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Young Adult Fiction 1421
Empowering Young Adult Fiction
(Updated: July 14, 2022)
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Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl was a book that surprised me. Joya Goffney wrote this book in such a way that it's not so much about sex, but about Monique finding her own identity and what she wants in her relationship. Goffney's ability to shed light on vaginismus and educate readers is a bonus.

Monique is the daughter of a preacher and is expected to be the perfect church kid. Monique's whole life she was told she needed to wait until marriage to have sex and so her body seems to shut down when she does try to engage in sex with her boyfriend. Dom is the popular, athletic, and perfect boyfriend, especially in the eyes of Monique's father. The fact that Dom breaks up with Monique because she can't have sex just shows his true colors. Monique is devastated and wants to know what is wrong with her body.

At first, Monique is desperate to cure her body to get back with Dom but as the book progresses she begins to see Dom for what he is. He feels entitled to her body and sex and Monique realizes that her body and sex are not a prize. It was a very empowering moment where she realizes her worth has absolutely nothing to do with sex. Monique reflects back on how she slowly gave up her friends and her love of writing to focus on Dom and making him happy and in the process lost some of herself.

I thoroughly enjoyed the unlikely friendship of Monique, Sasha, and Reggie. Sasha is viewed as the perfect Christian teen that Monique should emulate which made Monique not want to get to know her. As they become friends, you see a different side of Sasha that loves to curse, dance dirty to hip hop, and even date a girl she met at a club. Although Sasha loves the church and has the biggest heart, she doesn't let loving God put her in a box of who she is supposed to be. Despite what adults believe, Reggie isn't the troubled kid they portray him to be. While he is loud and obnoxious, he is unapologetic about who he is and he never judges Monique. Through these two friendships, Monique begins to discover herself.

Many teens can relate to Monique's relationship with her parents. She did not feel she could go to her parents with concerns about her body or sex. Monique's life is full of family drama, but the way her relationship with her parents evolves is heartwarming.

When Dom broke Monique's heart, I was afraid she would give up on love, but Reggie showed her that there are men who will love you for yourself and not what your body can offer them.

This book is relatable for all teens, especially those who have experienced purity culture. I found this book to be very sex-positive and empowering for women. Sasha's words will stay with me "you are more than what your body can do"
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