Doing It: Let’s Talk About Sex
Author: Hannah Witton
Publisher: Wren & Rook (Hachette Children’s Group)
Publication Date: April 6th 2017
Format: eARC (320 pages)
Figuring out how to build and maintain healthy relationships – with your family, friends, romantically and with yourself – is a crucial part of being a teen. It’s not easy though, particularly in a digital age where information and advice are so forthcoming it can be hard to know who or what to believe or trust. Porn is everywhere, sexting is the norm and messages about body image are highly mixed. Hannah combats this by tackling subjects ranging from masturbation and puberty to slut shaming and consent in an accessible, relatable and extremely honest way. She is unembarrassed about bringing little-discussed topics into the open, and as such empowers teens to have the confidence to conduct relationships on their terms, and in a way that they feel comfortable with.
My Rating: ★★★★
I don’t often read non-fiction books but when I saw that this book was coming out I just knew that I absolutely had to read it. Hannah Witton has succeeded in writing a book about sex which is just as funny and honest as it is informative. There is something for everyone to learn in this book regardless of your age or gender.
I loved that Hannah opens the book by talking a bit about her vision and dream for a future where sex and relationships education will be compulsory on the National Curriculum and certainly delivered in a more effective way. As a secondary school teacher myself I know for a fact that there is definitely a much bigger need for our young people to be fully educated not just about sex but about positive and healthy relationships. I was recently in an assembly where our school link police officer came to deliver a presentation to 14/15 year old pupils about the importance of consent and maybe more importantly what consent means. It was by far one of the best assemblies I have ever attended and I was thrilled to see a rather big section on this being covered in the book.
The content of this book astounded me, it really does seem to include a bit of everything. Hannah starts by talking about healthy vs. non-healthy relationships: what are they? How do I get out of an abusive relationship? Then it was on to the sex: losing your virginity, families talking the birds and the bees, consent, STIs, contraception. There are some excellent details about different types of contraception in here too – super informative! Gender and sexuality is a big chunk of this book and I think this is a section where people of all ages can really learn. If anything I think this is the part of the book that younger people may be more informed on than their parents these days. The list of what this book covers just goes on and on, you’ll have to read it to find out what it’s really all about!
Throughout this book Hannah really has opened herself up to the world and shares some exceptionally personal experiences with us as readers. However something I truly loved about this book is that Hannah does not try to imagine what other people’s experiences may be like, instead she has asked others to write about their own experiences and she has included them in her book. There are some excellent additions to the book by people such as Juno Dawson talking about her experience as someone who is transgender.
Another favourite part of mine in the book were the ‘myth busting’ sections. I think this is so important as it will really inform the readers, especially those younger people who may not know what is fact and what is a myth. I thought it was really nicely done and covered bases for all genders too. I think it’s so important that a book like this is not just aimed at one gender.
I 100% believe that this book will do wonders in informing young people and making real differences to many lives. Let’s just hope it gets into the hands of as many young readers as possible.
Thank you to Netgalley, and the publishers for my copy in exchange for an honest review.
Have you read Doing It? What did you think?
What are your favourite non-fiction books?