It’s Monday! What Are you Reading?: Week Four

Let’s talk about sex, baby, let’s talk about you and me, let’s talk about all the good things, all the bad things, that may be. Let’s talk about sex…. Or we could just read Judy Blume’s “Forever…”

This book is pretty much sex education in a vague plot line that takes place in the 1970s. We begin with Katherine, a sassy high school senior who lives with her parents and younger sister. Katherine has a few colleges to pick from in the spring and a best friend named Erica. On New Year’s Eve, the two friends got to a party and meet Michael. We don’t know a lot about Michael other than he is tall, wears glasses and makes out with some chick named Elizabeth, until the morning when he decides to hit on Katherine. In blissful high school glory, they begin to date and fall pretty deep in forever_book_coverlust. It is hard to describe their relationship because they don’t have an emotional connection or anything in common. They do, however, spend plenty of time getting to know each other, if you know what I mean. Her parents are cautious about the relationship, leading Katherine to believe they disapprove of it. Her grandmother sends her pamphlets on STDs, birth control and other sexual health information. Secondary characters mentioned in the plot also deal with pregnancy, depression, and accepting reality. Katherine and Michael spend the weekend at a ski lodge and many dates in secluded places *wink wink*. As their relationship continues, Katherine is no longer her sassy self, but becomes more withdrawn as Michael grows more possessive. I honestly am still trying to find an attractive quality in him, honestly. In the end, the couple spends some time away the summer after graduation and they come to the rough conclusion that a relationship built on sexual pleasure only adds up to “Forever…”, not forever.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a story with minimal details. There is a note at the beginning explaining how times were different 40 years ago, when it was published and the sexual revolution was still impacting America. While it is not a great book, it is a good read. I say this as a person who has read it four times.

I also completed “Penny from Heaven” by Jennifer Holm. Penny is a 12-year-old girl living in the late 40s/early 50s. As far as she knows, her nickname stems from her late father’s love of the song “Penny from Heaven”. A rambunctious girl, Penny runs around with her cousin Frankie, pennywho isn’t always the best influence. In as the result of a weird treasure hunt, Penny winds up in the hospital where her mom works, with a disabled arm. Now, Penny has always been lead to believed her father died fighting in WWII, but some nurses reveal the truth while they believe she is unconscious. It turns out, the parents’ marriage was highly frowned upon, but one of her uncles supported them through and through. As a gift, he gave the happy couple a brand-new radio, a gift most Italians like Penny’s dad weren’t allowed to have…. But if I continue on it’ll ruin the ending for you and we wouldn’t that, now would we?

On the surface this looks like another fun-in-the-sun, blast-from-the-past novel, but the plot holds so much more. Read this if you live for strange twists and turns that work well in the story!

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6 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are you Reading?: Week Four

  1. kaitmmm says:

    Penny from Heaven sounds like such an interesting read! It’s going to have to be added to my TBR list. I love it when books are unexpectedly more than what you bargained for. Great post!

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  2. Ali Meyer says:

    Oh Mary Anne… where do I even start? I actually really love your description of Forever, I think you hit it right on the head (oh lord, don’t read that dirtily.) Anyway, my favorite thing about this book that I overlooked was definitely the introduction/preface. I think it made me dislike the book less. And I truly understand that this book was created, as you put it, as a “sex guidebook.” As for the Penny book, I think I’ll have to check it out. I love that you have this love for older books. It’s interesting because I don’t really look at them when I think about YA lit…even though they are YA lit. I should start looking into older books, maybe I’ll actually learn something interesting from them. I mean I know ALL about sex now!

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