Book: The Knocked Up Plan by Lauren Blakely
Age/Genre: Baby Daddy Romance
Preferred Reading Environment: A nice, warm BATH!!! With candles and bubbles…spoil yourself!
Reading Accoutrements: When reading pregnancy-related books, I always find that my weird cravings come out. Eat some birthday cake ice cream with a pickle for a spoon, alternate eating a green olive and then a chocolate candy, or maybe just eat an entire jar of queso with chips of your choice. You do you, boo!
Guys, I am really excited for this review! Why, you ask? Because it’s my first requested review!!! My friend Deana sent me the link for The Knocked Up Plan, by Lauren Blakely, on Goodreads and asked me to review it. If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you probably won’t be surprised to know that I actually own another Lauren Blakely book and, after reading the blurb, I figured this one was right up my ally (I mean, look at the cover). I was not disappointed.
The Knocked Up Plan is about Nicole, a “dating and mating” columnist/radio host in New York City who – surprise, surprise – wants to have a baby. She has come to the conclusion that she is immune to love (based on the idea of doctors who are immune to the diseases they treat, which is…erroneous) and will never find “the one.” So, she’s decided to give single motherhood a try. Her own mother raised Nicole and her brother single-handedly after Nicole’s father died in a cop-shooting when she was young, so she has a role-model and a lot of support from her friends and family. Now, she just has to find a donor. She’s researching sperm banks and their donors in the area when…
Enter Ryder, the male counterpart to her “mating and dating” column and radio show – and also her Ping Pong teammate. Nicole’s super-sexy coworker is bitter about love after his ex-wife’s cheating ended his marriage. He’s not looking for anything long-term, but he is interested in keeping his job. After his boss threatens him with getting fired if he doesn’t up the intimacy and decrease the “getting laid” focus of his show, Ryder is assigned a make-it-or-break-it article series: a field guide to ten dates that will have your partner locked in for life. He has to go on a bunch of interesting dates in NYC and then write about them and talk about them on his radio show. But to do that, he needs…well, a date.
The two come to an agreement: Ryder will help Nicole conceive (and then let her raise the baby however she wishes with no expectation of support or visitation) and Nicole will go on the dates with Ryder. Ryder’s bright idea – to forgo the sperm bank, save Nicole money, and get lucky in the process – becomes the chosen method for conception.
You can guess what happens next…the two go on a bunch of super cute dates together around the city, sleep together A LOT, and in general become even closer than the friends they were before this arrangement started.
As someone who doesn’t want kids, there was a lot of baby fever in this book. I learned more than I will probably ever need to about sperm banks, conception, pregnancy symptoms, and the growth of a baby in utero. On the bright side, none of the information was presented in too gory a manner, so I was able to stick with it. Most of the information was necessary to drive the plot, and who knows? Someday, some of these facts may be useful for me to know…I’m not sure when or why, but you never know!
There is, obviously, some silliness on the part of the characters – being unwilling to notice that their original course of action is no longer going to work, failing to realize that they have fallen in love, and so on. Thankfully, those parts don’t drag on for an unbearable amount of time. They also aren’t magically resolved with no real effort. Both of the characters have a great sense of humor, but they also experience some deep emotions that make the lighthearted parts seem more buoyant. Blakely struck a good balance in this book.
One of the things I enjoyed most of all was the occupation of the two characters. Both Nicole and Ryder are journalists who offer advice to their audience – both readers and listeners – about relationships and sex. Nicole’s radio show tagline is, “Sex is good, love is great, and when you bring them together they’re even better.” Instead of falling into the modern media stereotypes for these roles, Blakely actually chose to make the entire media organization that Nicole and Ryder work for take relationships and sex as two things that work together toward the ultimate goal – intimacy with a partner. This seriously could have been one of those raunchy reads where neither character really respected sex as anything more than a way to achieve mutually assured pleasure. Instead, Blakely made some really good points about intimacy in a relationship – a topic that a lot of romance novelists get wrong – and in the process, she called out American media on its lack of understanding in that same area.
It’s a really cute, funny, lighthearted read, reminiscent of Rom-Coms like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and The Back-up Plan. I’ll probably come back to it again when I’m looking for some fluff to make me smile.
What’s your favorite mood-lightening read? Share with us in the comments!