Review: Dear Nobody by Berlie Doherty – Penguin Originals

*Please note: I received this book gratis in order to provide a review. This review is my honest opinion and is unaffected by the receipt of this for free.*



Dear Nobody is the story of Helen, Chris and Nobody, their unborn baby. Still both in college with bright lives ahead, the last thing Helen and Chris expected after losing their virginity would be that Helen would fall pregnant. Dear Nobody tells the story from both perspectives, through Helen’s letters to their unborn child who are read by Chris including his point of view throughout.


This is a powerfully emotive narrative told from two perspectives of panic, love and fear. Two young teenagers struggling to live up to the fact that they have to grow up very quickly. Quicker than they can handle.

Firstly I’d like to consider the fact that this book was originally published in 1991 and is fifteen year old. Having read this book this year, it is evident of just how timeless and important this kind of narrative is. Teenage pregnancy has almost halved in the past decade but this doesn’t mean the need for a book that can evoke the trials and tribulations of such an emotions nine months is really necessary.

One thing that this book looks into in depth is how the relationships of Helen and Chris with their parents really affects their own relationship. Helen struggles to talk to her mother about her pregnancy and is almost coerced into an abortion by her, while her father doesn’t have a lot to say about it all. Whereas Chris’s mother abandoned him at a young age and he and his younger brother were brought up by their distraught father, lost without the love of his life. All of these interactions amount to the way Helen and Chris act around each other and on the topic of Nobody.

Having, very deservedly, won the Carnegie Medal in 1991 this book is a must read for any lover of UKYA and is now part of the Penguin Originals series. I felt sorry for Helen and Chris and simultaneously, I empathised with each of them separately, probably more Helen because of the two, I would be Helen in that kind of situation, but I can completely appreciate the difficulty of the decisions Chris had to make.

Keep your eyes peeled to see my First Impressions of the series and also a review of The Outsiders by S E Hinton.

Have you read Dear Nobody? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below or on twitter @HowlingReviews.

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