This book is just so awesome! It takes a look at what could happen when something private becomes public and humiliating, but it’s also about friendship and misunderstandings. It’s a fantastic novel, with things kicking off right from the beginning. Audrey has been “hooking up” with Luke for around two months, but she decides to end it. He’s a player, and he’s only after one thing, and Audrey’s not so sure she wants just a casual thing, so she ends it. But not until after she performs oral sex on him at a party, and someone sneaks in and takes a photo. Everything goes downhill from there. Because everything happens at the beginning, I can’t really go into the plot any more without spoiling it.
This book deals so well with its sex scenes. There are flashbacks throughout the novel to Audrey’s sexual encounters with Luke, and they are fairly graphic, but are maturely dealt with, and as it’s first person, all from Audrey’s perspective. There is a really believable scene which describes Audrey’s first encounter with Luke’s penis where she is completely curious. We also get to read about Audrey’s first time, another believable scene, which shows Luke behaving quite maturely, in my opinion.
There is also a fantastic chapter called Duck Billed Salad Server where Audrey visits a gynaecologist, which sounds like it could be a verbatim transcription of an actual gynaecologist’s consultation, which would be brilliant for any teenagers who don’t know what happens. Nothing is left out, we have the whole visit; I think it’s fantastic.
“I realise something. If every teenager had to have this exam, if guys had to have some giant duck-billed salad server shoved up their butts on a regular basis, if every high schooler had to hear the words WARTS and GENITALS and CANCER in the same freaking conversation while wearing nothing but a couple of napkins, no one would ever have sex again, and that could be the whole point.”There’s another brilliant part where Audrey discusses how you’re told to wait until you’re married, or you’re told to do everything, sexually, for guys, because that’s what they want, but:
P 167 – 168
“No one ever talks about what girls want, because we’re not supposed to want anything, not really. No one talks about how hard you have to fight yourself sometimes. No one tells you about how the want gets in your blood, eating everything in its path, how every time you here a certain name, or see a certain face, the cells divide and multiply and you are just. so. hungry.”This book does. It’s an awesome book, really brilliant, and such a emotional book. There were times when I almost cried because I just felt for Audrey so much. A brilliant book, everyone should read it! Another favourite!
As a reader: I absolutely loved this book. I found it a riveting coming-of-age story with a fascinating focus on the external influences on every girl's sense of identity.
As a parent: This is an essential book for all teenage girls who have ever judged or been judged by their peers.
As a writer: I really admired the way the sex scenes were written. They were realistic and detailed without being at all gratuitous.
Publisher: Harper Collins
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