The Second Virginity of Suzy Green by Sara Hantz - Suzy used to be a wild child; a rebellious girl who’d get into trouble now and again. That all changes when Rosie, Suzy’s older sister, dies and her family moves town. Now Suzy strives to be the best she can; good grades, good behaviour, and the right kind of friends. When her new friends tell her about the virginity club they belong to, Suzy decides to join to; anything to fit in. The only thing is, she’s not a virgin. But who’s going to know?
All’s fine until Ryan, Suzy’s ex, shows up, and Suzy starts panicking. What if he tells everyone her secret? What if they find out what she’s really like? What will they think?
The Second Virginity of Suzy Green is a great story of figuring out who you are, dealing with grief, and working out what doing the right thing really means. This book had me cringing several times as Suzy finds herself in some embarrassing moments, and at other times I wanted to hug her as she struggles with trying to be someone she’s not. It’s really a poignant but uplifting book about not having to be perfect or what everyone thinks you should be; that being yourself is the best person you can be.
This book is more about abstaining from sex than it is about having sex. Although I generally think abstaining until you get married is a great idea if that’s what you want to do, the virginity club in this book, “Wait for Love”, is a little on the creepy side if you ask me. The leader, Jamie, a youth worker, has its members come up on stage to confess whenever they feel like going to any level with someone, even kissing, so that the group can help support them and help them fight temptation. It just seems a little over the top if you ask me.
The story does bring up some interesting points. While “are you doing it for the right reasons?” is a question normally linked to sex, this book asks “are you NOT doing it for the right reasons?” The characters in this book seem to be not having sex because of what the leader Jamie, and all their friends, will think, no necessarily because they don’t want to themselves. Lori, a girl Suzy makes friends with, is a big supporter of the virginity club, yet even she is interested in taking things a little further, kissing at least, but doesn’t because of what Jamie says. The novel seems to be saying is asking our teens not to have sex the best way of dealing with things? When Suzy does talk about her first time, it is always clear it is because she wanted to, because she and Ryan had strong feelings for each other at the time, and there was no pressure – and Ryan was tender and careful. Possibly a better way?
This is an awesome book which tackles two problems teenagers face; working out who you are and peer pressure, and it’s a great way to get teens thinking about what the right course of action is for them.
As a reader: I found the book entertaining and moving, and I loved the romance.
As a parent: I loved the way this book was entirely non-judgmental. It's definitely something I'd want my daughter to read when she's older.
As a writer: I admired the way this book had depth, but with lots of humour and a light touch.
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