Losing It

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9781467720410: Losing It
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Book by Melvin Burgess Anne Fine Mary Hooper Sophie Mckenz

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"Losing It. Oh...it is a book of short stories. Will that be a hard sell? Oh! It is a collection of stories about losing your virginity. Great, it is about SEX. That should not be a problem. It turns out that Losing It is less about sex and more about crossing that line into adulthood--knowing the line is there, and choosing to cross it--or not; or, crossing it with no choice and then, choosing to deal with the consequences. The stories are beautifully written. The language imparts a very real sense of place and person. Unfortunately, 'The White Towel' by Bali Rai is weakened by the unnecessary plot device of a girl merely providing an introduction to the real story of a relative in another country. The many characters recognize a shift in the concept of virginity: 'Virginity doesn't really matter in this world, does it? Not with all the rape and sex abuse .... I mean, virginity is exaggerated. It's almost an impossible achievement. It's something we're told we should have, but then it's stolen from us by the very people who tell us we should have it' ('Sticky Fingers' by A.S.King, p. 27).
These are very emotional stories, with the characters fully aware of the pathos, pain, humor, and inevitability of their situations. While this is a graphic topic, the details of both hetero- and homosexual physical relationships are kept to a minimum. The power and beauty of the writing resonate longer than how-who-did-what-to-whom. This title would be suitable for mature junior high readers." --VOYA


"The 'it' in question is likely just what those noticing the title will expect in this beautifully varied collection of 10 short stories about teens losing their virginity.

Most of the well-known authors here have a flair for getting inside the heads of the people about whom they write, and common themes emerge. Often wickedly funny and deceptively insightful, these stories are populated with multidimensional characters who delve into issues such as body shame, reputation and the disconnect involved for teens in talking honestly with adults about sex. One of the undeniable jewels here is the offering by Patrick Ness, 'Different for Boys, ' which carries off a brilliant metaexamination of the supposedly controversial nature of writing about sex for teens by using black bars to censor sexual language. 'Certain words are necessary...but you can't actually show 'em because we're too young to read about the stuff we actually do, yeah?' remarks the protagonist. The only real break in the cohesion is a work of historical fiction by Mary Hooper, in which an impoverished young woman is forced into prostitution--its melodramatic tone is at odds with the contemporary feel of the rest.

This is a fresh, smart collection with a can't-lose subject." --Kirkus Reviews


"Ten authors approach the subject of losing one's virginity from a variety of angles in a collection of stories first published in the U.K. In Andrew Smith's 'Green Screen, ' one of two stories original to the U.S. edition, a dorky sophomore feels out of his depth when he's partnered with a 12th-grade 'reformed slut' on a class project; A.S. King inverts the idea of a 'promise ring' in the other new story, as the ring a girl receives from an older guy turns out to stand for very little. In Patrick Ness's 'Different for Boys, ' about the changing relationships among a group of boys, profanity and mentions of sex are blacked out like a classified document. Mary Hooper offers a welcome bit of historical perspective with the heartbreaking story of a Victorian girl forced into prostitution, while Bali Rai contributes a brutal account of an honor killing. While sex and its implications loom in the minds of nearly all of the characters, the authors are more interested in the buildup to, aftermath of, and emotions surrounding the act than in the act itself. Sometimes funny, sometimes painful, and thoroughly thought-provoking." --Publishers Weekly


"This collection of short stories about firsts--specifically first sexual experiences--includes series, comic, tragic, historical, and cultural selections. Contributors include Melvin Burgess, Patrick Ness, A.S. King, Andrew Smith, and several other, mostly well-known YA authors. Some entries are stronger than others, and cover the gamut: a Victorian girl having to turn to prostitution in order to help support her brothers, a nerdy boy paired with a 'reformed slut' for a class project, a boy wondering if all the sexual fooling around with a male friend means he's no longer a virgin, a girl picked up for shoplifting a music CD for her boyfriend, an Indian girl vising her relatives who finally learns the truth about the death of her aunt, a student athlete wondering if he will ruin the team's chances in the championship game if he has sex, and a health teacher remembering her experiences as a teen. The stories are uniformly engaging and polished, but a few reference British personalities and incidents with which most readers will not be familiar. None of the stories are graphic, but the subject alone will interest older teens and give insight into this rite of passage." --School Library Journal


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An anthology of ten stories about teens losing their virginity.

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