Don't Call Me Baby

Don't Call Me Baby

3.76 (1,845 ratings by Goodreads)
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Perfect for fans of Jennifer E. Smith and Huntley Fitzpatrick, Don't Call Me Baby is a sharply observed and charming story about mothers and daughters, best friends and first crushes, and our online selves and the truth you can only see in real life. All her life, Imogene has been known as the girl on that blog. Imogene's mother has been writing an incredibly embarrassing, and incredibly popular, blog about her since before she was born. The thing is, Imogene is fifteen now, and her mother is still blogging about her. In gruesome detail. When a mandatory school project compels Imogene to start her own blog, Imogene is reluctant to expose even more of her life online ...until she realizes that the project is the opportunity she's been waiting for to define herself for the first time.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 135 x 203 x 17mm | 240g
  • HarperTeen
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0062208527
  • 9780062208521
  • 743,309

Back cover copy

All my life, I've been known as the girl on that blog.

Do you know what it's like for everyone to think they know you because of what they read on some stupid website? My mother has been writing an incredibly popular, and incredibly embarrassing, blog about me since before I was born. The thing is, I'm fifteen now, and she is still blogging about me. In gruesome detail.

You can read my life as my mom tells it on But this story is my actual life and about what happened when my BFF Sage and I decided to tell the real truth about our lives under a virtual microscope. Thanks for reading. . . . Just don't call me Babylicious.
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Review quote

"A pitch-perfect comedy that's also full of heart. You will LOL." -- Lauren Morrill, author of Meant To Be and Being Sloane Jacobs "Witty ... This surprisingly poignant comedy about teen-parent communication has enough bite to pique the interest of any teenager having trouble interacting meaningfully with her parents." -- Kirkus Reviews "There is plenty of humor and heart to be found as Imogene navigates the peaks and pitfalls of ninth grade and tries, for the first time, to 'narrate her own life.'" -- School Library Journal "With humorous, clear-eyed prose, Heasley looks at how parents and teens interpret one another's motives and actions, and presents varying viewpoints about the Internet and personal privacy. Without preaching, she challenges her characters and readers to ask how much is too much." -- ALA Booklist
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About Gwendolyn Heasley

Gwendolyn Heasley is a graduate of Davidson College and earned master's degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia and the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Gwendolyn lives in Naples, Florida, the setting of Don't Call Me Baby, but still misses New York City. She is also the author of two other novels for teens, Where I Belong and A Long Way from You, and a digital original novella, The Art of Goodbye.
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Rating details

1,845 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 36% (662)
4 23% (420)
3 27% (498)
2 10% (193)
1 4% (72)

Our customer reviews

The premise for Don't Call Me Baby was rather interesting and since I'm a blogger myself, I wanted to see how it all worked out in a novel. I wanted something to be able to relate to especially since I knew what blogging was all about. Instead, I got a story about a mother daughter relationship where the teenager in question starts acting like a brat and basically attacks her mom on the internet for the whole world to see. What was supposed to be a heart warming story, turned out to be a daily innuendo of whining and daily quips about a mom who loves her daughter so much that she blogs about her every day. I knew right off the bat that this would be one of those delayed epiphany type of books where the main character finally realizes what they've been doing wrong, and will accept that they didn't realize how grateful and appreciative they would be in the end. Imogene had all the necessary components of a teenager, but in a way she felt very juvenile. Her thoughts merely consisted of ways to get back at her mother. I thought that this wasn't the best case since most teens also believe in other things, but her obsession with her mom to get her to stop invading her privacy was lack luster. If she really wanted her to stop, she would have said her little heart-to-heart in the first place. I thought it was also a little too long since the dance would have been a good climatic ending, but it kept going and I felt it wasn't needed. Imogene's mom didn't even sound like a mother. Her posts were full of plugs about her sponsors and hardly anything about her daily life and quips. She was super controlling and I couldn't believe the way she would speak to her daughter, her husband and even her mom. I pretty much disliked her right from the start. The bright spot of the entire novel was Grandma Hope. Now most of my quotes are from her and I just found her light-hearted and sweet. Overall, I wouldn't recommend this one too much. If you do like your contemporaries with a mother who is crazy controlling and a main character who doesn't even know how or what she's doing, then go for more
by Giselle SM
In an age of expanding technology and the inclination to go public with every single detail of our lives, it's no secret that bloggers and blog followers rule the internet (I mean, hello? Who's writing and reading this right now?). But have we ever stopped to think about how the internet is ruling us? Don't Call Me Baby raises an issue in social media through the exasperated perspective of the daughter of a prolific mommy blogger. Labeled "Babylicious" since before she was even born, Imogene is fed up with 14 years of her life revolving around her mom's blog. When the opportunity to give her mother a taste of her own medicine arises, she takes it. Her best friend (also a big-time blogger's daughter) becomes her partner-in-crime, and both girls are determined to show their moms what it really feels like to be exposed to the public 24/7. Imogene is in ninth grade, but not yet in high school, so I would avoid categorizing this book into the Young Adult genre. Its tone and content make it seem very much more Middle Grade, and I guess that's one of the first things that irked me. Imogene seems extremely immature, even though she claims to be all-knowing. She's just a difficult character to like overall: not humorous, not humble, not particularly strong, not clever. Since she narrates the story first-person, it was hard for me not to be annoyed by it. There are other elements that make this book seem more likely appropriate for a younger, simpler audience as well, including the linear, predictable storyline, the static schoolgirl crush that attempts to incorporate a flavor of bland "romance," and the exaggeratedly clich�??�?�©d characters, e.g. the stubborn, loyal best friend, the kind dad, the adorable crush, the awesome teacher... it was like Gwendolyn Heasley took a "Character Clich�??�?�©s in Children's Fiction" checklist and ticked each one off one by one. Everything is too cut-and-dried, rather than realistic, so I just couldn't get that into the story. I appreciate the contemporary significance and the scattered bits of internet humor�?�¢??I have to say, how many novels have you read about blogging?�?�¢??and Heasley's writing style is clear enough, but Don't Call Me Baby failed to really engage or impress me. Pros: Easy to read // Tackles an underrated but prevalent issue today through the format of a children's novel // Sweet sentiments on family, friends, and identity // Might be popular among middle grade readers Cons: Not really YA, more middle grade // Mommylicious is ridiculous and over the top // Unrealistic // Imogene is really childish and annoying // Formulaic secondary characters Verdict: Both a modern parody of the blogging life and a snapshot of one bitter daughter's attempt to get her mother's fickle attention, Don't Call Me Baby is a light middle grade novel that contains amplified teenage angst and some deeper views about relationships and realizing that the world does not revolve just around ourselves. While I did find Imogene to be egocentric and irritating, and the story to be rather unexciting, this is a swift, mindless read that deals with an aspect of the digital age that I do find important. Mostly, though, I cringed at some hyperclich�??�?�©s and the it-all-works-out-in-the-end! attitude; Gwendolyn Heasley's newest novel is too fluffy, too even, too square. It's not a bad read necessarily, but it just didn't awe me, didn't make me bleed. Rating: 5 out of 10 hearts (3 stars): Doesn't particularly light any of my fires; I feel indifferent about this book. Source: Complimentary copy provided by publicist in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Little Bird Publicity!).show more
by Karielle
I wanted to read Don't Call Me Baby because I liked the premise of being in the proverbial spotlight for her whole life and then her struggle to find the balance between letting her mom do her thing and having her own life. I liked Imogene's voice. She seemed like a person that I could talk to and that I would like in real life. She respects her mom and that she gets her affirmation and has based a lot of her personality and identity through the blog and she doesn't want to disappoint her by asking for more privacy. But she is embarrassed that others, especially people that are actually in her whole life sees this image of her and her embarrassing moments and every detail of her life. I loved the presents and themes of family and friendship in this one. Although Imogene feels smothered and overshadowed, and misunderstood because of how she is portrayed on the blog, you can still tell that her mom loves her. Understands her? No way, but she cares. Part of Imogene's growth was learning to speak her feelings instead of seething silently or being passive aggressive--both methods we see in this one for how she copes. Her plans to get back at her mom and open her eyes evolves in this one, and it causes some problems with her and her best friend Sage, who understands what Imogene is going through because her mom is also a blogger, a health food blog, and she forces her views and food on Sage. They bond and have been close friends for years, and I loved their easy conversation, and the light feel that there is between two teens who are so close for some time. We see the friendship tested in this one, and it is hard to read, but I did like the changes and epiphanies it caused the girls to have. Imogene is also close with her golfing Grandma who lives with them. She is a smart lady and it is hard to see her torn between her daughter and granddaughter and helping them to see the other point of view while still affirming and listening to each's side. She is a cool old lady and the bond reminds me of my late grandmother in some ways. The romance was fun and light. She'd had a crush on him for a while from afar, but they are finally in some of the same places at the same time. It is the awkward first real conversations and getting below the surface level. I liked how he was understanding but also wise and gives advice and insights without being too pushy or making her feel bad. He has a whole different growing up existance and can see how Imogene could feel misunderstood and written about too much, having no privacy, but he also sees the positives-- that she pays attention to the details of Imogene's life and that is her way of being involved. Part of the story is told in blog posts, and while I normally don't like anything except narrative, this worked for me, and it came from both Imogene's mom, Imogene herself, and from Sage. They give a new insight into the characters and it flowed well. The story did seem to change abruptly about fifty percent. I think that the transition and details of what brought Imogene to make such a turn in her tone and objectives needed a bit more time, but I still like the direction that the story went. I liked the story as a whole a lot, but I didn't rate any higher because I don't think it is a memorable enough story to stick with me. I think it is fun and great while reading though and still recommend. It wrapped up well and was a fun read overall. It was pretty fast paced and character driven story. Bottom Line: Fun story about a girl discovering her own identity and letting others see who she is outside of her mom's more
by Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
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