Author: Randi Reisfeld
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
Publish Date: November 1st, 2005
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction
Before heading off for college, sixteen-year-old small town girls Abby and Jamie are headed for the big cities! Shy, innocent Abby will be a nanny for a posh New York City family, while smart, no-nonsense Jamie works her nanny gig in sunny, celeb-studded L.A. Talk about culture shock. And, between the eye-popping parties, hot boys, high-maintenance kids, and a heaping of drama, the girls can barely squeeze in time for e-mail catch-ups. But their wild summers on opposite coasts will teach Abby and Jamie things they never knew about love, lust, truth, lies, themselves . . . and each other.
The recent plethora of snowstorms have given me plenty of time to read (and finally get a start on all of those books that I borrowed from people five months ago). This may or may not have been one of those books…
Oh Baby was a relatively short read – I managed to finish it in two days, although I very feasibly could have finished it in one had I not been so distracted. Sixteen-year-old best friends, Abby and Jamie, apply for summer jobs through a nanny service in order to raise money for college. They dreams of finding jobs together in New York City are quickly dashed as Jamie is sent to L.A. and Abby travels to New York. Temporarily living on opposite coasts, the girls face a variety of challenges, ranging from babysitting difficulties to boy troubles. As the summer progresses, the girls become engrossed in their respective lives and begin to drift apart. Will their relationship be repaired, or will their idea of a little summer fun backfire and destroy their friendship?
One of my favorite components of Oh Baby was the characters, particularly Jamie and Abby. Unlike many of their literary counterparts, Jamie and Abby seemed to embody realistic traits and characteristics of the average teenager in modern society. Rather than waking up as perfect, flawless goddesses who can do no wrong and have a line of boys drooling behind them, the unlikely friends have their fair share of awkward and embarrassing moments (let’s admit, we’ve all accumulated a few of these here and there). Factor in boy troubles, and Jamie and Abby could be any teenage girls plucked off the street.
I’ll be the first to admit that the romances bordered on cheesy – they were either unrealistically perfect or unbelievably flawed. I’m still wondering how some of the relationships were still in existence by the end of the book. And the remainder of the movie-esque relationships were purely depressing, coming from someone who is…currently lacking one…
Hollywood celebrities, jealousy, and teenage hormones serve as the perfect breeding ground for drama, which can be interpreted either positively or negatively depending upon the reader. Personally, I felt that Reisfeld established a perfect balance without overdoing the theatrics. It would have been rather boring without a bit of gossip, backstabbing, and deception.
While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I found a few minor faults along the way. The most prominent, likely because it was recurring, was predictability. There were very few plot twists. The author dropped too many hints regarding upcoming plot points, arranging the settings and characters a little too perfectly in a given situation. I’m definitely not a fan of overly obvious plots – I prefer more of an element of surprise. Additionally, some of the events that transpired were a bit far fetched. For example, both girls were sent to babysit celebrities’ children, not just Joe Schmoe’s rugrats down the street. Honestly, if I can get a job babysitting Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s kids that easily, sign me up! I might as well start packing my bags now.
Overall, Oh Baby was a cute, original read (and, although I hate to admit it, a bit of a chick fic). It was quite a refreshing read from all of my recent reads, which have consisted primarily of trilogies and dystopian novels. I would recommend it, particularly if you’re looking for a quick, mindless read – perhaps an addition to your summer TBR list.
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