I picked up Famous Baby by Karen Rizzo because of the intriguing premise. Abbie, the main character, has been the inspiration and main source of content for her mom, Ruth, and her mommy blog since before she was born. There was no secret safe with Ruth, everything ended up on her blog for her millions of readers, from Abbie’s first crush to her period. Abbie grew up with a mom that shared everything with the internet and it shaped who Abbie became. So much so that when Abbie turns eighteen, she defers college for a year to travel the world with friends. But really she just flees her mom and her watchful eye, gets a low-key job and lives a normal, quiet life off the internet.
Obviously, Abbie’s absence doesn’t go well for Ruth who has no stories without Abbie. So when Ruth’s mom enters the last stages of her battle with cancer, Ruth decides to move her mom into her home and share her last days with the world. Of course, without her mom knowing her ulterior motive.
I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. I found it hard to like any of the characters, even Abbie, who I wanted to feel sorry for. I felt there was a good story to be told with these characters, but I don’t think Rizzo ever got there. It all felt superficial and fake, kind of like Ruth’s pretend-perfect life with her daughter.
This idea of bloggers sharing their kids’ lives on the internet before their children are old enough to have a choice is an interesting one to me. I get the struggle between sharing my life with children and sharing my children’s lives. I was hoping that would be explored more in the book; it always felt like it was almost there, if I just turned one more page, we’d get to the deeper stuff, the discussion about what we share and what we don’t. But it never happened.
The books ends with shared secrets and some reconciliation as it should. There are lessons learned and wrongs made sorta right. But Famous Baby by Karen Rizzo just made me ask more questions and wasn’t very enjoyable. Have you read this one? What did you think?