Links + Things: YA Books + Sex Ed, The Nastiness of Comparison, Cheapo Books + More

Links + Things: YA Books + Sex Ed, The Nastiness of Comparison, Cheapo Books + More

Wow, there sure has been a plethora of interesting discussion happening lately, in the book world and beyond. I had a very hard time selecting items from my giant Evernote file of interestingness (yes, that's what I call it) to share with you guys. I also found books by a couple of awesome authors on sale (and not just e-books!), so be sure to scroll down to check those out.

Links + Things on Clear Eyes, Full Shelves

Required Reading

YA Books, Sex Ed & Pornography (CK Kelly Martin)

Like Malorie Blackman, I feel young adult literature has a responsibility here. It can and should play a role, reflecting realistic sexual experiences, both good and bad and thereby allowing teenagers to process aspects of the experiences before they are ready to engage in sex themselves. If you are writing young adult books that don't fade to black when it comes to sex scenes and if you're handling those scenes with honesty, without being exploitive, and neither glorifying sex nor demonizing it, you are already personally my favourite kind of YA writer. But more importantly, you're helping empower young people who are living in a highly sexually charged culture.
Author CK Kelly Martin wrote a spot-on, smart post in response to a piece in The Telegraph about where teens get their information about sex and the role of YA literature. The other items she links to are important as well, all shedding a light on the world today's young people navigate.

 How I Learned To Stop Comparing Myself To Others, And Love My Own Ideas (Fast Co)

Remember: You are comparing yourself to perception.
I had a really powerful talk with another entrepreneur at SXSW this year. I was lamenting how I felt that, as a late riser, I was missing out on precious hours of work. He said something that I still think about--that when we compare ourselves to others, whether it be a marriage, a career, or a specific achievement, that we are only comparing ourselves to our perception of this person. We are not said person, nor will we ever know their true selves. 

Ever feel like you're inadequate compared to everyone else in your field, whether professional or with your hobby, such a blog? Maybe you're not the dedicated self-promoter that some folks are? This is a good reminder from Meredith Fineman about how comparison is toxic and that people only let us see what they want us to see, which is often starkly different from reality. 

Further Reading

Cheapo Books!

This week I found three books each by two of my favorite authors on sale for pretty cheap. Also, all of the deals I posted last week appear to still be in effect, so you may want to check those out too, if you're looking for some weekend reading. Click on the cover image for more information about each title.

Such a Rush
By Jennifer Echols
Going Too Far
By Jennifer Echols
Forget You
By Jennifer Echols

In advance of her (absolutely awesome) new novel, Dirty Little Secret, coming out in mid-July, Simon & Schuster discounted three highly recommended Jennifer Echols novels: Such a Rush (my review), Forget You and Going to Far, all for under $4 for the ebooks (the paperback of Forget You is $4.40 on Amazon, the others are regularly-priced in print). I highly recommend all of these, and Jennifer's books in general. It's interesting to me that she's never mentioned in discussions of sex-positive, girl-positive YA, because she's the first name that comes to my mind when I think about authors who consistently excel at portraying both. My only guess is that because she writes romance-focused novels, they're not considered serious or important enough for inclusion on these sorts of lists? (She's been on ours since the beginning.) She also doesn't get nearly enough credit for writing difficult, challenging and multi-dimensional teen girl characters. Again, I'm guessing this is because she focuses on romance, rather than "serious issues." (Don't even get me started on that rant--basically, see my post on "The Julie Taylor Test" for my feelings on the way we dismiss teen girls' interests.) 

Excuse the unplanned semi-rant, y'all... 

I just ordered paperbacks of three of Liza Palmer's novels (she wrote the outstanding Nowhere But Home, which I still can't quit raving about) for $5.60 each on Amazon (that's less than $17 for all three--whoohoo!). I know Seeing Me Naked comes highly recommended by Angie, who introduced me to Liza's novels, so I'd get on this deal while they're still in stock at the bargain price.  

Have a lovely weekend, y'all! Happy summer solstice!

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