Book Review: S.E.X.

Book Review: S.E.X.S.E.X. by Heather Corinna
Release Date: May 2007
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Pages: 332

We’ve all had those questions were we stop and think…am I normal? Is that what it’s suppose to look like? Is that really what happens? How do I do this? Thankfully, S.E.X. can answers all that and more. Corinna covers things such as female/male anatomy, changes that will occur to one’s body, different types of sexual orientations, how to maintain a healthy relationship, a checklist for sexual readiness, in-depth information on how to have safe sex/contraceptives, and STI risks/information. Her straightforward, truthful, no-bull approach to these topics makes it a book that any teen or parent should read.

While I think S.E.X. is an invaluable, accurate resource for teens, it is a little boring. I’m afraid teens may find it too cut and dry and discard it before ever giving it a chance. I was a little worried about the “how to do it” section, which covers such topics as kissing, foreplay, and intercourse, especially when I saw it included such things as fisting. However, after reading it, I can honestly say it’s nothing shocking. The section is more about what each thing is and what it entails. No step-by-step how-to or even pictures are included. And my way of thinking is, teens are going to get their information one way or another. I would prefer they get it for a book with accurate information rather than a porn site or, worse, by getting themselves in a situation they cannot control. Parents may wish to read it before their teens, but I honestly hope they do not withhold this book from them. It is important information that can not only keep them safe during sex, but can help them with every day problems regarding their bodies, identities, and relationships.

Book Review: Princess Academy

Book Review: Princess AcademyPrincess Academy by Shannon Hale
Series: Princess Academy #1
Release Date: 2005
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Pages: 336

Mount Eskel is known for one thing; mining precious blocks of stone called Linder. Imagine everyone’s shock when the king’s priests name Mount Eskel as the home of the next princess. Surely, the lowlanders must be playing a joke on them. However, they soon find it is no joke as every eligible female is herded off to an academy to learn how to be a “proper princess”.

Miri is one of these girls. Thanks to her small statue her father has never allowed her to step inside the quarry. She has spent most of her life feeling like a burden…someone who can’t pull her own weight because of this decision. When the academy first starts, she fights against the harsh governess and her cruel tactics to keep them in line. But when a beautiful gown and first dance is promised to the head of the class, Miri finally sees her chance to make a difference. If the prince can just pick her, maybe, just maybe, she can help improve life on Mount Eskel. Of course, Miri never imagined that the stuff she would learn to be a princess could be used to reshape life at home, even without the prince. Soon, she finds herself torn between wanting to being chosen and reinventing her village. Will the prince discover that Miri is the one…if so, can she really leave the mountain that she loves so dearly?

So first off, don’t pick up this book late at night. Otherwise, you’ll end up reading until 2 am because you simply cannot put it down. Princess Academy has easily made its way to the top of my favorite list. While at first glance, it may not seem like a book for boy, I believe there is still enough action that they could like it. In fact, one of the reasons I liked the book so much is because there is a little of something for everyone; there’s action, romance, and intelligence. Hale does a nice job showing that women can be strong, no matter what there size may be. Not only does little Miri show this through intelligence but it can be seen in others through strength and wisdom. Although I was able to pick who would be chosen, I wasn’t able to guess the reasons why. It was a nice little twist and sock to the rigid rules that royalty can have. (Or I’m just a hopeless romantic and like seeing love win.)

Book Review: Ever

Book Review: EverEver by Gail Carson Levine
Release Date: 2010-03-23
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 288

Olus is the Akkan god of the winds. He is also a very lonely god. At the age of seventeen he is the youngest god (the closest one is 300 years his elder). Yearning for a friend, Olus tries to live among the mortals. After several failed attempts, his goal to find mortal company seems hopeless…that is until he meets Kenzi.

Kenzi is a beautiful fifteen year old who loves to weave rugs and dance. She seems so carefree and happy and Olus loves to waste his days away by watching her. However, Kenzi's happy life is soon shattered as she finds herself the victim of an unbreakable vow. By the end of the month her life will be sacrificed to the one and only Hyte god, Admat. The only way to save her life and thwart fate is for Olus and Kenzie to complete dangerous and near impossible tasks. Will they be able to overcome the odds to live happily ever after or will death be the only path for Kenzi?

While I enjoyed Ever it is not my favorite of Levine’s books. It lacks the instant charm of some of her other works like Ella Enchanted. With Ella I was instantly hooked and in love the story and characters, but I noticed with Ever I was a quarter of the way through before I was hooked. The book at time feels a little rushed, especially when it comes to the romance. I never really feel like I know Kenzi nor Olus or truly believe their love. It does get better as the book moves along, especially with the tasks, but a lot of the book seems to be overshadowed by the religion aspect. Not only does Kenzi struggle with the concept of there being more gods than just Admat, but Olus himself often wonders if this god exists and how he relates to his world. Overall, Ever is a good read, just not one of my favorites.

Book Review: Play Me

Book Review: Play MePlay Me by Laura Ruby
Release Date: March 2009
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 336

Eddy Rochester is soon to be a star. He's a wanna-be filmmaker well on his way to fame and fortune as his latest show Riot Grrl 16 rises in the ranks of an MTV contest. It's sure to win (after all the competition is a joke) and will lead to his big break into filmmaking. Finally, his dreams are so close he can taste them.

Of course, when it comes to love he's already famous for being, what some would call, a player. He's the love 'em and leave 'em type who never makes promises about tomorrow. That is until he meets Lucinda Dulko, a no-nonsense tennis player who is perfect in Eddy's eyes. He gets swept away in a thrilling chase to make her want him just as much as he does her. Soon, he finds himself in a game he's never played before, where the power is no longer his. But for Lucinda, he's willing to risk it all. Will he manage to get the fame, fortune, and girl…or will it all slip between his fingers?

I went into this book thinking I would hate Eddy due to his “player” status, but I ended up really liking him. I wouldn’t so much call him a player, but rather a serial dater. He never stays with a girl long, but he never promises that he will. While it is mentioned several times over that he has been with many girls, we don’t really see it much. Instead, the love aspect is on him and Lucinda…how the so call player finally falls for a girl. She’s the first girl who doesn’t want him, which makes her all the more desirable. As many others have stated, Eddy’s voice rings true to a teenager. His emotions are real and often time raw as he battles with the challenges that life throws at him. As you keep reading you will see that there is more to Eddy than meets the eye.