So let's say someone really liked a documentary they watched, and decided to write a150 page blog post about it. This is what Sex At First Sight seemeSo let's say someone really liked a documentary they watched, and decided to write a150 page blog post about it. This is what Sex At First Sight seemed to be for a few pages. The author's adoration of the studies of Dr. Freitas and others, seemed to overpower original thought, leaving most of it to seem as passive aggressive commentary instead.
"Don't you all know the college kids these days are all out there watching dirty movies, drinking giggle water, and bedding like floozies?!"
But at the heart of this book, and underneath his style, there really was a topic that we can't ignore. Casual sex isn't new, but the amount of threats and health concerns that abound as result are tripled these days. And no matter how liberal any of us protests to be, we do tend to agree that these days that casualness doesn't seem to be for anyone's good.
(Though, Mr Simmons, don't quote Thomas Jefferson and his thoughts on virtue. I'm not sure the slave owner with the multiple kids by one of his slaves would be my first choice for that topic.)
Make no mistake, Simmons' dissertation is unashamedly coming from a strong Christian viewpoint. He works very hard to have data and articles back up his theories as well. The largest issue with the book, if those things don't bother you, is really just his matter-of-factly tone, which I thought could be a major turnoff for the intended college-aged audience. The issue of the "hookup generation" reaches far beyond just college kids, and I started to feel like the ones I know, even the chaste, would begin to roll their eyes a bit, just at the generalizations.
Sex At First Sight is not a title that I could readily offer to many library patrons because of its heavy religious viewpoint, but I could definitely see it being a good read for the right one....more
A classic re-imagined with YA flair in an adult package.
When She Woke is clearly a play on The Scarlet Letter, (which I never read but did see the DeA classic re-imagined with YA flair in an adult package.
When She Woke is clearly a play on The Scarlet Letter, (which I never read but did see the Demi Moore movie), set in a futuristic America that is frighteningly similar to what some may actually want to see.
In an un-named year, America has undergone a spiritual reclamation. A great drought and infertility plague has ravaged the country for years and once a cure was discovered, the fear and pain it brought about has ignited a national religious overhaul. There is an office of the Secretary of Faith. Sanctity of Life Laws have made abortion a murder charge. Things in America have gotten very black and white.
But not all things.
The Great Second Depression made the country look at where money was being spent, and they no longer saw fit to pay for the inmates in the overcrowded prisons. To cut down the amount of minor criminals housed in prison, they looked to science. Chroming was what they came up with. Through a genetic mutation surgery, now criminals have their skin colors changed to identify them. Yellows and Greens are petty criminals, arsonists, drug users. Blues are the second to worst, pedophiles and child molesters. Only class worse than the Blues, are the murderers. The Reds.
When Hannah Payne woke...she was as red as a rose. Having been found guilty of murder for an abortion she'd had, and her refusal to name the abortionist or the father, Hannah has been sentenced to fifteen years as a Red. She has been disowned by her mother, mourned by her father, and her pregnant sister's new husband Cole forbids her sister Becca to have any contact with her. And yet, Hannah refuses to name her lover. Aidan Dale. The married pastor of the country's largest congregation, and the new United States Secretary of Faith.
The tale that follows this stark awakening in Hannah's prison cell after she's first Chromed is one of pain, romance, and enlightenment. Reaching rock bottom makes Hannah take hard looks at a side of thinking that she was once a very big supporter of. She once also believed abortion was murder, that Chroming was right and necessary, and that the lines were very clearly drawn about women's roles and rights. Now, an outcast from the society she once believed in, Hannah can see some of the double standards and injustices.
The Fist, a supremisist group committed to extinguishing Chromes, is reminiscent of the Ku Klux Klan. Novembrists, a secret Canadian Feminist sect that lives by the motto "It's Personal", seeks to fight for abortion rights. There is also a look at how Chrome ghettos have emerged, Chrome discrimination reminiscent to Jim Crow, and other Chrome issues are developed quite beautifully.
Author Hillary Jordan deals with the issues of today in a far off, plain way that makes a reader calmly think, rather than get in an uproar. I appreciated that. My one complaint would have to be that towards the end of the book it does seem as though there is a mad rush to throw in as many "sins" as possible for Hannah to grapple with, so that one can dissect them all in the eyes of a truly religion-led society. I got the point, but thought it was unnecessary and redundant at that point. Hannah was an interesting companion to walk with through this book, and she kept my attention fairly well until the last chapter.
As I said, the book is clearly an adult one, as Hannah is a little over 25 years old, but as the story opens this was not clear. In fact, many of the ways in which she was treated and regarded by family and men in the beginning of the book had me thinking she was 17 at best until her age was actually stated. Parts of this book reminded me of "After" by Amy Efaw, and would be a nice companion piece to examine the choices and hopelessness.
An interesting and heartfelt look at the author's molestation as a young boy by the priest friend of his agnostic parents.
Olivier's parents never carAn interesting and heartfelt look at the author's molestation as a young boy by the priest friend of his agnostic parents.
Olivier's parents never cared either way about religion, but his grandparents do. They keep Olivier every year and during that time he visits church with them. His grandmother tells him stories about hell that frighten him and deter him from forming any real connection to church. But then there's Peter. He's a priest, but he is friendly and gentle. He isn't frightening at all, and Olivier loves him.
Peter's church hosts a camp every summer and he asks Olivier's parents if he can come. They agree, and for the next few summers, Olivier joins Peter at camp. During one year though, gentle and nonthreatening Peter, asks Olivier to help him sleep.
While there was only the one incident, the struggle to keep the secret, and the guilt attached to it leads Olivier down a sad and tormented life. ...more
Written in text/blog, this second installment of the Bloggrls series grew on me. When I first started reading, it began to sound like so many other aftWritten in text/blog, this second installment of the Bloggrls series grew on me. When I first started reading, it began to sound like so many other after-school specials but the topic it addressed snuck up on me so quickly I was knocked back and had to finish it.
Sistrsic92 aka Megan, keeps in touch with her three VBF's(very best friends) through a private blog. Lisa (zbest) is a friend from her church's youth group, while Zoey(zo4u) and Trish(tennytrish) are girls she met at the beginning and end of tennis camp the past summer. Most of Meg's posts focus on how hard being a sophomore is sure to be as she spends yet another year living in the shadow of the t2p2(The Totally Perfect Person) aka her older half-sister Cara.
Cara is blonde, athletic and beautiful, and nicknamed Calla, while Meg is far less athletic, brunette and nicknamed Eggy. Cara's dad passed away when she was a young child in a tragic car accident and Meg is convinced this also gets Cara sympathy from everyone, meanwhile her dad is a pastor and all that brings from others is scrutiny. She struggles with feeling such intense jealousy over Cara, but finds that even when things are not about Cara,...they somehow drift back to her. The rants and raves that Meg blogs about are a bit whiny at first and it reads like any other "my sister's the perfect one", book.
Then Cara gets a boyfriend. Trip. Together they're the cutest couple in school and Meg could just about gag. One more reason for everyone to be head over heels in love with all things Cara. She notices Cara making out with Trip and finds it really annoying and selfish that Cara isn't thinking about how things will look to the neighbors, and parishioners of their church.
Soon Cara's behavior begins to change. She's argumentative with their mother, and hiding in her room most nights. Meg is convinced that this is yet another way for Cara to make everything about her. Then beautiful Cara starts getting thinner...and things suddenly get much worse than Meg could ever have imagined.
Watching Meg grow was painful at times, only because I felt a lot of her statements and ideas did sound very After-school-Special. When she wasn't annoying me though, I found her likable and funny. While struggling to find her own way with boys and body image while dealing with the unbelievable issues her sister brought onto their home, Meg's internet friends were great sounding boards but they also provided different perspectives on what was going on. Some of their advice was corny, but for the right younger teen, I can see how spot-on they may be.
The book is lightly illustrated with a few cute pencil-drawn images here and there. One pet-peeve of mine while reading was that these pictures always seemed to show a scene I had no interest in seeing. Some of the more intricate story-lines could have used them more. I also felt as though the cover of the book itself would have been better suited with one of the pics of Meg that is in the inner jacket of the book, rather than the weird collage that's there. It almost stopped me from picking this book up. I'm glad that it didn't.
A good read for ages 12+ about dating, body image, eating disorders, and recognizing that the Totally Perfect Person isn't always so perfect....more