there's been a bit of discussion about and around the topic of sex in YA books. an inside a dog discussion forum a few weeks ago got me really thinking. i discovered that a lot of the people who would prefer to read books without sex were embarrassed. natural; this is something that is private, sometimes scary, that makes you nervous. but it isn't as though YA books are pulsing with pornography. at least, i hope not.
i think it is lovely when a book can explore the fumbling, awkward moments that occur between two characters - letting the reader experience, or be introduced, to sex and sexuality in a safe and gentle way. you've got the more explicit (and here i don't mean porn, but sex scenes without metaphor) scenes in john marsden's the dead of the night, judy blume's forever and maureen mccarthy's cross my heart - and i can't help but think of poor sophie from joanne horniman's my candlelight novel just waiting to get away from the boys and back to her books.
then there are the more metaphoric or poetic depictions. for example, here's a really beautiful sex scene from steven herrick's the simple gift:
It was like falling headlong
into the clear waters
of the Bendarat River
and opening my eyes
to the beautiful
phospherescent bubbles of light
and trying to catch those bubbles
iin the new world of quiet and calm
that carried me along, breathless,
and too late, or too early,
and broke the gentle tide,
and I gasped and rolled
and wished Caitlin and I
could return to the hush
of that special world
and we could float
safe for a lifetime
and hoping never
to be found.
but now i am hopping off my soapbox and back to reviewing. that's what i'm here to do.