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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there are a lot of discussions about sex, making out, virginity, and sexual promiscuity -- a girl describes losing her virginity. The main character has a naked cell phone picture taken of her in "the moment." The novel deals with sexuality in a very open way but overall it's not unduly graphic. Teens also smoke and drink alcohol at parties. Because teens in the book come to an understanding about sex and its repercussions, parents may find that this is a good discussion book.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
One picture. One naked picture in "the moment" taken without her knowledge has plunged Audrey's life into chaos. Classmates are snickering behind her back, her too-casual relationship with Luke is over, and her relationship with her parents is strained. The help she needs to dig out of this mess comes from some rather unlikely sources.
Is it any good?
This begins like many contemporary teen novels with casual references to sexual romps and "hook-ups"; thankfully, the story evolves into something much more. Ruby rips off the false sophistication and glamour of teen sex and exposes the raw and very real emotions behind adolescent relationships. What lifts this novel above others is how Ruby tackles the "friends with benefits" phenomenon and the fairly new "naked cell phone photo" trend. Her characters are open, awkward, troubled, and honest. They evolve as they come to understand more about relationships and themselves. Readers will gladly go on this emotional journey with Audrey and her friends.
Parents may have a strong reaction to the content of this novel, but they shouldn't be too quick to pull the plug. Where many teen books often disregard parents as either meddling or self-absorbed, Audrey's parents are real. They are horrified, achingly concerned for their daughter, and struggle to find the right words and the right steps to protect her. Teens are going to love this book and it's definitely a way to kick off discussion about sexuality, responsibility, and relationships.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the trend of teen girls taking naked photos of themselves with their cell phones. Do you know of someone who has done this? Have their photos ever been passed around? How could this be damaging to the girl's future? What would you do if you received a photo like this? Families can also discuss "friends with benefits." Who benefits from relationships like this? Are these "friendships" healthy relationships? Why or why not? What did some teens come to realize about sex and its repercussions in this book? Do you agree? How often do you see teen sex on TV and in movies without any consequences or complications for the characters?