I shouldn't be too irritated. After all, the word "True" is in quotes on the cover and on the publication data page the author does admit that "many facts and events are generalized and details altered." But I was. The book just didn't ring true. Too many awful things happen to this girl and yet she remains ultra-sweet and upbeat throughout. That alone would be swallow-able but she has some kind of split personality going on: she is constantly a victim, oblivious and naive, but then she suddenly stands up for herself and becomes really strong and kick-ass until she suddenly is taken by yet another loser user. She never sees anything coming, she never does anything wrong, she never makes real mistakes other than being too trusting. Her baby is, of course, the product of a rape. Yet people tell her she made her own bed so she has to lie in it. That just doesn't make a lot of sense. (It doesn't appear to be ultra-conservative religious folks here who think rape is the womans's fault. no, it feels more like she got herself pregnant by the usual means.) She also is hit only once by her boyfriend who she's lived with awhile, it's out of the blue and he breaks her nose and does a bunch of other damage. She immediately leaves him. Totally out of the blue? She didn't see any anger issues before then? No warning signs that he was abusive? Another unlikely bit: she had been preparing for college all through high school until she got pregnant but she had never heard of financial aid?
But I have to take it in context: this book was designed to show teenage moms that they have options, they can still go to school and graduate, they can go to college, they can get it paid for. Excellent idea, a graphic book is a great way to do that. But I question how much most teenage moms can relate to her story: she's so freaking perfect and brave all the time, she never did anything wrong or made any mistakes to get to this place, I wonder how that makes girls feel about themselves? Will a teenage mom think, "I never planned to go to college, I slept around a lot and did drugs and stayed with my abusive boyfriend, do I deserve an education? I didn't like school when I was younger, I didn't do well, am I smart enough?"
I don't know. But she won awards for her efforts. She can draw, too, and even the boxes around the scenes are decorative and pretty. So although I'm on the 2.5 star borderline, I'm rounding up to three for effort and because it was pretty.