Posts Tagged ‘Sexuality’

Loveless by Alice Oseman.

August 27, 2020 Comments off

lovelessLoveless by Alice Oseman. Pub. HarperCollins, 2020.

This 430 page novel for high school students and young adults is about sexuality and romance. How do we know who we are attracted too? What is the spark that turns attraction into love? How important is sex and romance in peoples lives? Does everybody have erotic dreams? What happens if you don’t feel attracted to anybody? What if you don’t feel attracted to boys, girls,¬† both or neither?

Georgia is 18 years old and has just finished High school. She has never kissed anyone and is still a virgin. She doesn’t know if she is gay or straight because she feels revulsion at any sexual contact at all and she is worried that she will never have a partner and love a normal life.

She has two friends – Pip who is an attractive Latino girl who knows she is a lesbian and makes no bones about it, and Jason a shy boy who is attracted to Georgia but she doesn’t know it. All three are off to Durham University and all three are into acting and drama especially Shakespeare. Georgia hopes that the questions about her sexuality will be answered at university.

While at University she is paired with a girl named Rooney in a flat. Rooney is totally out there. She goes clubbing, mixes well, has sex because she likes it and is everything that Georgia wants to be. All four characters form a Shakespeare club and plan to put on scenes from Shakespeare’s plays that are key scenes. But the sexuality question gets well and truly in the way. Read it and find out how.

I read this book in small chunks but it was compelling reading and I was sorry when it was finished. It is really addressing  asexuality or aromanticism. Some scenes are hilarious some down right embarrassing but always right on the nail. Everybody is interested in the subjects discussed here and to do so with a good story is brilliant.

The Shakespeare scenes are superb. My YA book of the year.

I Hate Everyone but You by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin.

September 30, 2017 Comments off

I hate everyoneI Hate Everyone but You by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin. pub. Allen&Unwin, 2017.

I guess this is the sort of novel that had to happen. It is written in texts and emails between two girlfriends, Gen and Ava, who text each other at all times of the day and before during and after every event in their lives. It’s the modern relationship.

Gen and Ava were friends at High School in California but now Ava has gone to film school in Boston and Gen has stayed home and goes to a journalism school. I liked and would like to know both of them.

Ava fantasizes about accepting an Oscar and thanking her parents after falling on the steps to the podium. Gen wants to write things that change the world and walk into rooms full of people who fear her. Ava is flirting with bisexuality but Gen thinks she is skating on thin ice. Gen believes men’s infrastructure is designed for failure. Each has many relationships to test their beliefs. The dialogue between them is sharp, witty, perceptive, honest with a fair dose of crying for help.

The action takes place over the first semester of College and it tests their friendship to the limit. Will it survive? In between times there is first sex both hetero and gay and the full gambit of emotions are exposed. Whats more it is enormously funny.

Some will say this novel is for teenage and young adult girls and women, but a guy would be a fool not to tune into all this feminist  wisdom. I loved it.

The authors are close friends as you will imagine and their dialogue is heart felt and real albeit at times tongue in cheek. They started comedy on the YouTube channel Just between us and as far as I am concerned they can write for as long as they want.

Girl Parts by John M. Cusick

November 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Girl Parts by John M. Cusick. Pub. Walker Books, 2011.

Once teenage boys find out about this book it will go round like wildfire.

David and Charlie are as different as chalk and cheese yet the day Nora Vogel took a lethal cocktail live on the net they are both watching. So are 748 others but David’s very rich and computer literate father decides it is is a weird thing to do. He sends David to a shrink who decides that David has disassociated himself from the real world.

The solution is to get David a “Companion” who is all a boy could want. Her name is Rose and she is part girl part robot and she is absolutely gorgeous and indistinguishable from the real McCoy. Her purpose is to discourage dehumanising behaviour and encourage healthy human interaction. Wow!

Rose has an Intimacy Clock inside her that dictates how she behaves under emotional and physical pressure from David. If you go too far you are zapped. David is mesmerized by Rose but really all she is really doing to him is regulating his lust.

One night at a party David is pushed to the limit and gets Rose to strip for him. What David sees changes everything.

It’s important to note that Rose is programmed to David, is totally devoted to him, but after the party things change and she comes in contact with the geeky but totally understanding, Charlie.

A very appealing plot, well told, literate and titillating in the extreme as it exposes teenage boy sexual behaviour.

It reminded me of the robot girls in the films Cherry 2000 and Bladerunner. Just incredible.

Grow Up by Ben Brooks

Grow Up by Ben Brooks. Pub. Text Publishers, 2011.

This book will evoke a number of emotions and responses, but you will not be bored. The language is coarse, the subject compulsively interesting and the idea just short of brilliant. It is for Secondary school students and young adults and particularly boy readers.

Jasper is obsessed with sex and the female body. He fantasises about sex all the time. He takes drugs, he parties hard, he has friends who are just as crazy as he is, he is sitting important exams and he is growing up.

Important issues are brought up in the novel such as the role of the easy access of porn on the Internet in teenage lives, teen suicide and the use of images to embarrass others on Youtube.

The dialogue is strong and realistic and you will find yourself snorting with laughter and cringing with horror.

Ben Brooks is only 19 years and as a writer he is brilliant beyond his age. Reluctant boys and insightful girls will enjoy this, but go careful it is dynamite.

Rich and Mad by William Nicholson

Rich and Mad by William Nicholson. Pub. Egmont, 2010.

A novel about love from a writer who is best known for the fantasy series that started with The Windsinger.

The power of the novel derives from the questions it asks it’s target audience of teenagers. What is love? Will I fall in love? How will I know? Is love the same for boys and girls? Are love and sex the same thing? and most importantly will someone fall in love with me?

Maddy and Richie know each other from school but they are never in their respective sights when it comes to a relationship. Both have more attractive targets and both are barking up the wrong tree. They go through the angst and the embarrassment and learn a lot about the questions asked above.

William Nicholson has taken up a challenge with this topic and I think he has done ok but you may think different. He certainly blows the cover on male sexuality and has some hard hitting things to say eg. boys equate love with sex because they can feel sex and it happens to them without the need to know anything about the other person. Tough stuff.

There are a couple of pages that will make your blood curdle especially towards the end where he deals with the topic of pain and sex. Some will think it is over the top and i guess in a way it is. But overall not a bad story and how else are you going to learn about all this without getting badly hurt?

Definitely secondary and young adult in appeal although junior secondary students will climb over each other to get at it.