Thea Galehouse has always known how to take care of herself. With a flighty club-owner mom and a standoffish, recovering-alcoholic dad, Thea has made her own way in her hometown of New York, attending the prestigious and competitive Stuyvesant High School. But one chat with Will, a handsome and witty senior, and she’s a goner—completely hooked on him and unable to concentrate on anything else.
Always worried that she loves Will more than he loves her, Thea is pleasantly surprised when their romance weathers his move to college and Will goes out of his way to involve her in his life. But then, Thea misses a period. And that starts Thea and Will on a wild ride that neither of them could have possibly prepared for. When they decide to keep the baby, their concerned parents chip in what they can to keep Will in school and give both teenagers a comfortable place to raise their child. But when a freak accident leaves Thea shaken and threatens to upend their little family altogether, Thea is forced to turn to the last place she would have chosen for comfort: her stiff, uncompromising father.
Hooked is a strange book – the synopsis hinted at a kind of epic romance and relationship between Thea and Will, and is one of the reasons why I picked it up in the first place. Coupled with the hook of teen pregnancy, I was ready to completely lose myself in it.
However, the relationship is totally devoid of any real romantic, or even other, kind of connection between Thea and Will. It felt really awkward – they meet, get together, Thea finds out she is pregnant and after deciding to keep the baby, they play at happy families. I also never felt like I really got to know the characters – they were pretty bland and unmemorable, apart from their bad points.
Will has very little loyalty or bond towards Thea or the baby. Obviously having a child was not yet in his life plan, but he pretty much uses any excuse to be negative and bordering on negligent towards both of them. He blames Thea for every little thing that goes wrong, and in fact when something does go quite terribly wrong he immediately turns on her. And yes, perhaps this is a realistic reaction from a character who has been forced into something by circumstance, but I just wanted him to man up and take some responsibility.
I was hopeful that Thea’s family dynamic would instead be the part of the plot that gripped and moved me, but despite the fact her parents are dysfunctional, it all felt a little over-blown and hyped up unnecessarily – sure, Thea’s father was a difficult character, but it’s not like there was a huge, intense blow-out between them, and he stepped in to rescue her without much drama at all.
Overall, Hooked was a disappointment for me – it felt like the characters were just going through the motions, there was very little emotion or drama and both Thea and Will were actually very supported, both financially and emotionally by their families – just not by each other.
The idea of Hooked was great, and had so much potential, but the characters and the lack of sense of realism really underwhelmed me. It’s like the author was continually hinting at something that could have been, but never really was.