Ask Me How I Got Here: Christine Heppermann

Posted May 27, 2016 by Erica || 18 Comments

Ask Me How I Got Here: Christine HeppermannAsk Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann
Published by Greenwillow Books on May 3rd 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Poetry
Pages: 225
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher, Edelweiss

From the author of the acclaimed Poisoned Apples comes a novel in verse about a young woman and the aftermath of a life-altering decision. This thought-provoking and sophisticated read further confirms Christine Heppermann as an important voice in the tradition of Ellen Hopkins, Laurie Halse Anderson, and A. S. King.

Addie has always known what she was running toward. In cross-country, in life, in love. Until she and her boyfriend—her sensitive, good-guy boyfriend—are careless one night and she ends up pregnant. Addie makes the difficult choice to have an abortion. And after that—even though she knows it was the right decision for her—nothing is the same anymore. She doesn’t want anyone besides her parents and her boyfriend to know what happened; she doesn’t want to run cross-country; she can’t bring herself to be excited about anything. Until she reconnects with Juliana, a former teammate who’s going through her own dark places.

Once again, Christine Heppermann writes with an unflinching honesty and a deep sensitivity about the complexities of being a teenager, being a woman. Her free-verse poems are moving, provocative, and often full of wry humor and a sharp wit. Like Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Hopkins, Christine Heppermann is a voice to turn to for the truth of difficult subjects. Ask Me How I Got Here is a literary exploration of sexuality, religion, and self-discovery.

This book….was such a disappointment. I thought I was going to enjoy this book so much, sooo much. It sounded like it would be right up my alley. I adore poetry books, but this one just fell completely flat for me. There wasn’t a part in this book I really enjoyed. The beginning was okay. It had me intrigued, but then the story turned and I just wasn’t impressed.

I do want to say one thing though, this story had some tough issues that it had dealt with. This is something we need in YA and I enjoyed that the author brought some of these to light, but there were way too many at once. She could have focused on just one of the issues, but when she through too many into the storyline it all got quite jumbled. Not only where there too many in general, but the story was short enough as is. A book with less than 300 pages, plus told in verse makes it a quick read, then add so many different topics that just led to a mess. You can’t cover that many topics in that short of period.

I didn’t connect with any of the characters, especially the MC. She was whiny and I just didn’t enjoy her any bit. She went through such a traumatic situation and I am not saying she should not have been upset, but as the story went on she just complained about everything.

Free verse is something I adore because of the writing. It seems to always soothe me. Whether it be a hard topic or not, it has a way of just being so touching. This book didn’t do that. The writing was stiff. It wasn’t fluent or anything. I just didn’t enjoy the writing which also hindered my experience a lot.

I wish I could say a few more good things about this book, but I can’t. Though I can say many other people enjoyed this book. But, I really do think it is a hit or miss type book. There isn’t much middle ground.

About Christine Heppermann

Christine Heppermann writes fiction, poetry, and criticism. Her books include Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty (2014), City Chickens (2012), and Backyard Witch (with Ron Koertge, 2015). She currently reviews young adult books for the Chicago Tribune.

Christine grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, where she attended an all-girls Catholic high school. As an undergraduate she studied philosophy and literature at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She has a masters degree in children’s literature from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts, and an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Christine lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her two daughters, two cats, and one husband.

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18 responses to “Ask Me How I Got Here: Christine Heppermann

  1. Kim

    Oh no! I’m so glad that I didn’t want to read this because I know covering a lot of issues in a book with less than 300 pages can be a disaster! Great review, Erica!

    Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor: BLOG || VLOG

  2. I’ve heard very similar things about this book from others. I don’t think it would be for me, but that really sucks you weren’t able to enjoy this more.
    The MC sounds really annoying from your review, especially, and that’s never a good sign for me.
    Sorry this wasn’t the book for you, Erica! 🙁

  3. I’ve heard similar not-so-good things about this book from other reviews. The topic sounds interesting, but the execution seems like a mess. I hope your next read would be better!

  4. Totally agree- it seems like people either LOOOOVE it, or hate it (raises hand). I have seen 5 stars, 1 star… and not much in between. I didn’t like it for all the reasons you didn’t, so I guess we’re pretty much feeling the same thing. It was just wayyyy too much to try to shove into a very short book- made even shorter by prose- and the only part of the character we actually got to see were unappealing! So sorry that this one didn’t work out for you either!!

  5. She really was whiny!!! Gosh I disliked her sooooo much! I couldn’t deal. While the author did bring those tough issues forward, I feel like she didn’t do a good job in portraying them. Add to that all of the issues threw one without giving attention to them. Like you, I was so looking forward to it and it fel flat :/

  6. Oh no!! I’ve seen a few other reviews with similar thoughts. I planned on reading this before its release date, but just didn’t get to it. Now I’m thinking I may skip it. 🙁 Sorry you weren’t a fan! It’s always the worst when you can’t connect with the characters. I hate that!

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