Just Contemporary: Guest Post with Candace from Candace's Book Blog

All month long, Ashley from Books From Bleh to Basically Amazing and Shanyn from Chicks Love Lit are hosting an epic event entitled Just Contemporary.

There are all kinds of goodies, from giveaways to reviews to guest posts and author interviews. Ashley is also doing a round-up of Contemporary reviews and features on other blogs each week, so get in touch with her if you post anything!

A Backwards Story has signed up to swap a guest post with another blogger on the web each week for the next five weeks.

Here is the second of five guest posts. Last week's post can be found HERE.

Today's guest post features Candace from Candace's Book Blog. Candace is both a book blogger and a mother as well as a writer. She can also be found on Twitter.

Now, it's time to introduce her and see why she loves contemporary! If you want to see my thoughts on the subject, just shoot over to Candace's Book Blog!

Contemporary YA: The Tough Stuff by Candace from Candace's Book Blog

Thanks Bonnie for swapping posts with me for Just Contemporary! And thanks also to Shanyn and Ashley for putting this great event together!
Today's post is about 'The Tough Stuff'. Now, we can interpret that how we wish and many things come to mind.

The tough stuff is dealing with issues. These can range from dealing with a death, to contemplating suicide {or even committing suicide and telling your story from 'the other side'} to drug use, cutting, dealing with weight issues... the list goes on. I also think of the tough stuff as stuff that is walking a fine line about whether it's appropriate for the ages it's marketed for.

One of these things is sex. Sex in YA, should it be there? I've been a bit torn about this issue. In the beginning when I first started seeing it in YA, I really didn't like it. I thought it should just be avoided completely. But then I put myself in my own 16-year-old mind and was able to see things differently. I still don't think sex is necessary in any sort of description. I think that if you put in details of sex {even heavy petting} that people will read it for the wrong reasons and miss the point completely. But I do believe there are times when sex {without any description} is needed for a story and to bring a message home.

Not too long ago, I read SHUT OUT by Kody Keplinger {find my review HERE}. This book was full of sex talk. But for me, it was getting a good point across: Don't judge people by what you think they are or what their reputation may be. Girls get all this pressure to have sex; some do, others don't. Some lie and say they did, others did and didn't like it, some are afraid of it completely but are too embarrassed to discuss it at all. They are all judged in one way or another by the other girls. That girl is a slut because she did it, that girl's a prude because she won't, the judging goes on and on. And it's just wrong. While SHUT OUT had lots of sex talk, it didn't have sex itself and personally, even though it's a tough topic, I do believe it's a book every high school girl should read because it's a subject they have to deal with. Also, teens are growing up so much faster these days; it blows my mind the things they are exposed to and have to deal with. I know that I have to keep that in mind when I judge a book by content.

So how about you? What are your thoughts about sex in YA?

Several other blogs took part in this week's post theme as well; a full list will be available on Ashley's blog!

Also, don't forget to check out MY guest post over at Candace's Book Blog! It features books by Laurie Halse Anderson, Jay Asher, Gayle Forman, Kody Keplinger, Daisy Whitney, and many more!


  1. Oooh, great post Candace! This is actually the most specialized/specific of all the posts I've seen so far. I can definitely see your point about Shut Out, although I would be more hesitant than you about who I recommended this book too. (I personally thought that the message you picked up on got a little bogged down/lost in all the other stuff & that Kody was actually trying a little too hard...) but I did overall enjoy the book much more than I thought I would and I admire Kody for not being afraid to tackle some controversy. Great post!!

  2. Thanks for swapping Bonnie!

    Ashley, I do think it walks a fine line and I get them some think it was too much. I'm actually a bit shocked at how much I did like it and how important the message is. Normally I'd be a bit afraid of recommending books like this but I don't know, I guess maybe I'm opening up more to the subject and feel that it's important that girls know not to judge others.


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