Plan A

Random/Labyrinth Road. Oct. 2023. 416p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593485545.
Gr 9 Up–Sixteen-year-old Ivy DeVries has a plan. She is Assistant Manager of Euwing’s Drugs, gets good grades, knows where she will go to college, and has money saved up so one day she can leave her tiny town of Paris, TX. But she also has a problem. She is exactly six weeks and one day pregnant—and abortions after six weeks are illegal in Texas. After talking with her mom, they decide that Ivy and her boyfriend, Lorenzo, will go on a road trip to visit Ivy’s family in Oregon, where she will be able to get an abortion. The trip is messy and complicated—they get on each other’s nerves; Lorenzo’s dad tracks them down and tries to stop them. As they travel across the country and stay with relatives and family friends, women start opening up to Ivy about their own experiences with abortion. While Ivy never wavers in her certainty that an abortion is the right choice for her, the community that is created through the sharing of stories helps illustrate just how common abortion is (and always has been). Whenever a plot point strains credulity, Caletti cleverly breaks the fourth wall to address it head-on. But what really makes this story shine are the main characters. They are relatable and multifaceted, and the ways in which they love and support one another other feels deep and meaningful. Characters default to white, though the race of Lorenzo, who has the surname Bastimentos (Bastimentos is an island in Panama), is not clear.
VERDICT An accessible, powerful portrayal of the importance of choice. A must-read.

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