I consider myself to be a prolific and eclectic reader, but I am the first to admit that Romance is among my least read genres. But every once and awhI consider myself to be a prolific and eclectic reader, but I am the first to admit that Romance is among my least read genres. But every once and awhile I remember how much young me used to adore the regency romance thing. I tend to get these yearnings especially around the Christmas season when I start seeing all the novella's pop up on the Library's ebook site. And that is in fact what led me to this book, which I had download free last year. I am a stickler for reading things in order, and before I can read the Christmas novella (#1.5), I had to start with this prequel.
This is apparently my first book by this author, and for a novella it was very well done....more
This book left me reeling a little bit. It was weird, and thought-provoking, and a bit unsettling. I'm not sure how to rate it, or3.5 Stars, I think?
This book left me reeling a little bit. It was weird, and thought-provoking, and a bit unsettling. I'm not sure how to rate it, or what to think of it, or even if I completely understand it. But it was definitely interesting, and at 195 pages a quick read....more
This book was originally published in 1981 and contained some funny dated references. Her boyfriend has a machine that you can set up to record tv while you sleep or are away and watch later! Her father has a machine that answers the phone and people can leave messages!
I found it a bit jarring that the 14 year old protagonist was constantly casually mentioning all the "fucking" she does with her boyfriend. She nonchalantly mentions it to friends, her sibling, and both her parents.
But I did like that: 1. Birth control is discussed (though only in terms of pregnancy, and this was pre-HIV/AIDS), and she asks for a diaphragm for Christmas, and (naively? Stupidly?)believes her boyfriend when he tells her that she can't get pregnant with one non-use of birth control.
2. Sex wasn't presented romantically. (sensually?). They did it because they liked each other and it felt good. The language was matter-of-fact descriptive....none of the "I felt liquid fire deep down in my core" spiel that NA is famous for.
3. THE MC explores her sexuality. Do I really want to do this, or am I expected to? Is there something wrong with me if I don't orgasm during intercourse? Does my boyfriend "love" me just for sex, or are there other things we can do? This culminates in her being able to relax, address her own needs, and telling her boyfriend that sometimes she doesn't want to have sex.
Whereas these are good messages, I was somewhat troubled that it was a 14 year old exploring them, and found myself too often siding with the Dad (who was supposed to be the stuffy old-fashioned one whose just out of touch.)
This book also explored a little bit nudity and sexuality of young girls in terms of ART (In this case films and photos). This was weird to me, because in our current society, the scene where she appears partially nude in the movie would have been illegal.
Overall, it was interesting to see how the genre of "YA" has evolved, and interesting that something that was pushing the envelope 35 years ago, is still a little bit shocking today.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the amusement/irritation I got from a particular turn of phrase the author used. The MC was constantly saying things similar to ' Did you come over just so you could fuck with me?' or mention how her boyfriend used to 'fuck with other girls'. Perhaps in the early 80's the proposition with following the F-word simply meant that it was an activity you shared. However to my modern brain, her boyfriend spent a lot of time being mean to / playing jokes on her and other girls. (According to Dictionary.com the phrase "Fuck with" meaning to mess around with dates from 1940+, so maybe this was just the authors bad...but seriously, it got annoying!)...more