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The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  686 ratings  ·  221 reviews
Seventeen-year-old Lacey Burke is the last person on the planet who should be doling out sex advice. For starters, she’s never even kissed anyone, and she hates breaking the rules. Up until now, she's been a straight-A music geek that no one even notices. All she cares about is jamming out with her best friends, Theo and Evita.

But then everything changes.

When Lacey sees fi
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 22nd 2019 by Swoon Reads
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Olivia Hinebaugh Ack! How did I miss your question for three months? This book came from a lot of things I'm passionate about. Friends, feminism, sexual health, music,…moreAck! How did I miss your question for three months? This book came from a lot of things I'm passionate about. Friends, feminism, sexual health, music, and LGBTQ+ stories. the first time I had the idea, I thought it was going to be about an undercover teen midwife (not certified in ANY way, so that term is applied loosely!) who delivers secret babies on the sly. But that was just a little too far-fetched, and there is so much more good to be done RE sexual health than just pregnancy and birth! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!(less)
Olivia Hinebaugh Yes! I occasionally think about revisiting these kids in college. I have some theories on what happens to them there...But no plans to publish anythin…moreYes! I occasionally think about revisiting these kids in college. I have some theories on what happens to them there...But no plans to publish anything yet!(less)

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Average rating 3.65  · 
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 ·  686 ratings  ·  221 reviews

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damn it.

while i liked what this book was trying to do, i had so so so many issues with it. these include:
a) instalove
b) a love triangle, for some reason???
c) literally 3 separate female characters being in love with the same mediocre guy (this is somehow separate from the aforementioned love triangle)
d) while this spouts feminist rhetoric when it's easy, it actually includes our main character being a total asshole to her female best friend over a guy (and that's glossed over like these characte
3.5 stars

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The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me is an important book for teens. It’s something I wish would have been out when I was that age. I could relate to Lacey Burke in a lot of ways.

Lacey is a high school student who notices something is wrong with her senior health class and goes to do something about it. Lacey is probably the last person who is qualified to answer questions about sex, being a virgin and all, but she has a very open mom who is a nurse and knows all there is to know a
Julie Zantopoulos
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
The strongest of 4 stars.

"Demonizing and stigmatizing sex prevents everyone from getting information on safer sex."

Lacey, Evita, and Theo are just the actual best, honestly, friend group goals. This book is so crazy sex positive, so inclusive and diverse, and reads like a fun sexual education manual that I want all teens to read. Honestly, the content in here is important and the messages are vital to anyone who is, or is about to become, sexually active.

Not only does Lacey and her friends figh
Katherine Locke
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read an early draft of this book as a beta reader, and I fell head over heels for this book. It's a smart, sex-positive, health-conscious book about trying to do the right thing, getting in over our heads, and finding our way out. I am absolutely thrilled this will be a book on the shelves, and I think it's an absolute must-have for library collections. Really excited to hold a finished version! ...more
Lea  M
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
I appreciated the message it was going for, but the safe sex information is overbearing and shoved into the book so much and so unnaturally that the book is awkward to read. It reads more like an extended brochure on the topic than as an actual book, and there is so little plot and characterization because of it. It's a well-meaning book, but it doesn't quite pull it off. ...more
Lorrea - WhatChaReadin'?
Lacey Burke is a senior in high school. She plays the viola and is in a band with her best friends Theo and Evita. When her high school takes an abstinence approach to sex education, it's too much for her to handle. She feels her classmates should be educated about options they have when it comes to their sexual health. But Lacey is a virgin and even though she has never had sex herself, her mother has always been open with her about sex. Lacey soon becomes the resident expert on the subject at ...more
Nasty Lady MJ
To see full review click here.

I just realize this is the first book I’m reviewing for 2019. That’s not a good omen considering that I hated this book.

To be fair, as a safe sex manual and an introduction to intersectionality it didn’t outright suck, but as an actual book.

Oh yeah, it did.

This book is very informative. I mean, it does go into some of the specifics about how to have safe sex, etc. But as an actual book….

I guess, the closest thing I have to compare it to is Meg Cabot’s 2004 Ready or
For a little bit in the beginning, I thought I wasn't going to like this. I couldn't tell you what it was that made me feel like that, but I'm glad that wasn't the case. There's a lot of important information in this book about sex and related things, a really endearing friend group, a sweet as fuck love interest who is my absolute favorite emotional soft boy, a supportive romance that I actually really adore, a kickass mother who is kind of a feminist Lorelai Gilmore, sex scenes where the chara ...more
Athena of Velaris
I'd like to start out this review by saying that what this book covers is essential. Abstinence-only sex education is outdated, out of touch, and honestly sexist. Materials that are covered in this book should be available at more high schools, or at least talked about. That being said, I did not enjoy this novel.

The main character had no personality, and her friendships felt really forced. The romance had an unnecessary love triangle, which was also forced. The dialog was dry, and the plot was
Laurie Flynn
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Be still, my heart! The sex-positive YA I've been waiting for. I was lucky enough to read this debut early, and I can't think of enough words to describe how much I adored it. Olivia Hinebaugh writes with authority and grace, and delves into so many different aspects of sex and sexual health. THE BIRDS, THE BEES, AND YOU AND ME manages to be informative without ever entering preachy territory or feeling like a lecture. It's a book I think every teen (and adult!) should have on their shelves to r ...more
Stephanie Fitzgerald
Jun 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Older high school students Only!
What stood out for me:
The way the author portrayed the teen confusion with what was taught in the “Abstinence is the only way” sex-ed class. If I were writing curriculum for such a class, the pros and cons of abstinence would be taught, as well as the risks for pre-marital sex, and of course, safe -sex methods would be discussed. The idea that teaching such curriculum would be considered “lewd” by school officials blew my mind.
I would recommend this to older high school students only, with sugge
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read an early draft of this one and I'm so excited that it will be available for everyone very soon. This is the kind of fresh and timely book that is needed out in the wild. It's sex-positive, features characters full of authentic flaws and strengths, and shows the power of friendship. ...more
Katy Upperman
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Guys, this is the sex-positive, music-infused, friendship-focused, gloriously feminist debut you've been waiting for. It's so wonderfully frank in its discussion of sexual health and consent, yet it never feels heavy handed. Main character Lacey and her group of friends (and her mom!) are all layered, supportive, engaging, and awesome. Another bonus -- the central romance in this book surprised me in the best way. It's clandestine and swoony, full of chemistry and sweetness. Big, big recommend! ...more
Dec 30, 2018 rated it liked it
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs:**The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me is a young adult contemporary novel by Olivia Hinebaugh. There were a few things I didn't love about this novel, but overall I thought it was still a good read. The good certainly outweighed my few gripes. So let's start with the good. The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me is a novel that is both very educational and was a cute coming of age story. I really enjoyed our main character ...more
Samantha (WLABB)
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtqia, contemporary, ya, arcs
This book is a bunch of different things. It's a story of friendship and first love, as well as a tale of taking a stand and coming-of-age, and I pretty much loved it all.

Lacey followed the rules and tried to fly under the radar. She was known to accept the circumstances and go with the flow, but she was willing to fight for the right to a comprehensive sexual health education for her peers.

I am big believer in knowledge as power, and loved that Lacey was so passionate about educating herself an
Rebecca June
Feb 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: arc
"demonizing and stigmatizing sex prevents everyone from getting information on safer sex" (chapter 1).

This review was originally posted on my blog, June Reads Books.

Thank you Olivia Hinebaugh, Swoon Reads, and Xpresso Book Tours for a free eARC of The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me in exchange for an honest review.

As someone completely fascinated by the correlation between literature and culture, I went into this story wanting to love it. After all, a book promoting teenagers fighting for sex
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Lacey has been taught well about birds and bees, to a point she's been giving office hours to solve doubts about sex from her classmates due to a failing sex-ed curriculum. Except, she's never even kissed yet.

Okay, the sex safety advices were good and the story was interesting. To a point. It all got to long and unevitably dragged for too much of the book from the moment I could see how it would end. In the end, even the health advices became too preachy. I think the author, at some point, got l
Prerna Pickett
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A sex positive book that tells it like it is with a dash of unrequited love? Yes, please. This book has a little bit of everything, but what I loved the most was how Olivia Hinebaugh covered so much ground in so little time without being preachy! I loved the dynamic friendship between Lacey, Evita, and Theo. I adored that there were moms who supported their children and that frank and honest conversations took place. This is a wonderful debut with a fresh take on sex, love, friendship and everyt ...more
Liza Wiemer
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
I read an ARC of this novel, and I have to say that Olivia tackles one of the most difficult topics to write about—sex. She does it beautifully. The message is important. If you're going to have sex, practice safe sex and do it with someone who respects and cares about you, and most importantly because it's your choice. No one should ever feel pressured, and this novel gives teens a way to communicate with each other and also recognize when things are heading in the wrong direction.

This novel h
Erin A. Craig
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was so fortunate to get an advanced reader copy of this and it just made my heart so happy! It transported me back to high school, vividly recalling the feelings and wondering of college applications, first loves, and figuring out who I was and what I wanted out of life. ❤️❤️❤️
Rachel Solomon
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blurbed
Official blurb: "I've been waiting for a long time for a YA like this! Olivia Hinebaugh's debut is bold, bright, and refreshingly sex positive, with an authentic voice that wouldn't let me go. This is the book I needed at sixteen." ...more
Candyce Kirk
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book surprised me in such a positive way. I don't think I've ever read such a sex positive book. The Birds, The Bees and You and Me is very diverse and tells us it's okay to love who you love and be who you are.

Lacey grew up with her single mother who's always been very open and honest with anything that has to do with sex. She's made Lacey realize it's okay to want what you want, but that consent is very important and to only to do what she's comfortable with. I think Lacey knows more ways
Amanda B
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This new release had me hooked from the cover. Then I read what it was about. After that, I found out that the author was going to be at the NoVaTeen Book Festival that I’m going to (or probably have already been to by the time this review posts.)
I wish this book had been available to me when I was in high school. I grew up in a single parent household. My dad raised me. Now, he did his best to be everything I needed but sex was not something either of us w comfortable talking about. So, we just
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Let teens be teens!

Edit: I thought maybe I should add something lol okay, so the teens in the book are being teensy. I like it cause this is set in high school after all. They can be immature, make wromg decisions, say the wrong things, be awkward. But teens are teens.

I like how supportive the parents are, and how present they are. Sometimes in YA parents are either not present or they're the cause of the problems. So it's good that there are YA books with supportive and open-minded parents.

the three stars are for evita and evita only. this book had good intentions, but it felt like i was reading the pamphlets they hand you at the nurse's office (or even emma's pamphlets from glee) instead of reading an actual teenager speak. ...more
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
I didn't think it was humanly possible to love a book this much, and yet here we are! 💖💖💖 ...more
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
(Disclaimer: I received this free book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

I'm not sure if there's something in The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me that I didn't love. I adored Lacey's feminist mother, Lacey's passion for helping her fellow students, her best friend (and ace) Evita, and the friendship between Evita, Lacey, and Theo. I felt like The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me just called to me in different ways. Whether it was Evita's identity as ace
Shirley Cuypers
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks, arc-beta, 2018
This book was provided by the publisher through Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Swoon Reads and Xpresso Book Tours!

The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me
is an important Young Adult and Contemporary book for young adults. I wish I had a book like this when I was younger because you get to know so much about friendship, love and everything you need to know about safe sex.

The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me was such a good book because it gives such a positive message,
Jun 18, 2019 rated it liked it
On the one hand, I really enjoyed this book and I loved the message it sends. The main character speaks up against the abstinence-only education her school gives, by answering students' questions and handing out condoms. She's also learning to become a doula, which was both interesting and challenging for my suspension of disbelief. Because I'm sorry, but I can't really imagine a high-school student with no prior experience would suddenly be okay guiding people through child-birth.

This story jus
Oct 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Liked how the MC and her friends were all musicians (their band is super cute) and the sex positivity. Didn't believe a high schooler would be allowed to stand in as a doula. Overall, just okay. ...more
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Olivia Hinebaugh loves all stripes of literature for children. When she isn’t writing fiction, she can be found writing freelance, making art, discovering new songs on spotify, texting her writing buddies, or folding laundry. She lives near Washington, D.C. with her spouse, three kids, a dog that looks like a coyote, and a one-eyed cat. The Birds, The Bees, And You And Me is her debut novel. Her b ...more

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