It Doesn’t Have To Be Awkward: Dealing with Relationships, Consent, and Other Hard-To-Talk-About Stuff

HMH. Sept. 2021. 384p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780358396031.
Gr 9 Up–Pinsky, a practicing internist and addiction medicine specialist who’s also known on TV as Dr. Drew, teams up with his daughter to write a guide for teens that unpacks challenging topics. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of teenage social life, including toxicity in friendships, dealing with bullies, consent in romantic relationships, and personal identity formation. There is extensive information on how race, gender, and sexual orientation influence how young adults think of themselves and relate to others, with positive, current information for LGBTQIA+ teens and teens of color. Short quizzes with example situations involving fictional characters are included throughout. This guide will be a useful manual for navigating relationships with friends and classmates, as well as grappling with one’s own identity. Back matter features a list of online resources and recommended reading.
VERDICT With sensitivity and compassion, this father-daughter duo highlights consent, identity, and relationships. A useful addition to YA nonfiction collections.

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