Review: The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh

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☆☆➹⁀☆ 4 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆

 

What It’s About:

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.

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My Thoughts:

The premise of The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me is sure to be highly intriguing to its intended young adult audience. While tackling the topics of safe sex and acceptance, author Hinebaugh provides young readers with an interesting coming of age story.

The story follows Evita, Theo and Lacey through the trials and tribulations of their senior year of high school. The stress of college applications and upcoming (physical) separation of friends weighs heavily on the trio. Those normal stressors take a backseat to Lacey’s latest cause. Her progressive mother has taught her all about safe-sex practices, and Lacey cannot tolerate the idea of the school preaching abstinence only.

Evita, Theo and Lacey’s friendship is quite charming. The trio is a nice sampling of typical young adults. Their closeness and the various relationship issues felt organic even if some of the dialogue didn’t. The trio’s friendship, budding love interests and musical endeavors really made the story for me. Author Hinebaugh has created a nice story through which to explore the ideas of the sacristy of your body as well as your perspectives that is sure to be appreciated by young adult readers.

I appreciated the fresh, healthy approach to the topic of teen sex. I was delighted by the open communication between the kids and their parents. However, I wasn’t thrilled with Lacey being the on-campus peer sex guru given that she has zero experience herself. The character’s zealousness felt self-righteous given her text-book informed point of view and lack of experience. However, Lacey taking a stand, finding her voice, and doling out advice will probably be a hit with teen readers, and the story format is likely to be a great way to communicate all those safe-sex messages to the intended audience of The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me. Consequently, for me this might be a three-star read, but if I were still in high school, I would give this book 4+ stars.

 

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