The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: January 22nd 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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Seventeen-year-old Lacey Burke is the last person on the planet who should be doling out sex advice. For starters, she’s never even kissed anyone, and she hates breaking the rules. Up until now, she’s been a straight-A music geek that no one even notices. All she cares about is jamming out with her best friends, Theo and Evita.
But then everything changes.
When Lacey sees first-hand how much damage the abstinence-only sex-ed curriculum of her school can do, she decides to take a stand and starts doling out wisdom and contraception to anyone who seeks her out in the girls’ restroom. But things with Theo become complicated quickly, and Lacey is soon not just keeping everyone else’s secrets, but hers as well.
Best friends Lacey, Theo and Evita have their year planned out- do good in school, practice their music apply to Berklee and live together in Boston jamming together with their band. However, things begin to change for Lacey. Lacey's mom was a teenage mom, now a labor and delivery nurse who has always been upfront and direct with Lacey about sex, consent, protection and staying healthy. Lacey has no experience with this herself, she has never even been kissed. But when her senior seminar class begins to preach abstinence only education and being fearful or ashamed of sex, Lacey steps up in order to make sure her classmates are safe and protected, Lacey becomes a guru for sex questions and she, Theo and Evita help pass out condoms and other forms of protection to students. The school is not appreciative of their efforts, however and suspends the trio for passing out lewd material. In between all of this, Lacey and Theo realize that they have feelings for one another and begin to navigate a sexual relationship of their own.
The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me is a wonderful, sex-positive and health conscious story that is appropriate and informational for young adults while being entertaining. I loved Lacey's character as well as her mom. Even though Lacey was inexperienced, she held a wealth of knowledge thanks to her mother's open attitude and positive conversations. Not everyone can have a mom like Lacey's though, which is why it is important for schools to teach about sexual health. The reaction from the school was very surprising to me, it seemed to me that if they could turn a blind eye to all of the pregnant girls maybe they could do the same for a girl passing out condoms. I do wish that Lacey, Evita and Theo would have worked with the adults more for their project instead of going rouge. I do like how everything panned out in the end. Another great aspect to the story was the friendship between Lacey, Theo and Evita. Talking things out with friends is another step in healthy relationships and these guys had a lot of difficult conversations. The straightforward conversations between Lacey and Theo about consent and sex are wonderful examples of how to start a sexual relationship. In reading these conversations, they did seem a little awkward and uncomfortable to me, but I also think that is the reality of the situation. Lacey and Theo's budding romance as well as their band add to the excitement of this fun and realistic young adult novel.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Olivia Hinebaugh loves all stripes of literature for children. When she isn’t writing fiction, she can be found writing freelance, making art, discovering new songs on spotify, texting her writing buddies, or folding laundry. She lives near Washington, D.C. with her spouse, three kids, a dog that looks like a coyote, and a one-eyed cat. The Birds, The Bees, And You And Me is her debut novel.
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