Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Book Review: Anything You Want by Geoff Herbach (2016)

In Geoff Herbach's Anything You Want, a high school junior named Taco falls completely head over heels in love with Maggie Corrigan, and the two have sex. Though neither of them considers the very real consequences of their actions, Maggie still becomes pregnant, and their carefree connection to one another suddenly becomes very complicated. Taco is thrilled at the prospect of parenthood, but his mom is dead, his dad is frequently on the road, driving a truck for work, and his older brother really just needs Taco to stay out of trouble. Maggie isn't sure at all that she wants to be a mom, and her parents are definitely sure they want Taco out of her life. In the end, regardless of whether they raise the baby themselves or give it up for adoption, both Taco and Maggie will have a lot of growing up to do.

This is not a book I would normally read, mostly because I don't think adults should read about teenage sex for their own entertainment, but I loved the author's Stupid Fast books and Fat Boy vs. the Cheerleaders (now called Gabe Johnson Takes Over) and could not pass up the opportunity to enjoy more of his writing. Thankfully, this book is pretty light on the sex scenes and focuses more on the problems Taco must solve before he can even consider taking on parenthood. The book also spoke to several sides of my own personality as a reader. As a Catholic, I appreciated that Taco never thought of the baby as anything other than a human life, and that this was not a book about abortion. As a librarian, I loved that Taco is a reader, and that he refers to the books he is reading throughout the story. And as a mom, I couldn't help but feel emotional at the ending. I was caught off-guard when I became choked up, but it was a nice surprise.

Anything You Want reminded me a lot of Tales of the Madman Underground, which is definitely my favorite YA novel of the last ten years. Though it's definitely a book for older teens, Anything You Want will be a satisfying read for those prepared for the mature content, and a new favorite for Herbach fans.

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