Anything You Want

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5.0
 
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Anything You Want
Author(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
May 03, 2016
ISBN
978-1402291449
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Taco's mom always said, "Today is the best day of your life, and tomorrow will be even better." That was hard to believe the day she died of cancer and when Taco's dad had to move up north for work, but he sure did believe it when Maggie Corrigan agreed to go with him to junior prom. Taco loves Maggie-even more than the tacos that earned him his nickname. And she loves him right back. Except, all that love? It gets Maggie pregnant. Everyone else may be freaking out, but Taco can't wait to have a real family again. He just has to figure out what it means to be dad and how to pass calculus. And then there's getting Maggie's parents to like him. Because it's would be so much easier for them to be together if he didn't have to climb the side of the Corrigan's house to see her...

Editor reviews

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Humorous but realistic look at teen pregnancy
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Taco is an exuberant high school junior who is addicted to Maggie, a wild cheerleader whom he is dating. Her parents are less than thrilled about their relationship, which explains why he tries to climb in through her bedroom window. They are even less thrilled when he falls and breaks his coccyx. This sidelines his football career and causes him to miss some school, but Maggie's guilt ridden parents ease up their restrictions, and Maggie spends more time at Taco's house. His father has moved away for work after Taco's mother's death, and his older brother Darius spends his time drinking or working, so the two use their lack of supervision to decide to "do it". Repeatedly. Eventually, Maggie becomes pregnant, and Taco is both thrilled and terrified. He is an eternal optimist, so despite his problems, he makes plans to marry Maggie and raise their child. His problems are legion-- in order to pay off his fine for climbing Maggie's house and disturbing the peace, he is "volunteering" for Nussbaum, a local lawyer. He's also trying to keep good grades and be in the school play, but also takes a night shift job in the hospital to earn money. Maggie's behavior is erratic, Darius starts to drink even more heavily, their father isn't sending money, and Taco's world comes crashing down around him. Luckily, support comes from an unexpected source, and Taco's optimism is reaffirmed as he is able to move forward.
Good Points
This is a frenetic, roller coaster ride of a book, filled with the misguided energy that only the young seem to have. Herbach is a master of the teen male voice, and Taco's personality jumps off the pages. Maggie's scattered reaction to her pregnancy, as well as her interactions with her angry but concerned parents, is also pitch perfect. The father is conspicuously absent and reticent when presence, and the adults in Taco's life are all baffled by his behavior but supportive when they figure out its causes.

It seems hard to imagine that a teenager today would be as clueless about birth control as Taco is, but since there are still unplanned pregnancies, this must have some shred of truth in it. The best part about this book was Taco's relentless optimism. Without it, this would have been just another depressing book about a boy dealing with death, abandonment, pregnancy, drinking and all the other sad issues, but Taco's mother imbued him with a spirit that made him able to say, even on the worst days "Today is the best day of my life, and tomorrow will be even better."
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