Breaking up is hard, y’all.
So, turns out that getting engaged on your 17th birthday right before you give birth is not the happy ending that so many dumb tweens watching 16 & Pregnant think it is. Maci gave it the old college try, but turns out that spending your life with a monosyllabic man-child who has no interest in being a “teen dad” is not really good for anyone. Even lil Bentley. Maci, relationship troubs aside, loved being a mom and felt like she had really good instincts right from the jump and didn’t need Rhiiiine’s bullshit anyway.
Even though being a teen mom is really hard, Maci acknowledges repeatedly that she actually had really good circumstances to deal with becoming a parent so young. Her parents and Rhiiiine’s were young and willing to help as much as possible, which gave her breaks here and there that a lot of single moms never get. However, Maci was determined to do it on her own and establish herself for Bentley. During this time, she was filming Teen Mom, but she doesn’t mention that too often. Maci wasn’t looking for a new relationship, but she found one anyway in her old friend, Kyle, a sort of lunkhead Dauber-type that looks exactly like Landry Clark from Friday Night Lights.
So, Maci goes through her relationship with Kyle, and it’s all very teenager-y except there is a kid in the picture and they move in together. Seriously, because Maci never mentions the Teen Mom or MTV aspect of her life, she sounds like she is literally reading from her high school journals. “Then Kyyyyyle moved here and things were good and then things were bad, well not too bad but not too good either.” It’s like listening to a friend drone on about people you don’t know personally. If the story is interesting, the subjects don’t matter. Anyway, Kyle and Maci buy a house together and she is ready for a ring, y’all! But Kyle is skerrrrred.
Well, as all true love stories go, Maci eventually discovers that Kyle has been unfaithful when she accidentally sees some risqué Facebook messages. It’s like Pride & Prejudice: Chattanooga! So they break up and Landry is out of the picture. Have I mentioned that Maci peppers the beginning of each chapter with her own poetry? At first I thought it was song lyrics of some redneck band I have never heard of (I am not a “country and western” [as my dad calls it] fan), but there is no appropriation, so I think they are hers. They are pretty decent in a Vada Sultenfuss sort of way.
The next part of the book really just makes you sad for Bentley. For the majority of the book, Maci does a really good job of being pretty diplomatic about what a piece of shit Rhiiiine was and is. I figured it was because Bentley will one day read this and she was trying to protect him. However, she finally goes all in and basically says that Rhiiiine has little to no involvement with his son. His parents are the ones taking care of Bentley (I can’t type that without hearing Maci pronounce her son’s name- Beeeent-leigh) and Rhiiine can’t even show up for one of his baseball games (Bentley is so old now, y’all, like in first grade or some shit). Maci shows some legit insight into the fact that although they are reality “stars,” and the dramz is good for television, Rhiiiine will always be Bentley’s dad and having strangers rush up to Maci at her local Loaf & Jug to say that Rhiiine is a fucking asshole in front of his son isn’t helping anything. There is no resolution here, just a calm recollection of a shitty father.
Don’t fret, y’all- Maci did eventually meet the man of her dreams. Taylor was a friend of a friend that lived in Texas and they just clicked right away. Even though her baggage with Rhiiiine and Kyyyyle scared her, but Maci decided to go for it any way. Maci finds out she has PCOS and little chance of having another baby, but Taylor sticks by her side and they are eventually surprised by another pregnancy (and another, if I am not mistaken? After this book came out). This whole thing is sort of a shoulder shrugger- I guess if you are a BIG TEEN MOM FAN, Maci is definitely your best bet.