The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: January 22nd 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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 first-hand how much damage the abstinence-only sex-ed curriculum of her school can do, she decides to take a stand and starts doling out wisdom and contraception to anyone who seeks her out in the girls’ restroom. But things with Theo become complicated quickly, and Lacey is soon not just keeping everyone else’s secrets, but hers as well.
SASCHA DARLINGTON’S REVIEW
The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me, a debut novel by Olivia Hinebaugh, takes on the practice of teaching sexual abstinence as well as the ill-informed sex-ed classes in high school.
The main character, Lacey Burke, is a quiet, breaks-no-rules, music geek whose mother has instilled in her the values of knowledge and looking out for her own sexual health, although Lacey isn’t exactly a practicing sexual being despite wanting to be. When sexual abstinence is preached in class, Lacey rebels, deciding that her fellow students deserve better than what they are being taught.
The characters in The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me are well-developed without a lot of angst despite the situations they come up against. I found Lacey to be particularly well done, her reactions and insecurities on target for a young woman of her age. Likewise, her best friend, Evita, is also well done, with her brash extroverted manner, yet who also can easily have her feelings hurt without going overboard. Theo, while being pleasant, doesn’t seem quite as layered as Lacey and Evita although there seemed like it was plenty of opportunity considering his parents.
I enjoyed the musical aspects and wished they’d been explored a bit more, although it wasn’t the primary topic of the novel. In fact, I felt that the issue of Lacey’s future as a musician was not as well considered as it should have been. Perhaps this was the case of trying to weave in too many layers.
The novel is extremely informative and probably a good read for young adults without being too explicit.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
4 out of 5 butterflies
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.
- Print copy of The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me