Let's talk about sex baby! We see it everywhere from the music artists to the movies to the small screen and everything in between. So naturally, we'd see it in books right? Well, I guess that just really depends.
I'm inclined to think it is. I mean, sex is something that happens in high school even if other people want to pretend that it doesn't. I'm one of those people who firmly believes that the more someone knows, the more they will be able to make an informed choice. Also, YA books have a much wider audience than ever before. Grown woman are reading the same books that their teenage kids are reading.
However, I don't think sex is something that should be written about lightly. If an author is going to brooch this subject, I feel like they have a responsibility to do it with respect. I'm not saying that it can't be sexy or realistic, I'm just saying that it should be handled responsibly.
Also, I think that the teen section should be split into two sections with books for older teens in one and books targeting younger audiences in another section. Some books are obviously targeted for the younger crowd and while they may deal with serious issues, they deal with them in a different manner and usually in less detail than books with an older audience in mind.
One book that I think does sex well is The Body Finder series by Kimberly Derting. Derting does a wonderful job building Jay and Violet's relationship. They respect each other, they get together slowly and are friends first. They rely on each other and want to show their love in deeper ways. In the second book, they take that bigger step and have sex. Though there is enough detail there it isn't overly explicit and you can tell that sex isn't thrown in there as a shock factor. Derting shows it as a sacred thing that shouldn't be taken lightly. Violet doesn't just bounce back the next day but dwells on the idea that they took their relationship to the next level.
I've also seen several books that get pretty hot and heavy but do a good job of making the characters stop in the middle and really think about what they are doing. Under the Never Sky by Rossi, Insurgent by Roth and even Shatter Me by Mafi all show how passion can get the best of people but that they are capable of thinking through things before they make decisions that will change their life.
So for me, I think that sex is good in YAs but only if it is portrayed in the right way (that is to say that it isn't thrown in there as an afterthought or as a shock factor).
What do you guys think? Yay or nay to sex in YA?