I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The V-Word by Amber J. Keyser, Carrie Mesrobian, Sidney Joaquin-Vetromile, Kiersi Burkhart, Karen Jensen, Christa Desir, Laurel Isaac, Sarah Mirk, Molly Bloom, Sara Ryan, Alex Meeks, Chelsey Clammer, Erica Lorraine Scheidt, Kate Gray, Justina Ireland, Jamia Wilson, Kelly Jensen
Published by Simon Pulse, Beyond the Words on February 2nd 2016
Genres: Non-fiction, Contemporary
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HAVING SEX FOR THE FIRST TIME IS A BIG UNKNOWN. LOTS OF PEOPLE WILL TELL YOU WHAT TO DO, BUT IS ANYONE TELLING YOU WHAT IT’S REALLY LIKE?
The V-Word pulls back the sheets on sex. Queer and straight. Relished and regretted. Funny and exhilarating. The seventeen women in this book (including Christa Desir, Justina Ireland, Sara Ryan, Carrie Mesrobian, Erica Lorraine Scheidt, and Jamia Wilson) write about first-time sex—hot, meaningful, cringe-worthy, gross, forgettable, magnificent, empowering, and transformative.
Whether you’re diving in or whether you’re waiting, we hope these stories will help you chart your own course.
I want to start this review off by saying that I am not the biggest contemporary fan, lately I’ve found myself bored with them and reaching for the fantasies. However, there’s one aspect to contemporaries that I am a sucker for and that is the real life and real issues brand of contemporary novels. These novels can best be described using authors like Jay Asher, Ellen Hopkins and Christa Desir. These books involve the real difficult parts of life that people seem to want to push under the rug. That’s why I was immediately interested in The V-Word, because of the attention it calls to something that’s generally hushed up. Even better about The V-Word is that it’s not a fiction book about real life but it’s a nonfiction book featuring real stories from real people about their experiences with this topic.
Sex and virginity is such a loaded topic when it comes to young adults. Often times in high school if you’re a girl and you have sex, you’re automatically considered a slut. However at the same time you could be a girl and not have sex and you’d be labeled a prude. Now if it’s a guy who’s having sex, he’d probably be congratulated and a guy who’s not having sex might be the butt of all the jokes. The V-Word brings to attention the different situations that every person goes through when they have their first sexual experience. It shows you the good, the bad, the sad, the happy, and the unexpected.
The V-Word is very important because of it’s focus on showing that there really is no normal to this sort of thing. As teenagers we grow up seeing movies and TV shows where the first time is romantic and sweet and perfect, just how we imagined and this becomes something that can be harmful to our psyche. We go into things expecting this grand thing but something else entirely happens and we’re uncomfortable and don’t know what to do. Some of the stories in The V-Word tell how the unexpected things happened and how you can deal with them.
Another great part about The V-Word is that it shows us the different types of sexual experiences between different types of people. These stories are all very LGBTQ friendly with multiple authors sharing their personal experiences that are way outside of the norm that’s often presented to teenagers through either media or education. No one really teaches about gay sex or trans sex and so the stories in The V-Word that deal with this are ground-breaking in informing young people who identify with these categories how varied their experiences can be as well.
The V-Word is very empowering. It teaches that the word virgin isn’t as important as the word voice. Once you find your voice, you can determine how and if you want your experience to happen. If you find your voice and don’t let the word virgin control you, you can find what you want and do what you want not just as it pertains to this experience, but also as it pertains to any and every other life experience.
Each and every short story in The V-Word will mean something to you in one way or another. You will find yourself identifying with different things and different people. You might even find yourself relating to something that you didn’t expect. The knowledge that The V-Word bestows upon its readers is priceless. I think that this is a book that all teenagers should read. It can teach so many lessons to so many people and it can even just open a teen’s eyes if their education is lacking. This is an important experience and even though it doesn’t have to rule your life, it should still be given a semblance of significance because it has multiple potential negative outcomes if it’s not taken seriously.
It’s not all or nothing.
It’s not a direct line.
It’s a journey.
And along the way women have discovered that there is a V-word far more powerful than virginity–VOICE. -p. 3 of ARC
Review in Review:
I really liked The V-Word. It’s a book that I think teenagers should read. Too often young people get a grand idea built up in their head about how something is supposed to turn out, but when reality hits and it happens, they’re not sure what to do. This book shows the vast variety of possible situations out there and it teaches how to be ready and different ways to handle it using real life experiences.