Lacey Burke is a self professed musical geek, want to be composer, and walking sex ed factoid. Brought up by a mother who was pregnant at 16, Lacey has been given educational safe sex tips by her now nurse mother, since she achieved “that” age. Now, due to her frustration with the abstinence based sex education at her high school this virgin is giving safe sex tutorials in the rest room at lunch. All she wants to do is play music with her band and maybe get her first kiss out of the way!
I really enjoyed the contradiction between virginal and slightly naive Lacey with the girl who can spout facts about condom usage and how-to instructional’s. I can honestly say I learned something useful while reading this YA novel, all while enjoying a tale about a girl who has a crush on one of her best friends! The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me was a different kind of YA novel. Full of safe sex conversations, but also eye opening about how clueless this fictional school system was in how to speak to the teens of today.
I loved Lacey. She was a great main character surrounded by zany friends who were sexually active and different. She has two best friends, both of whom have hooked up with each other, but still remain best friends. Evita identifies on the ace spectrum and is President of their high school LGBTQIA group. Theo is their third, definitely hetero, and has a girlfriend that neither Evita or Lacey like. He’s an all around nice guy, but there are moments when he deserves a swift kick! When Lacey’s feelings for Theo change, the book also introduces Lacey’s own sexuality into the mix. For a girl who had never kissed a boy until Theo, she was very well informed and prepared.
I love stories where an underdog gets to fight for her beliefs and gets the chance to turn the tide towards something good and right. This novel pits Lacey and her friends against an aged school curriculum and at the same teaches young adults about safe sex, without it being a tutorial. I thought the author did a good job at avoiding a massive dump of information, and instead allowed Lacey’s advice to speak for itself.
The author also did a good job of introducing a diverse cast and making their interactions relatable and real. It seemed especially applicable to the world we live in today and I can only think this novel would have a broad appeal because of it. I’m kind of surprised I haven’t heard more mentions about this one? Hopefully, if it has been on your radar, my mention will push it to the top of your list!
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“I think the main reason why I didn’t give The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me a full four star rating is that I wasn’t 100% invested in the relationships. I did enjoy Lacey’s relationship with her mom (who is a nurse and SUPER open with her daughter, in a way that sometimes provides comic relief), but overall, the relationships weren’t super exceptional for me, and I was sort of wishing for less of the friends and dating drama.” Blossoms and Bullet Journals
“Overall, I loved the characters. They were entertaining, funny, and passionate. I loved the message the story was sharing. It’s one I really could have used in a book when I was young and learning. I loved all the parental support the kids had from their parents. I only wish this book had been longer. ” Classy x Book Reviews
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2 thoughts on “Friday YA: The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh”
Besides the frank discussions about sex, I loved the friendships, the present adults, and the cute romance in this one.
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I totally agree, it was a nice change to have adults present in a YA novel.
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