No More Sad Goodbyes by Marilyn Reynolds

NoMoreSadGoodbyesCoverMorning Glory Press, 2007. ISBN: 1932538712

In this rather melodramatic book, Autumn gets pregnant the first time she has sex–with a childhood friend who she’s not in love with, and who her best friend, Danni has a major crush on. She plans on having an abortion, but when her father and grandmother get killed in an automobile accident she goes into a kind of fog, and by the time she’s functioning again, it’s too late for an abortion, all of which puts her college plans, academic or athletic, on hold.

Meanwhile, she’s been living at Danni’s house, but Danni’s very religious and self-righteous mother takes her to the county home when she realizes Autumn is pregnant, saying that she will be a bad influence on her younger daughter, and will ruin Danni’s reputation.

The county home is a real eye-opener for middle-class Autumn, but she does make one friend there, and learns to hold her own with her hostile roommate.

One day she runs away and contacts her high school volleyball coach, Nikki, who agrees to take her in for one night. While there, Autumn learns that Nikki and her partner, Peggy have been hoping to adopt a child, and decides that she wants to give her baby to them. The rest of the story deals with how that will come about, and with Autumn’s decisions about how much contact she’d like to have with her daughter.

Autumn makes some very adult decisions about her future without the support of a counselor, and during a time of great trauma–and that seems like the one big flaw to the book. At no time does anyone offer her any adoption counseling. Instead, Nikki and Peggy’s adoption agent gives her a bunch of forms and leaves her to fill them out, which she does under some pressure from Peggy. In the hospital, after her child is born the adoption agent shows up to have her sign the final papers, and Autumn makes her go away while she makes some changes to the plan in terms of wanting more pictures and more contact.

Teens will enjoy the story and look beyond the melodramatic aspects and flaws, and will hopefully get the pointed message that the author is making about teen pregnancy and responsibility.

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Filed under ** Low recommend, 2000s

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