Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 42.
- Review Date: 2009-06-08
- Reviewer: Staff
Sweet, insecure Spencer Davis turns 16 and Mom treats her to a rather unusual birthday present—a first visit to the gynecologist and a prescription for the Pill. This, even though Spencer has little interest in boys, never mind first-time sex (and despite best friend Alyssa's determination to lose her virginity ASAP). Then Spencer meets “the One” (or so she thinks), and feels romantic fireworks and physical desire for the first time. Both conventional assumptions about sex (“Everyone says their first time is terrible”) and gender stereotypes (guys advising each other to “be a dick once in a while. Chicks like that”) abound, as does nonstop talk of sex—sometimes with vulgar, infantile language and imagery, at other times conveyed with respect, tenderness, romance and yearning. In the end, Spencer doesn't “give up the V,” but she does encounter love and a good first sexual experience—with the person she least expects—amid realistic complications. At times the narrative is uneven, but this novel stands out for its thorough, no-holds-barred discussion of sex in its many forms—from the ugly to the beautiful. Ages 14–up. (June)