Let’s Talk Bookish – Sexual Content in YA

Good morning my lovely readers! I hope you are having a fantastic day. Welcome to Let’s Talk Bookish. Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by me, where we discuss chosen topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Today’s topic is: Sexual Content in YA – Is there too much sexual content in YA books?

This topic was suggested by the lovely Ruqs @ Many Things Bookish, so thank you so much! If you’d like to suggest a topic as well, head over to my contact page, or use this form to share your suggestion!

I think that yes, there is too much sexual content in YA books.

First, I think we need to define what YA is. YA books, an acronym for Young Adult books, are books aimed at teenagers between the ages of around 12 to 18 (Wikipedia). Just from this, then YES, absolutely, there is too much sexual content in YA books, especially if there are 12 year olds out there who are reading such books.

But I’ve noticed that some people have started to classify some books as Upper YA, meaning that it’s for the older kids in this age range, or basically it’s not for young kids. This helps a lot because then it’s easier to guess which books are going to be more…explicit than others.

I also think there is a difference between romance and sexual content. Romance doesn’t have to be 100% bad, and it doesn’t have to become sexual content either. It can be just that, romance.

Sexual content however, is on another whole level, and I think there should be warnings, or something that lets the reader know that this isn’t the perfectly innocent book that they plan to read. Especially for books in the YA region, which are read by young kids, and older teenagers (even adults) alike. Adults or older teenagers may not mind much, but the younger ones shouldn’t have to be exposed so early on to this kind of thing. It wouldn’t hurt to put a note at the beginning of the book warning the reader about what they’re about to experience.

And this isn’t just for protecting younger kids, it’s also for anyone who doesn’t want to read that kind of thing. I don’t want to be picking up a book looking for a heist or a mystery and then having to skip every other page because the two characters can not get their hands off each other. It makes me so mad, because it’s misleading to sell the book as something I want to read, and then fill the pages with so much stuff that I am 100% not here for.

I think an easy way to fix this is to create a different category for the younger half of the 12-18 range, and leave Young Adult for the other half. Or we could just call the more innocent books YA, and the other not so innocent ones Upper YA. I don’t know, but I think that something needs to be done about it,

This Week’s Participants:

Vicki @ Diverse Fantasy Reads | Jane @ Blogger Books

What do you think? Is there too much sexual content in YA books? Have you ever read a book and was disappointed to find out it was nothing like you expected? Should warnings be put at the beginning of the book or a new category should be created all together? Chat with me in the comments below!

Trust Me, I’m Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer – Review

Welcome guys!!! Today’s review is of Trust Me, I’m Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer. This book had a lot of potential but it sadly fell flat. The characters weren’t really likable, and the plot was far-fetched. Overall, I was really disappointed.

Book: Trust Me, I’m Lying

Author: Mary Elizabeth Summer

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Summary: Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.

But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal.

Fans of Ally Carter, especially her Heist Society readers, will love this teen mystery/thriller with sarcastic wit, a hint of romance, and Ocean’s Eleven–inspired action.

Quote: “I can’t say I have much experience with conscience. I wasn’t born with that particular cricket on my shoulder.”

*Humorous? I laughed out loud a couple of times, and it was kind of a relief, or something childish and different to read. That’s the only good thing I can think of about this book right now.

Quote: “When you can be anybody, you become nobody”

*It was just Meh. It had a lot of potential, and it just fell flat. The characters were dull, the plot was not new or surprising, and I didn’t like Julep. The fact that’s a con artist, or a grifter, didn’t help the story, and actually made it worse. One of the major plot twists was something I saw coming from the very first few chapters and I was just baffled as to how she didn’t realize this even though it’s her job to swindle or con people.

*Julep the Grifter. Julep wasn’t really likable. She’s naive and really self-centered and I found it annoying that she couldn’t just think about someone else for a second. She’s also constantly referring to her friends, who are helping her, as her minions and complaining about how she has to spell out everything for them which grated on my nerves. And for a girl who grew up in the world of con artists, she’s horrible at it, ridiculously naive, and way too trusting. There were a few instances in which she used her ‘skills’ to help people out in return for payment, but I wasn’t wowed or amazed by it.

*Plot. I thought the plot was really lame. When Julep comes home to a trashed apartment and a missing father, she’s determined to find him at all costs, and uses clues that her father managed to leave behind to try and find out where he is, or who has him. Her father is supposedly working for a really dangerous gang, yet he still has the time to set up elaborate clues all over the city. It was really far-fetched and hard to believe. The adults in this story were just not there, and even though someone from child services comes after questions were raised about Julep’s father, nothing happens. And there’s another adult who somehow manages to convince herself that it’s okay to let a kid go talk to a gang leader who may or may not have kidnapped her father. It was ridiculous.

Quote: “I guess it’s true what the French say: fortune favors the innocent. Lucky for me, it also favors the moderately dishonest.”

I didn’t like this. I don’t think I would recommend this, but here’s a positive review that might help you decide if you want to read it or not! Initially, I gave this 2.5 stars, but I think I’m going to bring it down to 1.5, rounded up to 2. I hope you enjoy it if you choose to read it! (Kelly’s Positive Review)

One sentence summary: A disappointing read with a naive main character.

Overall, 1.5 stars rounded to 2


I got the idea to include positive reviews in negative ones from Kat @ Novels and Waffles!

Have you read Trust Me, I’m Lying? Did you enjoy it? I’m not sure if I want to give the second book in the series a try. If you’ve read it, do you think the story gets better? Let’s chat in the comments below!

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – Review

Welcome everyone to another book review! Today’s review is of one of the most super-hyped book on Goodreads, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. This was very unimpressive considering the amount of great reviews and five stars that it gets. I expected a lot more that what I got, but it was still a little fun.

Book: The Cruel Prince

Author: Holly Black

Rating: 1.5 stars

Summary: Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself. 

Quote: “If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.”

*The Court. I liked the betrayals and politics in The High Court. All the bloodshed, arguments, and the fight for the crown was pretty okay.

*Cardan. The only character in this book to gain my sympathy was Cardan. Originally I hated him, but I finally grew somewhat sympathetic for him by the end of the book.

*Addictive. Even though it was meh, I couldn’t bring myself to put it down. It had this addictive way of making you want to finish it, no matter how boring it was.

*Nothing else? It’s been about a week since I read this, and I’m trying so hard to find anything redeeming or great about this, or even remotely ‘good’, but I can’t. It was just so meh, and unmemorable.

Quote: “If you hurt me, I wouldn’t cry. I would hurt you back.”

*Jude. I don’t exactly know if I like her or not. She’s pretty confident and has this no nonsense attitude and is ready to do anything even if it’s a super bad idea and border-line crazy. I like that, but she wasn’t that great and I didn’t grow to love and cheer for her. And towards the end, I just thought she was a little too power-hungry. Also, what’s up with her and Cardan?

*Characters. Like Jude, they weren’t that memorable and I didn’t care what happened to them. Locke was an idiot, Taryn was an annoyingly backstabbing sister, Vivi was just Vivi, and Cardan’s other cronies were cruel.

*Plot. It’s just meh. I thought that it would be a revenge story or something similar, but that was not what happened at all. Jude gets herself caught up in The High Court fiasco and uses that to make herself even more powerful. Her ‘reasons’ for wanting to ‘make things right again’ were just an excuse for her to seize the opportunity that she saw to make herself an important part of The Court.

Quote: “I have lied and I have betrayed and I have triumphed. If only there was someone to congratulate me.”

I didn’t really like or dislike this. I thought it was just meh, and very underwhelming. For a book that was pretty hyped, it just fell flat. I’m super wary and unsure if I want to read The Wicked King.

One sentence summary: A very hyped book with one-dimensional characters and a boring plot.

Overall, 1.5 stars


Have you read The Cruel Prince? What did you think? Do you think it’s worth it for me to read The Wicked King? Let’s chat in the comments below!

P.S. What do you think of the new theme?