Book Title:
The Other F-Word
Book Author:
Natasha Friend
Publishing Date:
March 7th, 2017
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Date Read:
March 9th, 2017
ARC from publisher - Thank you!


A fresh, humorous, and timely YA novel about two teens conceived via in vitro fertilization who go in search for answers about their donor.

Milo has two great moms, but he's never known what it's like to have a dad. When Milo's doctor suggests asking his biological father to undergo genetic testing to shed some light on Milo's extreme allergies, he realizes this is a golden opportunity to find the man he's always wondered about.

Hollis's mom Leigh hasn't been the same since her other mom, Pam, passed away seven years ago. But suddenly, Leigh seems happy—giddy, even—by the thought of reconnecting with Hollis's half-brother Milo. Hollis and Milo were conceived using the same sperm donor. They met once, years ago, before Pam died.

Now Milo has reached out to Hollis to help him find their donor. Along the way, they locate three other donor siblings, and they discover the true meaning of the other F-word: family.

My Review

I haven’t read any other books by Natasha Friend, but I have heard some amazing things about her writing and ability to weave stories that appeal to all ages.  So when I received this book for review, I was pretty excited about the chance to finally read one of her well crafted tales.

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I read this – I had never before read a book that dealt with two teenagers trying to find their sperm donor, and how it brought them together as a family, so I can certainly say that this was a completely new plot for me.  I was so excited, and the deeper I got into the story, the more I found myself enjoying it.  It was such a cleverly written book, and for the most part, the characters were so enjoyable to read, allowing me to really be able to focus on them and how they felt throughout the book.

Hollis is a fourteen year old girl who lives with her mom.  The family has never felt complete since the passing of her other mom, Pam, several years ago.  Hollis had always loved her moms, but after Pam passed away, nothing really seemed right.

Milo lives with both of his moms and has a close relationship with them – one is more laid back, while the other is definitely a helicopter parent – and with good reason.  Milo has a lot of food allergies that threaten his life, and he has had a few close calls over the years.

So how do Milo and Hollis know each other?  They both have the same sperm donor from the same clinic – and while they’ve known about each other for years (Pam set up a meeting for the kids when they were little), they haven’t seen each other in forever.

All that changes when an e-mail is sent to Pam’s e-mail address (which is still maintained because Hollis’s other mom loves her so much, despite being gone for years) from Milo – he reached out to try and contact Hollis.  Hollis responds, of course, and the two of them slowly develop a friendship.  Milo wants to try and find their donor, while Hollis doesn’t want to think that he might be a good person – she chooses to not want anything to do with him, until Milo changes her mind.

Once they start looking, they discover that they have other siblings out there, too – Abby and Noah (and his twin brother, but he doesn’t want in on any of this), and the four of them work together to try and find the may be their biological father.  At the same time, they also gain something else – friendship with each other, and family.

This book was really heartwarming – it definitely had a lot of family value in it which I absolutely loved.  Both Milo and Hollis decide that they want to find their donor, even if they can’t actually establish a relationship with him, so they find themselves working together through it all, despite living several states away.  I loved the chapters that had everyone together – they had met up at Milo’s place first, and then all of the siblings met up back at Hollis’s place toward the end of the book.

I enjoyed how the book was written in alternating viewpoints of both Milo and Hollis – it really allowed me to get a feel for who each character was, as well as what their personalities were like.  I didn’t care for Hollis’s character at all – I thought she was rude, stuck-up, and disrespectful toward her mom and pretty much everyone else.  At the same time, she’s dealing with some pretty heavy grief over Pam, so it’s to be expected that she wouldn’t be the sweetest.

Milo’s character, though, definitely was interesting.  He had a lot of different food allergies, so pretty much any meal was scary for him.  He had to learn how to deal with so many allergies, as well as still fit in as a teenager (such as going to parties, doing well in school, and trying to convince his moms that he doesn’t smoke pot).

The Other F-Word was a really interesting book with a plot that hasn’t been done a hundred times before, so like I said, if you’re looking for something different, this is a great choice.  I read the whole book in less than a day, because it was so good that I just couldn’t put it down.  The writing flows nicely to create an engaging story that you will remember for ages!

4 stars
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16 Responses to The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend

  1. Susan Dyer says:

    Awesome review-I have this one to read too and after reading your review I’m moving it up on my TBR mountain!!

    Have a great weekend!!

    • Kelly says:

      Thanks! I hope you enjoy it if you read it – it’s one of those books that I really managed to fly right though it was so good! You enjoy your weekend, too – and read something awesome!

  2. Ohhhh lovely review! I really like that plot, it sounds original and I don’t think I’ve ever read a book dealing with this kind of thing. Adding it to my TBR right now! 🙂
    Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks recently posted…Review: The Inexplicable Logic of My Life, Benjamin Alire SáenzMy Profile

    • Kelly says:

      Thank you! Glad you decided that you want to pick it up – it’s definitely both emotional and kind of light, so I think you’ll enjoy it!

  3. This book sounds like nothing I have ever read before! Such an interesting concept. Milo sounds so relatable and although his sister annoying, I am glad that you enjoyed the book. You have convinced me to add it to my TBR! Thanks for the wonderful review. 🙂
    Olivia @ The Candid Cover recently posted…ARC Review: The Really Quite Good British Cookbook: The Food We Love from 100 of Our Best Chefs, Cooks, Bakers and Local Heroes by William Sitwell (editor)My Profile

    • Kelly says:

      Thanks so much! I’m happy to hear that you added this one to your TBR! It’s such a fun and interesting book, even though Hollis was such a brat. I hope you like it when you get the chance to pick it up!

  4. What a different and unique story! I don’t think I’ve heard a story as unique and wild as this aha. I didn’t have this book on my radar until your review, so thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it. ❤

  5. Raven says:

    Fantastic review! This sounds very interesting and I’m glad you loved it! 🙂
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  6. Whoa, that’s a different sort of premise than I’m used to seeing in contemporary novels. I do like the family aspect. I’d love to see more novels explore familial dynamics. I love when dual perspectives work. Often times I read contemporary books and think having dual perspectives would help understand other characters beside the protagonist. Great review!

    • Kelly says:

      Thank you! This definitely was a lot different of a plot that I’m used to seeing, too, and it made the whole book that much more fun, I think!

  7. Cannabismo says:

    Hey Kelly, great review! Will definitely add this to my “to-read list” very very soon. The Other F Word sounds intriguing and interesting at the same time 🙂

  8. 420Sixty says:

    The other F word… great read! I highly recommend it 🙂

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