Thursday 30 July 2009


Further Reading

Sex in Teen Lit Month is now drawing to a close, but the books I read for this month aren’t the only YA novels out there that focus on sex. Here is a list of other books that deal with the subject you may wish to give a read.

Cycler by Lauren McLaughlin

As far as anyone at her high school knows, Jill McTeague is an average smart girl trying to get her dream date to ask her to the prom.What no one knows, except for Jill’s mom and dad, is that for the four days Jill is out of school each month, she is not Jill at all. She is Jack, a genuine boy—complete with all the parts. Jack lives his four days per month in the solitude of Jill’s room. But his personality has been building since the cycling began. He is less and less content with his confinement and his cycles are becoming more frequent. Now Jill’s question about the prom isn’t who she'll go with, but who she'll be when the big night arrives.

Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky

Before this all happened, the closest I'd ever come to getting physical with a guy was playing the board game Operation. Okay, so maybe that sounds pathetic, but it's not like there were any guys at my high school who I cared to share more than three words with, let alone my body. Then I met Wes, a track star senior from across town. Maybe it was his soulful blue eyes, or maybe my hormones just started raging. Either way, I was hooked. And after a while, he was too. I couldn't believe how intense my feelings became, or the fact that I was seeing—and touching—parts of the body I'd only read about in my Gray's Anatomy textbook. You could say Wes and I experienced a lot of firsts together that spring. It was scary. It was fun. It was love. And then came the fall.

Let’s Get Lost by Sarra Manning

Some girls are born to be bad...Isabel is one of them. Her friends are terrified of her, her teachers can't get through to her...her family doesn't understand her. And that's just the way she likes it. See, when no one can get near you, no one will know what keeps you awake at night, what you're afraid of, what has broken your heart...But then Isabel meets the enigmatic Smith, who can see right through her act. Bit by bit he chips away at her armour, and though she fights hard to keep hold of her cool, and her secrets, Isabel's falling for him, and coming apart at the seams when she does...A poignant, sometimes dark, and utterly heart-breaking novel, told with all the author's trademark wit and sharp observation...

The Goddess Society by Kelly McKain

Jen, Shelley and Lia are best friends and determined to lose their virginity ...and soon. But these girls want their first time to be perfect. So they make a pact; strictly no losing it in your mother's car leaving footprints on the windscreen, and only in approved sexy underwear (no big grey knickers allowed!). The Goddess Society is born...Unfortunately not everything goes to plan for the goddesses. Who'd have thought losing your virginity would be this tricky? A sexy, funny and heartwarming story about love, lust and friendship.

The Lost Goddess by Kelly McKain – Sequel to The Goddess Society

A funny and heartwarming novel from an up and coming new author... Three best friends cope with first love, first sex and lots of confusion along the way. Shelley's modelling career is taking off and she's just moved in with her boyfriend - a huge step, but is she ready for it? Meanwhile, Lia can't understand why her boyfriend is reluctant to jump into bed with her and Jen wonders if she will ever find someone to fall in love with...

Diving In by Kate Cann

Coll thinks the boy she sees swimming every Thursday night is completely gorgeous - long and lean, powerful and strong. He becomes the fantasy that takes her out of her ordinary day-to-day existence. And then he asks her out, and the dream becomes reality. Art is strong and powerful, and he's also quite pushy. Just what is Coll getting into?

From the Author (from Amazon UK):
I was fed up with teenage books treating sex and relationships in only 2 ways:

1) Doomy, gloomy stuff about unwanted pregnancy, rape, abuse

2) Hopelessly fake romantic fluffy stuff with impossible characters

I wanted to write something realistic about the power of falling in love and sex - and I wanted the final message to be a positive one! Coll is a strong, funny, independent heroine who has to deal with being poleaxed by Art, the object of her passion. She's crazy about him but she's not about to forget everything she is just to win his approval and keep him. People either love Art or hate him. I've got a very soft spot for him and I think it's entirely believable that Coll falls for him as hard as she does! To find out whether they make it together or not, read In the Deep End!

Six Steps to a Girl

Luke spots Eve at his dad's funeral. She's hot - and she's the perfect distraction from his messed up family life. There's only one problem - she's got a boyfriend. Still, Luke's not going to give up that easily...When he meets Ryan at a party and hears about 'the Six Steps method' to guarantee success with any girl, Luke determines to put it to the test. Step by step, he begins to get closer to Eve - but one step forward seems to mean two steps back, and when he's hospitalised by the jealous boyfriend, he wonders if any girl - even one as gorgeous as Eve - is really worth it...

Pure by Terra Elan McVoy

Tabitha and her four best friends all wear purity rings, symbols of the virginity-until-marriage pledge they made years ago. Now Tab is fifteen, and her ring has come to mean so much more. It's a symbol of who she is and what she believes -- a reminder of her promises to herself, and her bond to her friends.

But when Tab meets a boy whose kisses make her knees go weak, everything suddenly seems a lot more complicated. Tab's best friend, Morgan, is far from supportive, and for the first time, Tabitha is forced to keep secrets from the one person with whom she's always shared everything. When one of those secrets breaks to the surface, Tab finds herself at the center of an unthinkable betrayal that splits her friends apart. As Tab's entire world comes crashing down around her, she's forced to re-examine her friendships, her faith, and what exactly it means to be pure.

Inexcusable by Chris Lynch

In a story that moves between the past and the scene of the rape, Keir attempts to defend his character from the monstrous crime of which he has been accused. But the anecdotes from Keir's senior year at high school fall short of giving the innocent and 'good-guy' picture, Keir is determined to paint of himself. Instead he is revealed somehow as a morally ambiguous and deluded young man. In this extraordinary book, Chris Lynch has pushed the boundaries and set a new standard in YA fiction. It is a gripping and masterfully written story about a subject very few people will dare to explore. Any person who reads it will have much to think about.

Easy by Kerry Cohen Hoffmann (may also be called Slut)

"Come on," he says. "Hop in." My heart pounds. I can feel sweat gathering at my armpits. "I don't think so." "Why not?" "I can't," I say. "Not now." "Okay," he says. "Another time then." He winks. He turns on his signal and pulls back onto the street. I watch his car get smaller then disappear around the bend. Instead of relief I feel disappointed, like I've just missed out on something big. My chance to matter.

Fourteen-year-old Jessica doesn't know who she is anymore. Her once strong mother is falling apart after a messy divorce, and Jessica doesn't even have the energy to help her. She has her own problems, not least the school photography contest which requires her to submit a self-portrait; an impossible task when her own identity is a mystery to her. The only thing Jessica seems sure of is the great feeling she gets when someone is checking her out...A cautionary tale about a teenage girl who uses her newfound sexuality as an escape, until she realises just what it's costing her.

Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity by Kerry Cohen*

'There is a new boy I like. I see him every other day when our classes let out at the same time. He has long, dark hair and unbelievably beautiful eyes. Almost immediately I can feel the energy between us, the promise of something to come.' Kerry first noticed the power she had over the opposite sex at the age of eleven. By the time she was in her teens she was obsessed by boys, and soon she needed sex just to feel alive. Sleeping with countless partners, Kerry's misguided search for love was getting out of hand. But would she ever find what she really needed?

*This is not a YA novel, it is a memoir, real life. I've not read it, so I can't say what the content is like, but I thought it may be interesting to list as it seems to deal with the topic in real life, and is written by a YA author who has written about the topic (see above Easy/Slut). Again, this is not a YA novel.

If you can think of any others, please recommend them in the comments, as I would love to read them!


  1. Great post, I'm definitely keeping this list as a reference! I didn't get to read along with you but the subject really interests me. Thanks for your AMAZING work!

  2. great post! I recently read Diving In by Kate Cann, and it's the only YA book I've read so far that treats sex seriously. It illustrates the pull (?) and the deliberating and all the complex factors-- i.e. sex is not just fluff.

    And I'm done with Extreme Kissing! Thanks so much for sending it :D a thankyou video of sorts is here: haha actually I can really relate to carlota, especially the bit where she struggles with Yves.

  3. Kay - Thank you! I'm glad you have enjoyed it! I'll definitely be checking these books out myself at some point.

    Nicole - Ohh, cool! I look forward to reading Diving In at some point! I'm so glad you liked the book! I find I always relate to the characters in books, but I think I'm more of a Bets than a Lots :) Thank you for the video, it was so lovely of you to plug SiTL Month like that! I really appreciate it!

  4. Thanks for all the further reading. I actually have "The Goddess Society". I picked it up for some summer reading.

  5. Awesome! I look forward to your review of it! :)