Don't Call Me Baby

Don't Call Me Baby

by Gwendolyn Heasley


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, May 30


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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062208521
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/22/2014
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.68(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Don't Call Me Baby 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
bookchickdi More than 1 year ago
Imogene's mom Meg started writing a blog about being a mom when she became pregnant with Imogene over fifteen years ago. The blog, Mommylicious, has become pretty popular, and Meg is inundated with companies sending her products- food, clothing, housewares, even sending the family on paid vacations- in exchange for reviews on their products on the blog. On one of the first pages, we read one of Mommylicious' posts, complete with links to previous posts that read 'click here'. As a blogger, that made me laugh a little with recognition. The book begins with Imogene's first day of 8th grade as she dreads her mother taking the annual 'before' picture of Imogene in bed before she rises and the 'after' picture of her dressed and ready for school. As a child, Imogene sort of enjoyed the freebies and people recognizing her at the mall. But now that she is fifteen, she finds her mother's blog too intrusive. I mean, how many teenager girls want their experience with their first periods as the subject of a blog post? Imogene's best friend Sage has the same problem. Her mom writes a blog about leading a vegan lifestyle, so Sage is forced to eat vegan, which she is no longer wishes to do. Both girls are tired of the teasing at school, and when their English teacher assigns the class a year-long project of writing a personal blog, the girls see a chance to put the shoe on the other foot and write about their mothers. The moms are not happy with this. Their blogs are their livelihood, and though they don't make a lot of money from them (they are not quite the Pioneer Woman), they see the girls' blogs as a threat to them. Imogene posts embarrassing photos of her mother and Sage writes about her forays at the mall, eating her way through the food court junk food. Imogene's grandmother, Hope a former LPGA golfer, and Imogene's father don't have any influence over Meg, so Imogene and Meg seem to be at loggerheads. (I loved Hope!) Although this book is aimed at teens, I think there is a lot here for parents. My sons were too young for me to post photos and updates of their daily life on Facebook, but it does give me pause to wonder if they were growing up today, would I invade their privacy that way? It's different posting baby pictures, but when kids are old enough to have friends and their own life, how much information is too much to share? In these days of invasive social media, this book gives you something to ponder. The characters are interesting, although I have to say I found Meg a little clueless and single-minded. How could she not see that she was embarrassing her daughter? Even when we found out why she started the blog, I still found her actions heavy-handed. Imogene was more understanding than I would have been. I think teen girls will identify with Imogene, with her desire to be her own person and not have her mother always talking about her, in her business, albeit in her case it's on social media. The lesson in the novel is that communication is key. Parents and children have to be able to talk to each other about what is important to them, and listen and be listened to. I know it gave me something to think about.
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.) 15-year-old Imogen and her best friend Sage both hate that their mothers post everything about their lives on their blogs, so when they’re asked to start their own blogs for a class project, they decide to get their own back, by posting things about their mothers that their mothers wouldn’t like. Can Imogen and Sage ever stop their mothers from blogging about them? And will their blogging plan work? This was an okay story about acceptance and compromise. Imogen was an okay character, but at times she did come across as maybe a bit petty. I got her need for privacy, but I didn’t think she really considered that she would come off looking like the evil one, not her mom. I also thought that she didn’t give enough thought to the fact that her mother used her blog as a business, and at times it was the money and sponsorship from the blog that was putting food on the table. The storyline in this was okay, but again, Imogen did come across as a little petty at times. I totally got why her mother annoyed her, she annoyed me as well, but I really did think that working things out with her mom was a better option than making petty comments on her blog. I get that she was trying to give her mother a taste of her own medicine – fair enough if you ask me, but she didn’t consider that she was actually trying to destroy her mother’s online reputation, which her mother relied on to make money! There was a smidgen of romance in this one, but not much, you couldn’t really describe this as a romance story. The ending was okay, and I liked the way things worked out, I do wish that Imogen and her mother had made it there in a slightly different fashion though. Overall; okay story about mothers, daughters, and blogging. 6.5 out of 10
book4children More than 1 year ago
Ah blogging. Gotta love it, gotta hate it. The internet has definitely changed our society, and this book is a great example of how people (not just teens) can get sucked into their virtual worlds until they are living more online than they are offline. The book deals with an over sharing mother and the complications in the family unit that come from that, but it doesn't deal with the dangers that come from over sharing (like stalkers). The book is mostly about how Imogene's mother's blog, while started for a good reason, has become a wedge driving mother and daughter apart. It's a quick read, and things move pretty fast. I wish that some parts had been more developed, but overall, it was a very cute book that's perfect for an afternoon on the beach or in the backyard. The cover: I like this cover, but it's a little deceptive. It looks like a romance novel, especially with the title being what it is. There is a tiny sprinkling of romance in the book, but it's very low key. It's mostly about Imogene and her relationships with her mom and best friend. Content: Mostly clean. There were 2 cuss words that I can remember, and Imogene wears a bikini to a pool party to try and catch the attention of the guy she likes (I have a major rant about things like that, but this book was very clean, so I'll forgo the rant). Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
quibecca More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book.  When I read the description I kind of laughed because I AM that mom.  Only, my blog  (my personal family blog) is private.  I haven't blogged on it for quite some time, but usually when I take a picture my kids say "is that going on the blog"... DUH hehe This took blogging to a whole new level.  Imogene has grown up on her moms blog.  If I was Imogene, I think I would feel quite the same way she did.  Violated.  Probably the wrong description, but that is how I felt while I was reading the book.  I felt Imogene was being extremely violated.  What teenager girl or boy would want the whole world to be able to read about every embarrassing moment you have had and so on?  None that I know of.   Imogene and Sage decide to take their school project to heart.  They decided that they would create blogs just like their moms had, and expose them while doing it.  Hoping that it would help their mothers see how inappropriate their blogs are.  Well, things unfold a very different way. I love the growth that Imogene and Sage go through in the book.  Every teenager has to find their voice at some point, and this is how they felt they could find theirs.  It didn't play out the way they planned, but ended up being a great project.  It helped them find what things are really "important" in life. I love Imogene's grandma.  She is probably my favorite character of all.  She has such a sense of humor, and can see that Imogene is struggling, and fights for her and is always on her side.  She is Imogene's best advocate.   This was a cute story.  It's a story about, growth, some revenge, teenage life, and so on.  It's just a fun read.  I told my daughter it was a little teeny bopper, but I still liked it.  It has a great message to it.
TheStephanieLoves More than 1 year ago
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 clichéd 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 Clichés 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 hyperclichés 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!).
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
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 blog.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this novel. Good for daughters and mothers. My daughter is 11 and read it in two days. 
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
I was immediately drawn to this book because of the subject matter. The concept of growing up on a blog is one that spoke to me, if only because I was appalled at how horrible that would be. I can’t imagine having all your awkward moments and firsts on the internet, thanks to your mom. It’s interesting to think that’s going to be pretty common for the generation that’s growing up right now. It seems like everyone I know who has children is posting about *everything* they do on Facebook. I’m sure those kids will appreciate that one day. I’m glad my parents are both pretty private people. I, on the other hand, put a lot out there on Facebook, Twitter, etc., but that’s my choice. But, I digress.  There were things I enjoyed about this book, and other things that kinda drove me crazy. Through everything, though, I remained interested in the story that was unfolding and I wanted to see it through to the (great) ending. The book felt a little young to me, but that’s a pitfall of being a 30-something who reads YA lit. Every now and then you just feel really old. This was one of those times.  Imogene (aka Babylicious) has grown up on her mom’s blog (aka Mommylicious) and her readers have seen pictures and read accounts of her life for years. I mean, they even chose her name via a contest on the blog. (Yeah, that’s going a little far for me, too.) Well, she’s 15 now and she’s sick and tired of it. Her relationship with her mom is strained at best, and quite frankly, I don’t blame her. I would have gone crazy if my mom behaved like that when I was that age. Truthfully, I still would to this day. There’s interested and then there’s … what her mom is doing. Imogene and her friend Sage, who also grew up in the blog spotlight of a vegan mom, have had enough. When they’re assigned to write a blog for one of their classes, they try everything they can think of to get out of it. They don’t want to live their lives online anymore. When that doesn’t work, they decide to get even. Their moms want to talk about them online? Well, two can play at that game. Their moms want to put it all out there? They’ll do the same. This tactic, as you can imagine, doesn’t go over well and there’s quite a bit of fallout. In the end, all is made right with the world. Information not known previously is revealed, understanding is met and a compromises are reached. There’s a good message about family, friendship and unplugging every once in awhile in this book.  I mentioned the book felt a bit young to me. That didn’t really affect my review, however. I took the target demographic into consideration. Don’t Call Me Baby was a quick read and one that was well-written, despite some issues I had with the author’s style. Here are the sentences that drove me the craziest:  - Sage’s holding her phone in a tight fist, and she looks pissed. - In the photo, Sage’s making a face that looks like she’s a contestant on Fear Factor and she’s being forced to eat cobra eyes. - Sage’s always been so much better at telling her mom how she feels. - Ms. Herring’s our school’s youngest teacher by about a century.  These were in the first probably 15 pages of the book (estimating here because ebooks don’t always have page numbers). I’m not entirely sure if this is grammatically incorrect or just annoying, but every time I came across one of these contractions, I wanted to scream. It IS ok to use IS. Really. Maybe that’s nitpicky but I don’t care. It was really bothersome.  All in all this was a good book. It was easy to empathize with Imogene and Sage. Their situations felt realistic for this day and age. Do I think they might have gone a little far? Perhaps. But, they had a point to make… and they suffered the consequences. Romance isn’t the focus of this story, but it does play a part. It’s a sweet, innocent first crush type of thing, too. It was cute. Would I recommend this book? Absolutely, but not to adults like myself who enjoy reading YA lit. This one is definitely better off in an upper middle grade or young adult’s hands. I think they would more easily relate to the characters, their want for privacy and the situations they find themselves in. I received a copy of this book from the author, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. Quotes are taken from the review copy and might not be in the finished version.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So how is this book