Saturday, July 21, 2007

just finished: The Sharing Knife: Beguilement by Lois Bujold

WARNING - SPOILERS AND CONTROVERSIAL OPINIONS AHOY!

I adored this, though I can understand, intellectually, why many people found it disappointing. You have to be a major sucker for romance for it to work for you.

I was thinking that it would be an excellent YA recommendation--young protagonist with difficult family issues, exciting fantasy world building, classic forbidden-love story--except for the problem of being a touch on the sexually explicit side for YA.

And then it hit me--except for being set in an apparently birth-control-free world, this book is practically a primer on careful sex for teens. Here we have a very curious young girl who falls for the old wives tale about your first time being safe, gets pregnant by a jerky boy who won't admit responsibility, and runs away from home. (Sound familiar? I must've read that plot fifty times when I was a teen.) She miscarries after an encounter with an evil monster (okay, here we land on unfamiliar ground) and falls in love with the man who rescues her and takes care of her after the attack. He, not wanting to stress her after the miscarriage, teaches her all about non-reproductive sex. Honestly, except for throwing condoms and dental dams in the mix, what could be smarter or safer? So I hope some librarians will have the stones to put this in with the YA books.

Okay, I hate to toss out a controversial idea and run, but I'm not going to have Internet access for the next week, so don't be concerned if comments calling me a sick bastard don't get published right away.

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