Right from the summary I knew I’d love The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me, but I just wasn’t ready for how much. This book was moving, fulfilling, and emotional.
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this free book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
I’m not sure if there’s something in The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me that I didn’t love. I adored Lacey’s feminist mother, Lacey’s passion for helping her fellow students, her best friend (and ace) Evita, and the friendship between Evita, Lacey, and Theo. I felt like The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me just called to me in different ways. Whether it was Evita’s identity as ace, but not aro, or Lacey being pulled between nursing and being in their high school band, or even how supportive her family is. All parts of The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me had just enough drama, tension, high stakes, and sweetness.
Feminism and Sex Positivity
There were just so many feminist quotes I want this book to have a billion quote prints. I have become recently obsessed with these, so I would love post cards or something to be made of these amazing gems like, ” “. This book is like a love letter to feminism, consent, sexual education, and the idea that knowledge shouldn’t be shamed, demonized, or stigmatized. When we all have more knowledge about our bodies and sex, we can be more thoughtful, respectful, and responsible people. Not only do I wish Lacey had been my friend in high school, it would have saved so much heartache, but I wish we had someone who would be as open, genuine, and honest about our sexual education.
I will forever support books that celebrate consent. And so The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me not only becomes a book that is powerful and heart warming, but also one that can advise and teach teens at the same time. I cannot more heartily recommend this book to all teens who want to read a book about sex positivity and teens who try to fight against a system that tries to keep their bodies a mystery.
So we know I adored the themes and messages of The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me, but I also loved the characters. I cannot think of a character I didn’t love. Whether it be Lacey and her passion for nursing, her overall coolness, or her supportive family. Evita is also a special favorite of mine as a biromantic ace character. It was a breath of fresh air to see her in this book and how she is so open about her identity. They also talk about her desires for a relationship and her feelings about sex. And I loved how soft Theo is and how much of a struggle it is for his parents, specifically his dad, to be so intolerant. There’s another side character who is bisexual and a teen mom and Alice just may be my favorite side character in the history of the world.
I loved everything about The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me from Lacey and her mother’s relationship, to how passionate the entire trio is about music, all the way to this plot that quietly pulls us forward. I adored every time Lacey’s mom called out misogynistic jokes, encouraged Lacey to take charge of her sexuality, or the fact that not everyone who gives birth identifies as a woman. My book is full of highlight from quotes that celebrate feminism, or about the tenderness of love, or the importance of friendship. And the story is one that focuses a lot on characters, but also on this extremely intense period of their lives: right before college, but also wanting to leave a mark on their high school.
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