The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me follows a high school student named Lacey who aims to change her school’s old-fashioned sex ed program.
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.
The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me is a bold novel that tackles issues of sexual health education head-on. It’s narrated by Lacey, a (normally) quiet girl who gets fed up with the terrible sex ed program at her school and the negative ways that it affects students, and tries to make a change by answering other kids’ questions and handing out pamphlets on safe sex.
The messages in the book were pretty spot-on: it talks about loads of topics, from consent to feminism and more. The book talks about how abstinence-only education doesn’t work: there are always going to be teenagers who have sex, and the most important thing is that they’re educated about how to be safe.
Like, which is better for keeping us healthy: shame or information?
Quote is from an advance copy and is subject to change upon publication.
Through Alice, a friend of Lacey’s who dropped out of school after becoming pregnant, the book also talks about de-stigmatizing teen pregnancy, and how harmful it can be to shame teenagers who get pregnant.
In addition to these issues, the novel also explores other teenage things like first love, college decisions, and rocky friendships. Lacey and her two best friends, Evita (a super badass biromantic asexual) and Theo (whom Lacey is in love with) have a band which is also pretty cool!
I also really liked reading about Lacey’s internship at a hospital, where she helped to support mothers giving who were giving birth. This is something that I’ve definitely never read about and found super interesting.
I think the main reason why I didn’t give The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me a full four star rating is that I wasn’t 100% invested in the relationships. I did enjoy Lacey’s relationship with her mom (who is a nurse and SUPER open with her daughter, in a way that sometimes provides comic relief), but overall, the relationships weren’t super exceptional for me, and I was sort of wishing for less of the friends and dating drama.
Diversity Rep: biromantic asexual major character
Warnings: mentions of rape; sexual content (some younger readers may not feel comfortable reading)
I enjoyed The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me and its messages, but I thought it could’ve been a bit better. Overall, it was a compelling read, though!
You can enter for the chance to win a copy of The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me HERE! (Make sure to enter before the giveaway closes on January 31st, 2019.)
I’m very sorry to all my wonderful readers from other countries, but unfortunately, this giveaway is US only.
Will you be picking up The, Birds, the Bees, and You and Me? (It releases today!) I’d love to chat with you in the comments.
Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for including me on the blog tour and for providing me with a review copy of this book! This in no way affected my review.