Sunday 15 April 2012

106. Losing It by Julia Lawrinson

Losing It by Julia Lawrinson
Published March 2012 Penguin

From the publisher:

To avoid Losing It in the bushes with some random guy in a heavy-metal T-shirt after too many tequila shots, four best friends make a bet: to lose it before schoolies week - and preferably in a romantic, sober way that they won't regret.

There is no illusion as to what this book is going to be about.  It's on the cover (heart shaped sperm) and in the title and on the blurb.

This book is about sex.  That may put a lot of people off, mainly those selecting for school libraries.  
I must admit that I wasn't convinced I would like this book, I feared that a story of four teenage girls embarking on The Great Virginity Challenge might be too much for me to take.  Too tacky or too confronting, but it wasn't what I expected at all.

Don't get me wrong, this book has sex, masturbation, drinking, swearing, lying to parents...all of those confronting elements, but it's actually a thoughtful and funny look into the lives of four very different girls.

The idea was simple, none of the girls wanted to lose their virginity in some drunken fumbling during Schoolies week, so they would all try to lose it at some point during their last year of high school.  There is to be absolute secrecy, they are not to discuss their progress, and the results are to be written up in a diary style confession...and there we have the basis of this book. The book is told in 6 parts.  the introduction, then Zoe's story, Abby's story, Mala's story, Bree's story and then the ending where they all reveal whether or not they did indeed lose their virginity.  Each girl is different, Zoe lives with her Mum and has a reasonable amount of freedom, Abby's family is very religious, Mala's family are super protective and Bree is super smart, athletic and gorgeous.  While the girls have been friends for 6 years, it's not until they take part in this challenge that they really get to know themselves and each other.

The book is funny, and at times makes you cringe, but the characters are strong and intelligent and each girl comes away from the experiences with a clarity about what they want, and what they don't want for themselves.  I won't tell you anything about what happens to each of the characters, but be assured that nothing nasty happens to them (aside from the occasional heartbreak).  There is also a very comical link between all of the stories that we as the readers are made aware of, but the characters know nothing about!

So it's a book about sex, and the way on which the girls have chosen to tackle the issue of their virginity may not sit well with some adult readers, but I suggest that you read the book before making any judgement.  

Who will like this book: Girls age 15+
Read it if you like: Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants

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