I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The scheduled publication date for this book is May 3, 2016.
Taco's mom always said, "Today is the best day of your life, and tomorrow will be even better." That was hard to believe the day she died of cancer and when Taco's dad had to move up north for work, but he sure did believe it when Maggie Corrigan agreed to go with him to junior prom. Taco loves Maggie- even more than the tacos that earned him his nickname. And she loves him right back. Except all that love? It gets Maggie pregnant. Everyone else may be freaking out, but Taco can't wait to have a real family again. He just has to figure out what it means to be a dad and how to pass calculus. And then there's getting Maggie's parents to like him. Because it would be so much easier for them to be together if he didn't have to climb the side of the Corrigans' house to see her.
Did you ever read one of those books that just made you MAD while reading it? I'm not even talking a little mad here, I am talking full on furious for 85% of the book. Yeah, I was furious with Taco for most of the book, I swear I yelled at him a million times and then somehow I became slightly less angry with him. It was a roller coaster for sure.
Let's talk about the things in this book that had me ranting:
OMG, seriously Taco's dad was the WORST. Taco's mom had died of cancer, so his 21 year old brother was "taking care" of him (please note I use that phrase very loosely). The dad had taken a job out of town and MOVED AWAY. Yeah, the dad basically moved out and let his sons just fend for themselves. He didn't even send that much money to help. Taco's brother, Darius, was an alcoholic with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Their mom had made Darius promise to take care of Taco so he dropped out of school and got a job. He did his best, but man his alcoholism was BAD. The dad dropped in occasionally, for holidays and when his sons were in trouble. Great guy. Then when Maggie got pregnant, he was furious with Taco because he had told him not to have girls in the house. Seriously?? HE WASN'T THERE!!! He disappears and then gets pissed off when his sixteen year old son had sex in the home. What did he think would happen?? At one point, he says that he is tired of cleaning up Taco and Darius's messes. REALLY??
Given all that, I can kind of understand Taco's desperate need for a family.
Ahhhh, I HATED him for 85% of the book! I swear, the author tried to convey that he was an eternal optimist (because of what his mom said before she died), but he just came off as a clueless idiot who made AWFUL decisions. He climbed the trellis outside Maggie's house to see her ALL THE TIME. When his dad threatened him and told him never to do it again, did he listen? Nope. When they put an alarm on the trellis that scared him so badly he fell and broke his tailbone, did THAT stop him? Nope. HE FREAKING DID IT AGAIN!
And I get that teenagers can be stupid and clueless about sex, but holy crap, I couldn't take the stupidity. First, he has sex with his girlfriend all the time and no one even thinks about birth control. Then, when Maggie starts getting achy boobs and is moody, he assumes she is possessed by a ghost. Then, he starts trying to calculate her due date (without knowing anything about her cycle) and concludes she must have gotten pregnant before they had sex, so this must be a miracle baby. THEN, he asked her if it was legal to have sex with a pregnant girl. AHHHH, the stupidity DID NOT STOP.
Here's another thing: when she gets pregnant, Taco is an idiot and wants a family, which means he is happy about the baby. Like I said, I can kind of understand why he wanted a baby so badly, but his execution left something to be desired. He makes a plan to get a job, then promptly forgets about said plan and decides to join the school musical instead, which means committing himself to months of rehearsal time. Yeah, that makes sense.
Taco's eternal optimism
I swear there was something wrong with him. I get being an optimist, but he took it to extreme. Brother gets arrested for DUI and sentenced to prison? No problem. Dad makes him feel like crap? He's just having a bad day? Girlfriend is pregnant? I'll be an amazing father. I just wanted to slap him a little. He is the most delusional character that I have seen in a long time. It also drove me crazy that he never even asked Maggie what SHE wanted to do. He said they could get married and have the baby and when she said she wanted to go to college and do dance, he said, "Great. Good for you." Yeah, because you can totally do college and dance and raise a baby.
So what did I like?
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT! By the end of the book, Taco grew up and became more realistic about everything. I won't spoil the ending, but I thought everything with the baby wrapped up in a realistic way.
Would I recommend this one? NO! Even though the ending satisfied me and I may have teared up a bit, there was just too much stupidity.