Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 907
interesting book about issues facing teens
Overall rating
 
3.7
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
ASK ME ANYTHING is a book with a lot to unpack. Amber and Dean attend a private school which is well-known for its educational standards and which is also conservative, teaching only abstinence only sex education. After talking to her BFF who is sexually active and needs a safe space to ask questions, Amber has an idea.

When she also makes a bet with Dean to do something big with their hacking skills in their senior year, Amber decides to make a blog where teens at their school can safely and anonymously ask questions that aren't covered by their lacking sex ed classes. With her father being a teen psychologist and her mother a romance novelist, Amber is lucky to have two supportive and caring parents to go to for information- she may as well use that information to help others.

Dean is being blackmailed by the principal to help with uncovering the person behind the Ask Me Anything blog so that his sister's prank won't be exposed. It turns out the principal has been blackmailing a lot of students to do things for him and keep his well-paid position where it is.

Dean has long had a crush on Amber, and she has one on him also- however, there's a psychological block to them getting together. One that they will need to work through with support. As they get to know each other better, their feelings and relationship grow.

I would add some warnings for sexual assault (attempted and actual, multiple stories with varying degrees of detail) as well as teen pregnancy. This book contains some really big and important issues which are facing teens and young people- beyond assault/consent, there is also coming out, navigating parental relationships, facing sexism, and even some points about racism/feminism. It is all handled really well through the context of the blog.

Amber is dealing with some issues on her own, but luckily, she has absolutely incredible parents who are such a great model and really help her to work through them and understand the world around her. It is always great to see such a healthy parent-child relationship and to see young people getting the support they need. The book itself is also a great source of information and thought-provocation through the posts on the blog. The book spends a lot of time on the relationship building between Amber and Dean, and I would have preferred to have even more of the blog (though their relationship is really sweet and cute).

I would have liked to see more psychological support for Amber in terms of a professional, but I think this was a pretty accurate portrayal of the way things usually go. Her support from parents was top notch and was great to see, regardless.

Overall, this is a strong and interesting story about students who try to help each other as well as about sex ed. This is a great book for fans of contemporary YA romance and older teens.
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