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Love & Sex Hardcover – May 1, 2001

3.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A collection of little romances with happy endings? No way. These "ten stories of truth" take a hard, clear look at those first overwhelming feelings of passion, the yearning, aching, sweaty miseries and ecstasies of young love. Distinguished young adult critic and author Michael Cart has brought together 10 brilliant, original stories that examine the many facets of adolescent amour. They range from Joan Bauer's warm, funny tale about the dedicated chastity struggles of an "Extra Virgin" to Michael Lowenthal's achingly erotic story of a young gay male's first disastrous experience with "The Acuteness of Desire." Cart's cast of writers includes some of the freshest talent in young adult literature. Fantasy writer Garth Nix brings his magic touch to "Lightning Bringer"; Sonya Sones shares a set of evocative poems about love in "Secret Shelf"; Laurie Halse Anderson uses the setting of wacky, tacky Venice Beach to tell of a reluctant date that catches fire after meeting a "Snake"; and Emma Donoghue touches on transgender in a story of a young lesbian virgin's crush in "The Welcome." In Louise Hawes's story, a girl makes the hard decision for abortion rather than marrying the boring young man who would have made everything "Fine and Dandy." Chris Lynch relays an almost-funny anecdote of confused sexual identity, and Shelley Stoehr and Angela Johnson explore the nature of sexual obsession in two very different stories to round out this delectable and provocative collection. A portion of the money generated from the sale of this book will be donated to the American Library Association's Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). (Ages 14 and older) --Patty Campbell

From Publishers Weekly

Teen romance comes in a wide assortment of flavors in this collection of original short stories by popular YA authors. While all contributions share a common theme (the "intersections of love and sex," as Cart puts it) and a markedly frank, contemporary narrative, the perspectives differ, moving in a continuum from conservative to unconventional. The first story, by Joan Bauer, relates the values of a virgin-by-choice, a high school senior, who considers "giving in" to a boy she meets at the ice-cream parlor where she works. The conclusion, in which the heroine manages to retain both her respect and boyfriend, is substantially more pat than the open ending of the last selection; there, Irish novelist Emma Donoghue leaves her British lesbian protagonist mulling over the meaning of her attraction to a transsexual. Stories wedged between "Extra Virgin" and "The Welcome" form a middle ground of attitudes, addressing such issues as interracial relationships, one-sided crushes, romantic obsession and the fear of being gay. In his foreword, Cart (editor of Tomorrowland), a self-proclaimed romantic, discusses both his dismay over previous attempts to censor sex in books and his repugnance for the media's more recent impersonal, "in-your-face" displays of sex. In this volume, the editor strives for a more honest, complex rendering of adolescent "life as it is lived"; his efforts and teens' inherent interest in the theme are certain to hold readers' attention. Ages 13-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (June 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689832036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689832031
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,209,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Love and Sex" is a collection of (very) short stories for teens. Each of the ten stories approaches a different aspect of love and/or sex and all the protagonists are teens. The first story is about a girl who wants to wait until marriage for sex -- which may put off teens from reading the other stories which are MUCH more focused on sex itself. As the parent of a teen, I squirmed at much of the material -- graphic and lurid at times (which should keep the teens' attention) but all of which will let each reader know that he/she is not alone in concerns about sex and relationships. Various types of attractions are covered including homosexual and inter-racial. Because each story is written by a different author, each has a different flavor and style. My favorite is a spooky, scf-fi type of allegory about control. All are well written with well drawn characters.
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Format: Paperback
I actually first picked up the book because of the authors featured in this compilation; the title gave me pause. But what I found within the pages of this book was both surprising and comforting.

While there is sex (shocking, isn't it?), that is not really what this book is all about. Each of the stories centers on a character who must make difficult choices that will affect not only his/her adolescence but also the moral character that will carry him/her into adulthood.

I very much enjoyed Sonya Sones story "Secret Shelf" because of the seamless prose and main character I first fell in love with in "What My Mother Doesn't Know." I also enjoyed "Extra Virgin" by Joan Bauer because it reminded me of my personal beliefs at that age. And my heart broke for Michael Lowenthal's main character in "The Acuteness of Desire," even though it was about a topic I struggle to relate with.

Each story is well written, and the genres vary while still holding any audiences attention and keeping with the theme. Each author is extremely talented, and the characters all ring true.
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Format: Hardcover
I must admit I fist pickes it up becuase I was intrigued by the title... Who wouldn't be? Some of the stories are longer then others but none of them exceed 30 pages. I liked that at the end of all the stories, the authors gave a meaningful explination of the story then there was a short bio about that author that you would most likely find on the jacket of one of their books.
I would highly recommened this if you are a fan of any of the authors in the book or even if not, Love & Sex could get you totally hooked on someone new.
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Format: Hardcover
Although I am usually disappointed in anthologies, I was looking forward to reading this one. Love & Sex: Ten Stories of Truth - this title is irresistible and reeks of parental disapproval, does it not?

But as soon as I read first two stories, I was about to return it right back to the library. If you can think of the most cliche subjects for teen stories about love and sex, what comes first to your mind? I bet it's something about virginity and saving yourself until marriage ("Extra Virgin" by Joan Bauer) and something cautionary about sex/pregnancy/abortion ("Fine and Dandy" by Louise Hawes.

Swallowing my disappointment, I decided to give one more story a try - it turned out to be Garth Nix's "Lightning Bringer." Although it was obvious the man wanted to write a story about lightning and not love and sex, he blended the two very well creating a nice fantasy tale about sexual power.

So, thanks to Garth Nix, I stuck with the anthology after all. As always, the collection was a mixed bag of good, mediocre, and bad. It is always evident when a writer has very little experience with writing short stories. Such writers do not understand that a short story requires just as much back story, world-building and plot as a novel and instead produce underdeveloped short outlines.

Some, however, stood out. Along with Garth Nix's short story, I enjoyed Sonya Sones's collection of poems of love and lust titled "Secret Shelf" and Emma Donoghue's "The Welcome" - a tale about sexual identity. Michael Lowenthal's "The Acuteness of Desire" stood out for a different reason - a rather explicit account of the first homosexual encounter.

As a whole, I found this collection more satisfying than many other multi-author anthologies I've read in the past. I expect some adults will be turned off by the explicit nature of several stories.
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