* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *
Publisher: Wren & Rook
Release Date: April 6th 2017
Summary (from Goodreads):
Figuring out how to build and maintain healthy relationships – with your family, friends, romantically and with yourself – is a crucial part of being a teen. It’s not easy though, particularly in a digital age where information and advice are so forthcoming it can be hard to know who or what to believe or trust. Porn is everywhere, sexting is the norm and messages about body image are highly mixed. Hannah combats this by tackling subjects ranging from masturbation and puberty to slut shaming and consent in an accessible, relatable and extremely honest way. She is unembarrassed about bringing little-discussed topics into the open, and as such empowers teens to have the confidence to conduct relationships on their terms, and in a way that they feel comfortable with.
This isn’t the kind of book I would usually pick up but I was really happy to be sent it to review. I actually read it one day, which isn’t like me, but it was just so easy to read.
I’ve never watched Hannah’s YouTube videos but I could really get a sense of her personality through the book. She says in the beginning she wants it to feel like a conversation with a friend, and that’s exactly what she achieved. It didn’t come across too preachy, it just felt like I was having a chat with a friend, talking about her experiences.
I wasn’t sure what I’d make of this as I’m not really the intended audience. It’s aimed at teens, ones with questions on sex and relationships. I’m a happily married woman with a baby so I think I do know a thing or two about sex and relationships! But I still learnt something from this book, like how sanitary products used to work for our grandparents and how they used to use frogs to test for pregnancy!
As well as Hannah’s stories and advice, there’s comments from friends and experts too. I really appreciated this on the LGBTQ+ chapter especially, as Hannah says she’s not LGBTQ+ herself and it’s better to hear it from those experiencing these things. I also loved the section from Holly Bourne on relationships: she has some brilliant things to say involving Wormtail from Harry Potter!
My 16-year-old sister has started asking me about sex and virginity and also told me some stories about her friends which I found pretty worrying. I’m going to pass this book on to her because I think it’ll be really useful for them all. While I’m glad she feels she can talk to me about things like this, some of it might sound better coming from someone else.
This is informative and manages to stay away from being too preachy. Some of it’s really frank and I found the honesty really refreshing. It’s not sugar coated or prudish and I think a lot of young people will find this book really useful.