LOVE AND SEX: Ten Stories of Truth

Michael Cart, Editor
Michael Cart, Editor . S&S $18 (240p) ISBN 978-0-689-83203-1
Reviewed on: 05/28/2001
Release date: 06/01/2001
Paperback - 225 pages - 978-0-689-85668-6
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4391-1636-4
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Teen romance comes in a wide assortment of flavors in this collection of original short stories by popular YA authors. While all contributions share a common theme (the "intersections of love and sex," as Cart puts it) and a markedly frank, contemporary narrative, the perspectives differ, moving in a continuum from conservative to unconventional. The first story, by Joan Bauer, relates the values of a virgin-by-choice, a high school senior, who considers "giving in" to a boy she meets at the ice-cream parlor where she works. The conclusion, in which the heroine manages to retain both her respect and boyfriend, is substantially more pat than the open ending of the last selection; there, Irish novelist Emma Donoghue leaves her British lesbian protagonist mulling over the meaning of her attraction to a transsexual. Stories wedged between "Extra Virgin" and "The Welcome" form a middle ground of attitudes, addressing such issues as interracial relationships, one-sided crushes, romantic obsession and the fear of being gay. In his foreword, Cart (editor of Tomorrowland), a self-proclaimed romantic, discusses both his dismay over previous attempts to censor sex in books and his repugnance for the media's more recent impersonal, "in-your-face" displays of sex. In this volume, the editor strives for a more honest, complex rendering of adolescent "life as it is lived"; his efforts—and teens' inherent interest in the theme—are certain to hold readers' attention. Ages 13-up. (June)

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