Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Book: On the Subject of Unmentionable Things
Author: Julia Walton
Book Series: Standalone
Diversity: Hispanic Character
Recommended For…: young adult readers, contemporary, sex education
Publication Date: August 23, 2022
Genre: YA Contemporary
Age Relevance: 15+ (sexual content, racism, micro aggressive comments, alt-right ideals, rape mentioned, illness, vomiting, homophobia, romance)
Explanation of Above: The book talks openly about sex and sexual practices and sexual health in an informative and educational manner that I believe every teenager needs to read. We cannot stop teenagers from having sex, but we can give them the information to proceed with it in an informed, safe, and consensual manner. There is some racism in the book, including micro aggressive comments about ethnic food, and homophobic remarks as well. Alt-right ideals are shown in the book, though the MC and most of the cast of the characters are against it, but it does eerily show reality in those passages. There is some illness shown with vomiting shown as well. There is one scene in which a character is threatened with an allusion to rape and that is discussed. There is also some romance in the book.
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Synopsis: Phoebe Townsend is a rule follower . . . or so everyone thinks. She’s an A student who writes for her small-town school newspaper. But what no one knows is that Phoebe is also Pom—the anonymous teen who’s rewriting sex education on her blog and social media.
Phoebe is not a pervert. No, really. Her unconventional hobby is just a research obsession. And sex should not be a secret. As long as Phoebe stays undercover, she’s sure she’ll fly through junior year unnoticed. . . .
That is, until Pom goes viral, courtesy of mayoral candidate Lydia Brookhurst. The former beauty queen labels Phoebe’s work an “assault on morality,” riling up her supporters and calling on Pom to reveal her identity. But Phoebe is not backing down. With her anonymity on the line, is it all worth the fight?
Julia Walton delivers a brutally honest novel about sex, social media, and the courage to pursue truth when misinformation is rife. Who knew truth could be so scandalous?
Review: Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I think that this is one of those necessary books because it speaks so openly about sex and sex education and sexual consent. I love that it was directed at teenagers as well. Teenagers are going to have sex and making them ill-prepared is only setting them up for failure via pregnancy, sexual violence, sexual trafficking, or illness with STDs. It’s uncomfortable and raw, but it’s a necessity for them to learn, especially about how to protect their own bodies and what warning signs to watch out for with partners. The book is a funny, but passionate and honestly raw book that I think everyone should read. The character development was amazing and the writing was well done.
The only issue I had with the book is that I felt like it was a bit quick with the romance aspect and that sometimes it took away from the plot of the book.
Verdict: It was great! Highly recommend!