We read this as part of our YA Classics month (January 2013). Some thoughts:
- Is it a "sex manual", as some critics have suggested, or an actual story? Generally agreed that it seemed to be the former. We discussed 'Ralph' - two points that
came upemerged were that it was a way of being explicit without being explicit and also that there was no equivalent for Katherine's ladyparts. Also that Katherine doesn't seem overly concerned about Michael's revelation that he'd had VD - this might be a product of it being very 1970s, when (as the foreword in many editions notes) pregnancy was the sole focus of 'safe sex', rather than disease.
- We felt it was for younger readers - young teens - rather than older teens, and again there was the suggestion that Katherine and Michael might have been 'aged up' to make the book more acceptable. They seemed young for eighteen, closer to fifteen/sixteen.
- We wanted more on Artie and to find out how that resolved itself. Also noted that Erica makes an advance on a boy and this is what happens, whereas Katherine is pursued rather than a pursuer.
- Still one of the most explicit YA books out there re: sex - other titles mentioned included Melvin Burgess's Doing It, Meg Cabot's Ready or Not, William Nicholson's Rich and Mad, Daria Snadowsky's Anatomy of a Boyfriend, and Keith Gray (ed) Losing It.
- Other Judy Blume books we would recommend? (For some people this was their first Judy Blume and they weren't mad about it. For those of us that had read her other books, this didn't seem to be a favourite.) Summer Sisters and Tiger Eyes.