Cover Image: It Doesn't Have to Be Awkward

It Doesn't Have to Be Awkward

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Member Reviews

An easy to read and understand guide to the messy, often awkward and embarrassing conversations teens want to and should have about sex, identity, consent and more. The Pinksys have an excellent grasp of how to explain complicated concepts to teen readers (and their parents) without talking down or being too preachy. The handy infographics throughout the book also disseminate important information quickly and easily.
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Good information for teenagers and parents. The topic of sex, relationships and trauma can be a difficult conversation for teenagers and parents to have. This book is a good starting point to start those hard conversations and get the ball rolling for open communication. It is also great that we get the perspective of Dr. Drew's Daughter.
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I love this. As a counselor, previous educator, and previous peer advocate, this was right up my wheelhouse and something that I've had to have many conversations about. I loved how Dr Drew approached this and the information was nicely presented. Obviously, tweak this information slightly as needed for you and your conversations, but a fantastic starting point.

Thanks to #NetGalley and publishers for the ARC of #ItDoesntHavetoBeAwkward in exchange for the honest review.
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As a previous middle school teacher, and current high school teacher, I appreciated the language and guidance this book offered. It was supportive, mindful, and honest about key issues that humans face, and provided resources and recommendations for readers. I also loved that the TCB framework was applied to and generalized to friendships, reminding readers that relationships are relationships, whether sexual in nature or not. 

Of course, with these types of resources, I find myself wishing there were more visual supports to access a wider range of readers, but the book utilized text boxes and bolding effectively as well. This is a book I would love to keep on hand in the classroom to reflect on, and as a resource for students without overstepping boundaries.
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I thought this book was great and would absolutely recommend it for any teen to read. Sex is confusing and awkward for kids and this book makes it a lot more palatable by simply being less awkward and more conversational. Love Dr. Drew!
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It Doesn’t Have To Be Awkward should have been a book around when I was younger. Honestly, many talks and books about consent and sexuality and relationships should have been around or introduced to my age level when I was younger.

Recommending this book will help someone break some cycles of hurt or confusion - in my opinion! This book talks about situations and asks the reader questions to help them understand or learn that some behaviour they have learned in our society or upbringing isn’t what we should act on. This book touches on relationships with parents, friends, yourself, your partner, gender, sexuality, bullying, media, abuse, substances and sex and shows both the good and bad that can and does happen; it doesn’t make it too dark to sugar coat it which is so important! 
I will say, more inclusion with race discussion would be appreciated and could be in a follow-up (potential sequel) book with POC Authors and doctors!
The witty banter and culture reference make it cute and less awkward to read on a bright note.
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As a high school teacher, I think that this book is great not only for teens but also for adults who work closely with teens. It would work wonderfully to give adults a resource to begin conversations with teens around relationships and consent. It Doesn't Have to Be Awkward would also be a great resource for any teen who is interested in exploring healthy relationships and learning more about consent. If I had a student who was struggling with these types of topics I would highly recommend this book.
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Consent is something we begin teaching (or not) from the time our children first say  that no, they don't want a hug. By the time kids are in middle school, they're finding themselves in situations where their peer to peer interactions are less supervised by adults and they, themselves, get to practice listening to and abiding by each other's desires for more, less, or no physical contact. So it's imperative that the have the language, self-knowledge, and support to make and respect boundaries with others. 

As someone who works with youth and their families, I always stress that kids need multiple trusted adult friends before they enter puberty. They need caring grown-ups who will listen without judgment and provide wise counsel and a different perspective when teens don't feel free to go to their parents. Those conversation partners are non-negotiable. 

Alongside supportive adults, this book by father and daughter pair, Drew Pinsky and Paulina Pinsky, can serve as a resource for youth to evaluate their needs and relationships around consent. The writing is way too folksy for my taste and the references to Elvis and Mae West were off-putting, but the information is solid. The layout invites readers to dip in and out of sections that apply to their particular question of the moment. We need more books like this written by and for people with different social locations, but this is a good contribution to church, school, and teen libraries.
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I teach middle school, and I think this book will be important to kids.  They can read bits and pieces about things that are concerning to them, or they can pick it up to read all the way through.  

I am always a proponent of talking about Trust, Compassion, and Boundaries.  They call it TCB throughout the book. These three things are the theme throughout the rest of the book as it focuses on the following:

Consent
Gender and sexuality
Relationships within your family, friends, and community
Romantic relationships and sex
Trauma

It's important for teenagers to understand and be exposed to these things early. I will certainly recommend it to my students, especially if they are struggling with any of these pieces and parts of their identity.

Much of the information is introductory/surface-level, but the material is good for students who haven't yet explored things like sexual orientation, gender, consent, etc.  There are definitely parts of the book that sound like they are written with the privilege of an older white man, and I was agitated by some of the wording that was used because it felt out of touch with the Gen Z students who would be reading this.  There are parts that seem to try too hard to be relevant, and the mark is missed.  Even in Mississippi where Elvis was born and is worshiped, I am not sure kids would get the constant TCB reference.  However, I feel like the parts where it is clear it is written by Paulina are much easier to read and focus on self-love and acceptance rather than silly phrases that are meant to resonate with students.
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This book was received as an ARC from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group - HMH Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

The first time I have heard of Dr. Drew was when he appeared on an episode of The Masked Singer dressed as The Eagle and he mentioned that he was the Psychologist to the Stars and he has his own podcast where Ken Jeong has filled in for him. But I loved how his daughter Paula also contributed given teens a sense of comfort and confidence to be open on the events described by Dr. Drew and Paula. Sex, relationships, consent and setting boundaries are never easy topics to talk about with anyone especially your parents but the humor and casual approach Paula and Dr. Drew have with one another is very inspiring as the reader to be more open about these topics with our parents and the icing on the cake is always incorporating their personal experiences with these topics.

We will consider adding this title to our Non-Fiction collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
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This reads like a typical self help book. I think the topics discussed are great for teens, but should definitely be paired with conversations with a trusted adult. Information was presented in an easy to follow way.
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