporary, I was so thrilled to be a part of BELLY UP. It's a diverse and delightful story about how life doesn't end with teenage pregnancy. It's merely starting a new chapter. The voice is told from a hilarious voice that only Hillary Monahan aka Eva Darrows can give. Don't expect a "Woe me" tale. Instead, you'll find, "Whoa, what's happening to me?" as S I was a beta and sensitivity reader on this book for ace, nonbinary, and genderneutral language and topics. Although I usually don't read contemporary, I was so thrilled to be a part of BELLY UP. It's a diverse and delightful story about how life doesn't end with teenage pregnancy. It's merely starting a new chapter. The voice is told from a hilarious voice that only Hillary Monahan aka Eva Darrows can give. Don't expect a "Woe me" tale. Instead, you'll find, "Whoa, what's happening to me?" as Sara navigates pregnancy while entering a new high school, brushing off racial stereotypes, and making friends. The ending had me weeping with happy tears.
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  • Lost in Book Land
    January 1, 1970
    I got an ebook ARC of Belly Up a little while ago and I was super intrigued by this book and it turned out to be just the book for me. It went by super fast for me because I was very invested in the story and characters and being very honest I wish there was more because I could read it forever.SPOILERS AHEADSerendipity is a sixteen-year-old who has been through a rough break up with her boyfriend and is now at a summer party with a friend. However, at this party, she meets a new boy, Jack. Jack I got an ebook ARC of Belly Up a little while ago and I was super intrigued by this book and it turned out to be just the book for me. It went by super fast for me because I was very invested in the story and characters and being very honest I wish there was more because I could read it forever.SPOILERS AHEADSerendipity is a sixteen-year-old who has been through a rough break up with her boyfriend and is now at a summer party with a friend. However, at this party, she meets a new boy, Jack. Jack does not go to her school and they spend the party getting friendly, up until friendly turns into a romantic time in Jack’s truck. A few months after the party while Sara (her nickname) is feeling very sick she goes to the doctor and finds out her time in Jack’s truck resulted in her being pregnant. Now she has to face the last year of school (at a new school because her mother and her are planning to move one town over to live with Mormor, her grandmother) while pregnant and she does not have any way to contact Jack.The story of Sara and her pregnancy, as well as her journey of the last year of high school, was beyond amazing. I loved how the author treated the characters and showed different sides of everyone. I did not want to give up too many spoilers about Sara’s story but she has major decisions to make as the book goes on including if she is ready to be a mother and the author handles each of these decisions with grace. I can not recommend this book enough and I really need to get myself a finished copy when it comes out at the end of the month. I gave this book five stars on Goodreads (wishing it could be more).
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  • Fadwa (Word Wonders)
    January 1, 1970
    Original review posted on my blog : Word Wonders*I received an early copy of this book from the author in exchange of an honest review*CW: Racist microaggressions, explicit pregnancy, ableist languageThe minute I heard the premise of this book I knew I wanted to read it. A sixteen year old girl who finds herself pregnant after a one night stand and has to navigate the pregnancy AND a new high school? YES PLEASE!! This is unlike anything I’ve ever read in YA and a narrative that definitely needs Original review posted on my blog : Word Wonders*I received an early copy of this book from the author in exchange of an honest review*CW: Racist microaggressions, explicit pregnancy, ableist languageThe minute I heard the premise of this book I knew I wanted to read it. A sixteen year old girl who finds herself pregnant after a one night stand and has to navigate the pregnancy AND a new high school? YES PLEASE!! This is unlike anything I’ve ever read in YA and a narrative that definitely needs its space. Despite all the hardships and struggles, this was ultimately a book filled with happiness to the brim.The writing is fairly simple and easy to follow, not wanting to take focus away from the core of the story, it serves as a vessel to transmit it and it does so very well. The only parts I had a problem with are the texts between Sara and her best friend. They read very cringey and unrealistic with overly abbreviated words and just overall not the kind of texting the teens today take part in. I found myself being thrown off everytime and unable to get used to it. Other than that, I enjoyed every single part of the book.Belly Up starts with Sara’s break up with her on and off boyfriend which crushes her because she still loves him. Great ideas ensue and she ends up having a one night stand that results in a pregnancy. One thing I loved about the book (among many) is how unfiltered it is. We follow Sara from the moment she finds out to when she gives birth, and everything that comes in between like deciding she wants to keep the baby, telling her family and friends, etc… not just the events but also the emotional journey that’s attached to them, never glossing over anything.We get the good and the bad, the rough and the easy but this book is ultimately a bubble of joy portraying teen pregnancy as an event that isn’t the end of the world and that with the right support system (which not everyone gets, and that’s acknowledged in the narrative), it doesn’t have to be a life shattering event and can be navigated well.Sara is a swedish-spanish fat girl who is extremely funny (seriously, I found myself laughing out loud at times), quite sassy and opinionated. She has a shell around her but is incredibly attentionate and caring with people she lets in. Her narrating voice is very perky, which makes her so very easily likeable and approachable to the reader and I was no different, I found myself immensely enjoying my time reading from her perspective.The romance is, in my opinion the highlight of this book. After switching schools, Sara finds herself quickly adopted by this group of three people mainly because of Leaf (her LI) who breaks the ice the first time he meets her and makes her feel somewhat welcome in an environment that’s hostile to her. Leaf is a Romani fat boy who’s asexual and loves cooking and is an ABSOLUTE sweetheart of a soft bear. He just wants to take care of Sara, and what better way to do that than to FEED her? I loved how organically their relationship developped, moving from friendship to romance slowly for reasons that come from both their sides, and also how once they got together, just how much respect they had for each other and how central of a role consent had.Beside the romance, I thought that all the other relationships were extremely well done. The relationship dynamic between Sara, her mom and her grandma is amazing, they fight and make up but are ultimately extremely supportive of her and her rock through everything. Her friendships old and new are also amazing, her best friend is also an important part of her support system, she’s there for her through everything and I liked that Sara made an extra effort to include her in all her activities with her new friends which she met through Leaf. A girl and a non-binary person (they/them pronouns) who are also in a very cute relationship and embrace her into their group effortlessly.Belly up just gave me all the soft happy feelings at a time when I needed them. Especially with that ending wrapped up as it was. GAAH!! It’s so good!Note that I read an early version of this book, so things might have changed in the last draft.
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  • Audrey
    January 1, 1970
    1.5 starsThis review is based on an ARC of Belly Up which I received courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher (Inkyard Press). Ahh, once again deceived by an appealing cover. This cover, it slaps you in the face that inside is a story about pregnancy, no? Well, it's not. (Okay, it is, but it's not.) Let me break down what this story is actually about. 30% food, food descriptions, "chzburgers", and oh my god shut up about food already, please? I get that our mc is pregnant but I hate when people t 1.5 starsThis review is based on an ARC of Belly Up which I received courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher (Inkyard Press). Ahh, once again deceived by an appealing cover. This cover, it slaps you in the face that inside is a story about pregnancy, no? Well, it's not. (Okay, it is, but it's not.) Let me break down what this story is actually about. 30% food, food descriptions, "chzburgers", and oh my god shut up about food already, please? I get that our mc is pregnant but I hate when people talk about food all the time, and that topic came up over and over and over! 30% Social Justice Warrior lecturing, which ultimately just left me feeling small and scolded.30% cringey banter. The mc said "amazeballs" unironically. My soul died a little bit at that moment, I swear...5% my family is Swedish. We talk Swedish, we shop Swedish, most importantly we EAT Swedish! Swedish Swedish Swedish. Swedish... Swedish. And finally, 5% oh I'm "preggers" lol. Wild. Tangent Time! I love Juno. I typically don't enjoy movies at all, but Juno is one of my favorites and I could watch it repeatedly. So I know in the YA genre of things, Juno is like, a standard because Ellen Page is this quirky, non-serious teen saddled with a hugely serious thing. Juno pulls this off flawlessly, and in comparison, Belly Up feels like a lesser version. (And also, Juno and Paulie? Come on, we will never get a better young couple! While we're comparing these two stories, let me just mention that the relationship between Sara and Leaf is empty. Like, I felt nothing. She kept saying how she was so in love and overwhelmed, but I wasn't sensing that at all...)Maybe I'm too old. Honestly, all I could think was "This novel is written for the 15-year-olds who can define aesthetic." Anyway, I'm just genuinely upset that this book didn't reach my standards. I was so excited for this novel, crossing my fingers hoping that I would be approved this ARC. I even happy danced when I got it. I'm just gonna go wallow now, bye.
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  • Leah
    January 1, 1970
    This book is just as wonderful as I was anticipating! Read the full review on my blog!
  • Tiffany
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This book at first made me nervous to read. I liked the movie Juno and I thought this book would be like it. First thing I want to talk about is the characters names in this book. They are weird. I mean Leaf and Serendipity? What the heck. I noticed that the main character loved to mention that her family was Swedish. She mentioned it only five times a chapter. I swear. Sara aka Serendipit I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This book at first made me nervous to read. I liked the movie Juno and I thought this book would be like it. First thing I want to talk about is the characters names in this book. They are weird. I mean Leaf and Serendipity? What the heck. I noticed that the main character loved to mention that her family was Swedish. She mentioned it only five times a chapter. I swear. Sara aka Serendipity is one of the most annoying characters I've read about. She said the weirdest and most outrageous things. This book has got to be for older teens and not younger teens. I was surprised with some of the stuff she said. But the thing that annoyed me about her was how she didn't want to assume the gender of her baby. I understand that in this day and age that people want to be respectful of others and their own decisions but that baby hasn't picked what gender it wants to identify as and won't for some time. So it's okay for her to call it a girl. It seemed like a lot of characters in this book were from the lgbt community and I'm not for sure if the author had a reason or was just trying to make it full of people from this community. I don't like when authors put them in the books just to try to make the book diverse. It annoys me a lot. Maybe this isn't the case with this book I don't know. The plot of this book was kinda boring. Sara doesn't do anything eventful. She starts off with having a one night stand and ends up pregnant. Then she's instantly hoping into a new relationship at her new school. I just thought that was odd. She kept saying oh he won't want to be with me because I'm pregnant. The family is very accepting with her becoming pregnant and not knowing the father. All she has is the first name. It also seems like she doesn't even bother to look for the father of her baby. She just is like oh no one knows him and moves on. She didn't try that hard to find him at all. And we don't see her look for him at all.Overall I didn't like most things in this book but I did like how the main character kept the baby and decided to finish up school. I admire her for that. The writing wasn't horrible and I was able to finish the whole book which is a plus. I also want to say that just because I didn't care for the book doesn't mean you won't.
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  • Tiffany Rose
    January 1, 1970
    I loved Belly Up!! I rarely if ever sit down and refuse to stop reading until a book is finished, until now. The characters are great and everyone's interaction with each other adds to their character. Nothing in this book felt like filler for Drama, it all felt like an honest story that covers sexuality, gender, biracial identities, and having a baby as a teen. Most of the tension comes from the thoughts of the character instead of setting up an Bad Guy who uses kick the dog tropes to show that I loved Belly Up!! I rarely if ever sit down and refuse to stop reading until a book is finished, until now. The characters are great and everyone's interaction with each other adds to their character. Nothing in this book felt like filler for Drama, it all felt like an honest story that covers sexuality, gender, biracial identities, and having a baby as a teen. Most of the tension comes from the thoughts of the character instead of setting up an Bad Guy who uses kick the dog tropes to show that racism is bad.The writing is refreshing, funny, and endearing. I don't know if there ever will be more of these characters but I'd love to see them over and over. Not because it needs a book two, but because it's all so enjoyable.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    There is a sub-genre of romance books about the MC (Main Character) being pregnant. I'm not sure why this is. I don't read a lot of romance books. But the cover of this one got me, and it sounds like an interesting read, so I chose to go in, knowing that this was about a girl, Sara, who is 17, and gets pregnant, and keeps the baby. And if that was all there was to it, I probably would not have like the book at all. But Sara is a smart, witty girl. The people she is attracted to are also smart an There is a sub-genre of romance books about the MC (Main Character) being pregnant. I'm not sure why this is. I don't read a lot of romance books. But the cover of this one got me, and it sounds like an interesting read, so I chose to go in, knowing that this was about a girl, Sara, who is 17, and gets pregnant, and keeps the baby. And if that was all there was to it, I probably would not have like the book at all. But Sara is a smart, witty girl. The people she is attracted to are also smart and witty. I love how she says she doens't want to impose gender standards to her baby to be. That gender is fluid, and that she might be bisexual.For example, this is a bit of dialogue involving Jack, the bio-father, and Sara:...it's a girl, right?"That's the assigned gender. I wanna keep doors open in case they choose another gnder, later, though. But that's a talk for another day."Jack paused. "Yeah, okay, that's fine. I'm just going to tell my parents it's a girl. I don't think they'll get it otherwise.Her boyfriend is Gray ACE. The lesbian couple that she hangs out with, one of them is transgender.So, no this is not a typical teen romance, at least not as far as I can see.So if you are into teen pregnancy romances, this book might be right up your alley.Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
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  • Aymee
    January 1, 1970
    Teenaged pregnancy is a fact of life.  Like it or not, it happens, which is why I picked up this book.  Being a mother to two teen girls - one 17 and other 19 - I thought it'd be an interesting read and I wasn't wrong.  Sara is a breath of sarcastic fresh air.  Her voice is fresh and real, even in the moments when she's putting up a front because she's scared half to death.  She's also very mature, never once blaming her mistakes on anyone other than herself.  It helps that her mother was also a Teenaged pregnancy is a fact of life.  Like it or not, it happens, which is why I picked up this book.  Being a mother to two teen girls - one 17 and other 19 - I thought it'd be an interesting read and I wasn't wrong.  Sara is a breath of sarcastic fresh air.  Her voice is fresh and real, even in the moments when she's putting up a front because she's scared half to death.  She's also very mature, never once blaming her mistakes on anyone other than herself.  It helps that her mother was also a young, single parent, so she didn't risk the judgement that so many parents hand down to their kids in these situations.  Instead, Astrid encourages Sara to embrace the moment and live up to her potential, baby and all.  Belly Up covers all the issues surrounding teen pregnancies, the realities you face, as well as how horrifying being pregnant can be.  Those were some of my favorite parts, I have to admit.  Sara turning into a bottomless pit once her morning sickness eases up.  All the bizarre changes in your body.  It was glorious how horrified she was, but hopeful in the way she took it all in stride.  In addition to teen pregnancy, Belly Up also touches on issues of gender identity, sexual identity, and racism.  None of this is hit on too hard, but it is presented in a way that you take note of it.  I enjoyed the way Sara refused to call her unborn baby it and instead used genderless pronouns (them for the most part).  It was a different sort of way to handle the whole MY BABY'S NOT AN IT thing that I went through.  Hands down, for me the best character was Leaf.  He's cute, he's sweet, he's this big teddy bear of a boy AND HE'S ROMANI.  Now, side note here: I fell in love with all things Romanian at a young age.  Why?  I'm not sure, but it probably had a lot to do with my Dracula obsession.  Anyway, since Romania has probably the largest population of Romani people, it was inevitable that I'd eventually fall in love with that culture as well.  Hearing that Leaf is Rom made my day.  Even more amazing was that the author actually took time to research the people themselves and dropped tidbits about their culture so that Sara could learn from Leaf about his heritage.  The only thing that bugged me was the addition of this new trend of adding a question mark at the end of a statement.  Things like, "He's a jerk but I love him?".  I get where the intent comes from - you're making a statement you're not one hundred percent sure about.  Maybe I'm old, but it throws me off every time.  Belly Up is the kind of book that bridges the gap between adults and young adults.  Although both of my kids are around the same age as Sara, I still thoroughly enjoyed her story.  Part of it might be because so many of my friends had babies in high school, but most of it is due to Sara herself.  She's fun, she's vibrant, and she has an amazing support group to help her through one of the toughest times of her life.  Being a teen mom isn't the end of the world by any stretch of the imagination.  The key is to surround yourself with the right people.  Good friends like Devi, Erin, and Morgan.  A great boyfriend like Leaf.  Never mind her amazing mom and grandmother.  An excellent book no matter your age.*Thanks to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for a copy of this book.  
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  • Gina
    January 1, 1970
    I received an eARC of this book via Netgalley. I loved this book! Everything about it was amazing! It had sweet contemporary romance without characters having to be conflicted and angry at everyone for most of the story. It had rep galore in many fashions! It read like I was having conversations with my own best friends and didn't take itself anymore serious than it needed to be. Belly Up is the story of how a reckless night at a party goes from fun to life changing. When Serendipity, Sara, has I received an eARC of this book via Netgalley. I loved this book! Everything about it was amazing! It had sweet contemporary romance without characters having to be conflicted and angry at everyone for most of the story. It had rep galore in many fashions! It read like I was having conversations with my own best friends and didn't take itself anymore serious than it needed to be. Belly Up is the story of how a reckless night at a party goes from fun to life changing. When Serendipity, Sara, has a drunken one night stand as way of rebounding from her ex she finds herself pregnant his with baby. The story goes through her figuring out the ups and downs of what her options are and the results of those decisions. The writing is spot on and I loved the humor so much. Multiple times I was giggling out loud at something Sara or another character would say. The one liners in particular were incredible! I loved the sass both Sara's mom and mormor (grandma) had throughout the story and how they were involved and included. Too often the adults in the teens life are glossed over in fiction and I'm glad they weren't in this. Even Sara's friends parents were mentioned and occasionally seen. As for the representation, amazing! Darrows really packs diversity into this story and it all translates and works flawlessly for me. Not only do we have multiple sexual orientations represented but we have multiple religion and ethnicities as well. I greatly appreciate Darrows including variations of asexuality in her characters (gray ace and demisexual) and showing different diverse characters than we are use to seeing in other literature. The characters do a phenomenal explaining what and when things need to be explained without being rude or condescending about it. For example, I was completely engrossed when Sara was learning about Romani traditions and culture and the stories she was being told came naturally and the character was understanding of her ignorance instead of condescending about it. Another character starts her dialogue by telling Sara she is a trans queer girl and that if she has a problem with it then she can go find other people to talk to. The right to the point here is what's up attitude set the tone for her character and let you know what you needed without dwellig on the legistics of it. Other diverse characters are present and they all have their own way lf showing you who they are in a very natural and very them way. All of these aspects to these characters lets the reader connect to them in a much more intimate way than one may be use to. Overall I think this is one of my new favorites and I wouldn't be surprised if it stays in my top 5 on the year. I can easily see myself rereading since Darrows does an incredible job of making the dialogue, both inner and outer, relatable. It's also just an overall wholesome read without unnecessary drama. It was kind of refreshing in way. If YA contemporaries are your forte, do yourself a favor and pick this one up.
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  • gingey reads
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not giving this three stars because I disliked it. It fit comfortably into that YA slot of "Difficult But Surprisingly Warm Narrative Told By Snarky Teen Narrator," which is not unenjoyable. I loved Simon and Upside and Leah, which are all prime examples of that category. It's just, sometimes you read books that you recognize are good, but you read them at times in your life where the book kind of freaks you out. This was one of those. Pregnancy is... not always a plausible or comfortable na I'm not giving this three stars because I disliked it. It fit comfortably into that YA slot of "Difficult But Surprisingly Warm Narrative Told By Snarky Teen Narrator," which is not unenjoyable. I loved Simon and Upside and Leah, which are all prime examples of that category. It's just, sometimes you read books that you recognize are good, but you read them at times in your life where the book kind of freaks you out. This was one of those. Pregnancy is... not always a plausible or comfortable narrative for everyone, and I underestimated how much that would affect my reaction to the book.
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  • Jenni Frencham
    January 1, 1970
    Serendipity (Sara) has revenge sex and gets pregnant. She decides to keep the baby and has to navigate her senior year of high school at a new school while also balancing the pressure of becoming a parent. This book is definitely a "best case scenario" pregnancy story. Sara was not raped. Her family is supportive. Her school is helpful. She hits very few bumps along the road. All of that is fantastic, albeit not very realistic. I appreciated the extremely diverse cast of characters as well as Sa Serendipity (Sara) has revenge sex and gets pregnant. She decides to keep the baby and has to navigate her senior year of high school at a new school while also balancing the pressure of becoming a parent. This book is definitely a "best case scenario" pregnancy story. Sara was not raped. Her family is supportive. Her school is helpful. She hits very few bumps along the road. All of that is fantastic, albeit not very realistic. I appreciated the extremely diverse cast of characters as well as Sara's matter-of-fact descriptions of pregnancy and her visits to the gynecologist, etc. I don't know that many teens who become pregnant can relate to Sara's best-case situation, but it is a fun, enjoyable read.I received a complimentary copy of this book through Netgalley for review purposes.
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  • Kael
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks so much to Netgally and Harlequin TEEN for providing me with an advanced e-arc 💙I highly enjoyed this. It’s diverse, heartwarming, and absolutely hilarious. I will definitely be picking up a finished physical copy.
  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    "My mom had given me all the talks. I'd just been reckless, played sperm roulette, and lost.Top of her class with monster SAT scores, Sara thought she was destined for the Ivy League. However, after a rebound-one-night-stand, she found her plans needed to be altered to accommodate her new impending bundle of joy. If you asked me what my first impression of this book was, I would immediately tell you it was funny. Sara and the other two Larsson women shared an acerbic wit, which consistently made "My mom had given me all the talks. I'd just been reckless, played sperm roulette, and lost.Top of her class with monster SAT scores, Sara thought she was destined for the Ivy League. However, after a rebound-one-night-stand, she found her plans needed to be altered to accommodate her new impending bundle of joy. If you asked me what my first impression of this book was, I would immediately tell you it was funny. Sara and the other two Larsson women shared an acerbic wit, which consistently made me chuckle. From the comebacks to the endless list of names used to refer to her unborn child, I was almost always amused. Sara's voice instantly pulled me into the story, and I enjoy accompanying her from conception to the birth of her child. I have seen people calling this a diverse Juno meets Gilmore Girls, and I say YES, this was a good way to describe the vibe, though, it was still unique in its own way. This story was very relatable to me, first as someone, who experienced an unplanned pregnancy (I was 22), and as a mother. I remember experiencing the same hopes and fears as Sara, as well as all the physical changes she went through. I will admit to you right now - I cried when Sara's child was born, because Darrows did such a great job of bringing me into the moment. Anyone who knows my reading tastes understands that I prefer my books to be on the lighter side. I was initially worried, that this would not fit the bill, as it was dealing with teen pregnancy, but this was an interesting balance of being honest about the situation, while still be low drama. Darrows gifted Sara with super supportive friends, and an incredible cadre of women to help her during and after the pregnancy. Sara also had a sweet cinnamon roll of a love interest, Leaf, who I just couldn't get enough of. He was sweet, attentive, family orientated, and an incredible cook. But let's go back to Sara's family. Her mother and mormor were both strong women, who had learned a lot via their life experiences. It was interesting that both of them had experienced their own unplanned pregnancies, and were able to share this with Sara, as she was struggling with her own choices. Yes, both were strong, fierce, independent women, but mormor was amazing! I loved that woman from the first time she threw a shoe at someone. Mormor may have come off a bit rigid, but she gave her heart and soul to her "girls", and it was the little things she did, over and over again, that really warmed my heart. Though it was easy to predict the stages of Sara's pregnancy, there was this "event", which occurred, and surprised me in a good way. I was totally ready for things to go a certain way, and then Darrows changed directions, and I approved! Overall: This was a teen pregnancy story as seen through rose-colored glasses. It was amusing and witty, while still honestly addressing real issues faced as a result of an unplanned pregnancy.
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  • Ash †Reviews of a FearStreetZombie†
    January 1, 1970
    Belly Up was one of those books that you can't help but to enjoy... While it's good, but takes no time annoying you in between. I enjoyed it immensely and it had me cracking up so much that I teared up. But there were a lot of parts that just seemed to forced. Especially the Transgender parts. I get that some books talk about it to try to bring it to light and teach you about it. Belly Up seemed to just want to cram it down your throat along with race. It was forced, I can't tell you how many ti Belly Up was one of those books that you can't help but to enjoy... While it's good, but takes no time annoying you in between. I enjoyed it immensely and it had me cracking up so much that I teared up. But there were a lot of parts that just seemed to forced. Especially the Transgender parts. I get that some books talk about it to try to bring it to light and teach you about it. Belly Up seemed to just want to cram it down your throat along with race. It was forced, I can't tell you how many times race was randomly brought it. I just didn't get the necessity of bringing it up so often. The overuse of they/them just about made me want to punch someone in the face. Sorry, but when it is said every other word - it tends to drive you insane. That being said, It really was a very fun and light hearted read if you could get beyond the sexual politics and race. Sara was a character you can't help but to love. Same with Leaf. They are just so adorable. I love the relationships everyone had in this book but there were times when I thought she was being extremely disrespectful. Couldn't help but think most of the characters were pretty bland though - in a way that they seemed to be all the same. It wasn't until the middle to end of the book that that all seemed to separate and become their own person. I can't tell you how happy I was for Sara for being one of the few teen mom's that are blessed with loving people surrounding her. I wish more mom's got to feel that love. Young and old. I would like to take this moment to say .... THERE WAS FREAKING ICP REFERENCES?! That made me feel so old. Lol I really wonder how many people will know the juggalo talk. HahaWould I recommend this book? Highly. Because like it or not, this book really is awesome and has a ton of potential. It's a great quick read.
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  • Brittany
    January 1, 1970
    My first 5-star read of the year!I stayed up way past my “bed time” to read Belly Up. The story was so honest, real, and raw. Let’s not forget hilarious. This book was filled with laugh out loud moments, the one liners and jokes had me going.There is a little bit of all types of representation in Belly Up. At first, it felt like the author was just throwing in everything she could think of, like a smorgasbord of representation, with no real reason. I looked outside that, though, because it wasn’ My first 5-star read of the year!I stayed up way past my “bed time” to read Belly Up. The story was so honest, real, and raw. Let’s not forget hilarious. This book was filled with laugh out loud moments, the one liners and jokes had me going.There is a little bit of all types of representation in Belly Up. At first, it felt like the author was just throwing in everything she could think of, like a smorgasbord of representation, with no real reason. I looked outside that, though, because it wasn’t about me . . . it’s about others seeing themselves in a character. With that said, you can find a bit of ace, trans (MTF), questioning bisexuality, demisexual, and queer in one or more of the main characters.I hated Mormor at first, but the crazy bat grew on me. I loved the support of Sara’s family. I’m reading some reviews saying this is unrealistic. In some cases, it might be. However, I think it was realistic enough. Not all families bail on their teenaged daughter/granddaughter, etc. when she becomes pregnant. It’s refreshing to see the positive, instead of all the negative.I’m indifferent with the Jack ending, but this is a personal thing of my own reasoning. I can’t say much about it without spoiling, so I’ll keep it at that.Read it! You’ll laugh, you’ll throw a shoe, you’ll cry.
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  • CloudOfThoughts_Books Keirstin
    January 1, 1970
    Belly Up by Eva Darrows is a great story with insight to a teen pregnancy. From the hard parts to the easier parts, it follows one teens journey of pregnancy with a strangers baby. New school, new house, new life. So much for senior year with her bestie. Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for an arc copy of Belly Up in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Stacie
    January 1, 1970
    I loved it! RTC!!
  • Sadie
    January 1, 1970
    This was SO WONDERFUL. I cried. It’s funny and sweet and every single character is a precious angel snowflake I would die for.
  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book.This is a very funny book, and I liked the supportive relationships in the book. Unfortunately for me, it was too political. There were times when I felt like I was being hammered with a viewpoint that could have been handled in a more subtle way. I think teens will really enjoy it though.
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  • Book Chick (Tori)
    January 1, 1970
    This one is hard for me to rate. I read it in one day, so there's that. But did I actually *like* it? No, not really. It kind of had a "Juno"-ish feel to it at the beginning. But throughout the book I almost felt like I was being scolded or lectured by a 17 year old about political correctness. And about food. Now, I'm married to a Polynesian, so I know, I KNOW how important food can be. But seriously, it got old. And I have no problem with her talking about sexuality or gender, but it almost fe This one is hard for me to rate. I read it in one day, so there's that. But did I actually *like* it? No, not really. It kind of had a "Juno"-ish feel to it at the beginning. But throughout the book I almost felt like I was being scolded or lectured by a 17 year old about political correctness. And about food. Now, I'm married to a Polynesian, so I know, I KNOW how important food can be. But seriously, it got old. And I have no problem with her talking about sexuality or gender, but it almost felt forced. Kind of like when you read a Christian novel that sticks in preachy messages at random times and it throws off the flow of the book... That's how this felt. I don't know. I mean, I don't NOT recommend the book because I'm sure a lot of people would like it. Maybe I'm too old for teen/YA fiction, because most of it is annoying to me. Maybe it's because I'm a mom of teens and that amount of teen angst and drama in my life is enough? Who knows. I did appreciate how supportive Sara's family and friends were- we need more of those types of families and friends in this world. And where do you find a Leaf?? He was awesome.Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read this ARC.
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  • Lindsay Montague
    January 1, 1970
    This started out so good and fun, but slowly declined the more I kept reading. It was almost as if chunks of the book were either written by a different person, or not edited as closely. At the end of reading, I didn’t get exactly what the point was of the book—nothing really happened. I could tell the author had a lot of great ideas scrambled all together, but nothing was fleshed out enough to carry that whole book.It could have been about the struggles of being pregnant in high school—or even This started out so good and fun, but slowly declined the more I kept reading. It was almost as if chunks of the book were either written by a different person, or not edited as closely. At the end of reading, I didn’t get exactly what the point was of the book—nothing really happened. I could tell the author had a lot of great ideas scrambled all together, but nothing was fleshed out enough to carry that whole book.It could have been about the struggles of being pregnant in high school—or even pregnancy in general. There was a lot of positive talk and representation of the LGBTQ+ community, but even that felt a little half-assed. Sara makes a remark towards the end about being a questioning bisexual it just came out of nowhere! It could have been really interesting to explore someone questioning their sexuality while young, pregnant, and falling in love with a guy. On the positive side, we get lots of talk of gender politics when it came to the baby, not wanting to assume gender until the kid could decide on their own. There was ace, trans, and queer rep, as well. One of the things that I immediately loved about the writing was the voice. It was fun and felt really authentic teen voice. However, as the story progressed, that voice sometimes tried too hard to be funny and quirky, especially when it came to Sara’s mom—she sounded more like a teenager than a mother in her late 30’s.Other things that I felt were really strong were the relationships: between friends, parents, and romantic. The three generational Larssen family was rock solid, taking on this pregnancy as a united front. The tight knit friendship between Sara and her best friend, Devi, was so strong that it transferred over to Sara’s friends at her new school. Even with her baby daddy Jack, they had a connection that clicked from the start and transformed once he popped back into her life. I actually wish he could have appeared earlier in the book so that we could see more of him being a part of pregnancy. I know that the big plot device was to have him find out so late, but once he found out he could have contributed something, and not be so passive.  There were such good intentions, it just didn't work for me. I was sent an e-arc from NetGalley in exchange for honest reviews.
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  • Sky
    January 1, 1970
    Do not let my 3/5 stars rating deter you from picking this book up, I think many others will fall deeply in love with it. The places I find minor faults in, others will find joy in. This is truly a book that should be read and talked about in the community. I hope this book reaches many hands who feel underrepresented, and then in turn share it with others in the community. I highly recommend this book to those who are desperately looking for a very diverse book, that is also trying its best to Do not let my 3/5 stars rating deter you from picking this book up, I think many others will fall deeply in love with it. The places I find minor faults in, others will find joy in. This is truly a book that should be read and talked about in the community. I hope this book reaches many hands who feel underrepresented, and then in turn share it with others in the community. I highly recommend this book to those who are desperately looking for a very diverse book, that is also trying its best to be politically correct. This book I believe will find a kinship with many people that do not feel represented in current literature. There are a plethora of characteristics that you do not see in the majority of the books you come across. Let me try to list the diversity in this book, due to how much there is I may miss a few by accident. (Don’t harp on me too much) Although I took notes while reading, I did finish this book about a month ago (life has been busy, and I wanted to make sure I wrote this specific review with care).-plus sized/curvy main character - Swedish and Spanish heritage -Romanian heritage -generations of single mothers -asexuality/gray-ace/demisexual -transgender character -questioning sexuality -lesbian and bi characters Along with a plethora of diversity, this book also covers topics like:-abortion/pro-choice/pro-life -they/them pronouns - struggles of being a white looking Hispanic -gypsy being a slur to Romanians -importance of gender neutral names -raising your child gender neutral -slut shamming -making comments about race -respecting and learning about someone else’s culture and traditions -white dominated towns -non-accepting parents -unhealthy/abusive relationships -family pressure -preferences to plus size/curvy bodies -not agreeing with your parents choices -staying/not staying with child’s fatherNow, I think this book has many great qualities..but it does have its faults in my own opinion. I think that although it covers many diverse topics, none of them were dove into with great detail due to the shear amount of topics. I think as time went on it felt like the author was trying to fit in as many things on the list of what they felt passionate about, but the novel wasn’t long enough to fit it all in. I wish that the author had picked less things to talk about, in order to better discuss and integrate them into the story naturally. The stories the author wanted to tell could be added into their other novels. Not everything had to be stuffed into one book. Many things were only mentioned once or twice in passing, and then never brought up again. The main character questioning her sexuality could have been a focal point of the story, but instead it was just randomly thrown in. I would have loved to see more of her best friends asexuality highlighted, but there was not much discussion of it at all. Some situations only seemed to be a plot point in order to show more diversity, but overall didn’t match or flow with the plot arc. Although I appreciate the diversity this book tried to showcase, I was left feeling like I wanted more information. I think this book is a great stepping stone in the community, but there is room for a more refined quality. Thank you so much to netgalley and the publisher for providing the opportunity to read this arc. As always, all thoughts are my own :)
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  • Chelsea
    January 1, 1970
    I wasn't expecting it, but this book actually grew on me a lot by the end. I'm really glad I stuck with it. 3 1/2 starsThis novel follows Swedish and Spanish teen Serendipity (aka Sara), after she and her mom move in with her grandmother and Sara discovers she is pregnant and has no way of contacting the father.This story ended up being one of the most wholesome contemporary novels I've read in a while, with a lot of lovely sentiments on family, womanhood, and gender/sexuality.It's still a bit o I wasn't expecting it, but this book actually grew on me a lot by the end. I'm really glad I stuck with it. 3 1/2 starsThis novel follows Swedish and Spanish teen Serendipity (aka Sara), after she and her mom move in with her grandmother and Sara discovers she is pregnant and has no way of contacting the father.This story ended up being one of the most wholesome contemporary novels I've read in a while, with a lot of lovely sentiments on family, womanhood, and gender/sexuality.It's still a bit of a ridiculous novel at times (it can be hard to take a story seriously with a main character who says stuff like "crapcicles"). Sara is a flawed narrator, though her flaws are often acknowledged or called out on page, so my negatives with this one aren't huge. Mostly just that the writing style overall had room for improvement.I've seen some other reviewers describe it as coming as somewhat "tumblr-y", and I do agree with that to an extent. The novel is supposed to focus on teen pregnancy, but with a trans girl, demisexual boy, and "gray-ace" best friend, there is so much focus put on acceptance of different sexualities. I agree that there were a few bits here and there that felt forced, but overall I liked reading a story that had such a focus on accepting others and their identities.What I think I liked most about this one was how pure the family relationships and female friendships were. I absolutely loved Sara's supportive family and best friend, Devi. There were so many sweet moments towards the end that almost won me over to a four star read on this one.I'm kind of surprised I had so much to say on this one, but I liked it overall and would definitely check out more from this author in the future! It's not the most polished book I've ever read, but it approached the subject of teen pregnancy in an incredibly frank and honest way, so if that's something you're interested in reading about, I think this book is worth reading.
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  • Melissa at My Chaotic Ramblings
    January 1, 1970
    *I want to preface this review by saying I have nothing against the communities mentioned in my review. I would have just preferred the story to be closer to the blurb that pulled me in.When I read the blurb for this book I was excited. As a former teen mom myself I was hoping to read a book that encompassed all the things I went through. But, that was not to be. Serendipity (Sara's) mom was pretty much completely ok with her daughter being pregnant and not knowing how to get in contact with the *I want to preface this review by saying I have nothing against the communities mentioned in my review. I would have just preferred the story to be closer to the blurb that pulled me in.When I read the blurb for this book I was excited. As a former teen mom myself I was hoping to read a book that encompassed all the things I went through. But, that was not to be. Serendipity (Sara's) mom was pretty much completely ok with her daughter being pregnant and not knowing how to get in contact with the guy she slept with while drunk. The whole book was really just a light fluffy read. No major drama, no real heartbreak or angst. It just wasn't at all believable in today's world. To me, the main focus of the book was to get the gray-ace, demisexual and trans community out there in the hands of teens. Sara kept going on about how her baby's assigned gender was female, but she would let the child decide what they wanted to be. She got a new boyfriend pretty quick after moving and of course, here comes in the demisexual Romni, Leaf who is perfectly ok with dating a pregnant girl in his last year of high school. I know that times have changed since I was young, but no boy just jumps right in without having a ton of questions and thoughts. Plus any pregnant teen is going to have a lot more to worry about, but Sara was honestly pretty nonchalant about it all. One little hiccup with some kids at her school, and then two when she finds Baby Daddy. The most real character in the whole book was Jack's dad, and that was only one short section in it. Overall, I don't feel that I read a book about teen pregnancy, but if you want a light fluffy read without and actual substance this is a good one for you.
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  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of those young adult books that I think you have to be a young adult to enjoy. There was a lot of terminology and slang that was over my head. Although, I think some of the words were Swedish so it would probably be over a lot of peoples heads. There was also a whole LGBQT aspect to the story that I wasn't expecting and seemed forced. It sort of distracted from the whole teen pregnancy storyline that would have been enough to focus on. I feel like everyone Sara met fit somewhere on t This is one of those young adult books that I think you have to be a young adult to enjoy. There was a lot of terminology and slang that was over my head. Although, I think some of the words were Swedish so it would probably be over a lot of peoples heads. There was also a whole LGBQT aspect to the story that I wasn't expecting and seemed forced. It sort of distracted from the whole teen pregnancy storyline that would have been enough to focus on. I feel like everyone Sara met fit somewhere on the rainbow spectrum. Like the author set out to check every box. I also had a hard time believing that (view spoiler)[ a teenage boy could fall in love so quickly with someone who is pregnant with another guys kid. Its just so incredibly unbelievable based on every teenage boy I've ever known. However, I would say Leaf never seemed like his age. (hide spoiler)]Finally, the book is long. Buckle yourself in for 48 chapters. I had to start skimming about halfway through. It just wasn't the book I thought it would be.***Advanced copy obtained from Harlequin Teen/Inkyard Press via Netgalley***
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