Let's Talk Bookish

Let’s Talk Bookish- Sexual Content in YA

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts. Posts are written on Friday’s.

This Friday’s topic is sexual content in YA and is there too much?

I find this topic interesting, but also makes me feel old for really feeling like I might have an answer.

What even is sexual content?

I feel like in order to truly answer this question I need to let you know what I define as sexual content in YA. When I think sexual content I’m going to be honest and say I mostly think of graphic sex. This is probably because I’ve read a lot of other adult stories that have a heavy romance element, but that’s what I think of. If it’s in YA though I scale it back a bit, because honestly the USA is generally pretty prudish about sex and young people. The USA on a whole is not a sex positive country. So, sexual content in YA strike me as detailed descriptions of kissing, groping, or beyond.

Is there too much in YA?

In my opinion, no there isn’t too much sexual content in YA. Maybe it’s because I read mostly YA fantasy, but I honestly haven’t read much sexual content in YA at all. Sure there are descriptions of kissing sometimes and on rare occasion more than that, but it never seems excessive or generally graphic. Is this a thing in YA romance? I’m not sure, but really I don’t feel the need to be the morality police when it comes to sexual content. I think we as a society need to become more sex positive where we are more honest about sex and sex education. As an educator I know the whole absence only teaching doesn’t work and I kinda feel that way about sexual content. Also, young adults deserve to have themselves represented in their age group’s stories. Some people are sexually active at a fairly young age. You can feel how you want about that, but that doesn’t take away the fact that it happens. Even if young adults aren’t sexually active they still know what sex and related behaviors are. Most schools do sex ed around 5th and 6th grade.

My Personal Preferred Handling of YA sexual content

My biggest concern about anything having to do with YA and relationships is how relationships are portrayed. I feel like there are many books where there are a girl and a boy, they’re working together or something, and BAM they love each other. There’s no build, there’s just hey we’re around each other and attractive, we’re obviously meant to be together forever. Please show young people how to actually have and start a relationship. OR, and this one is worse, one character is mean to the other character, but they still fall in love and its never addressed. I get unhealthy relationship vibes and it makes me cringe. Now, I think exploring unhealthy relationships and the consequences/ effects of that are fine topics to explore. I think some young adults may need to read those stories. What I don’t like is unhealthy relationships being seen as an epic modern romance. Personally, when I was younger I didn’t really see the problems with it as I do now, but I remember hoping maybe one day to have a romance like in the books I read. I had no idea that a relationship like that wouldn’t be the ideal or healthy. Now, obviously as you learn and grow you can usually figure out what is a more healthy option, but as a young person its confusing and I’d just prefer better book role models. Please don’t teach people that abuse is attractive.

So, I kinda got off on a tangent there, but no I don’t personally believe there is too much sexual content in YA.


What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Have you even thought about this topic before? I’d love to hear what you think!

Let's Talk Bookish

Let’s Talk Bookish: Star Ratings-Are they fair or necessary?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts. Posts are written on Friday’s.

For this talk the discussion topic is if star ratings are fair or necessary. This question has been posted before on different social media and blogs before and I still have mixed feelings about it.

Are star ratings fair?

Personally I believe that I suppose it depends on your definition of fair. Ratings are purely opinion-based normally so I would say that there’s nothing inherently fair about it, but it’s not supposed to be either. The star rating system is a quick glance at a person’s opinion about something. It doesn’t give a lot of detail which is why I think reviews with star ratings are super important, but I would say star ratings are ratings of convenience that can easily draw people into your review. I know there are been times where I see and excellent or terrible star rating and both pull me in to read the review more so than an average three star review would. If you view all opinions as fair than I would say yes star ratings are fair. Everyone has the right to an opinion and I believe they also have a right to express that opinion even though we might not like it or agree with it. However, star ratings are based as I mentioned before on opinion. There are very few that are objective and if you think about that then star ratings could never truly be fair. There’s no real criteria for ensuring fairness or what my one star ratings means compared to your one star rating. In fact, star ratings vary widely between book bloggers, but I believe we if know that going in it may even out the playing field at least a bit.

Are star ratings necessary?

Are they necessary? No, I would say they’re not necessary, but they do make quick glances a lot easier. I think the only real value to a star rating is for a quick glance understanding of a product. It’s not honestly that helpful to me without a review and this goes for any product not just a book. If something is rated with a really low score I want to know why just like I want to know why it received so many great ones. I know that star ratings though can often help or hurt an author’s chances of selling a book. You could perhaps review star ratings as a necessary helpful marketing tool in some cases I suppose.

Overall, I would say that while convenient and I will continue to use star rating I would say there is nothing inherently fair about them nor are they necessary. However, the possibility of using the star rating as a way to draw readers or quickly share my opinion is too much of a draw for me. I do try to be thoughtful when I create star ratings myself, but I can understand the debate about them.


What are your thoughts? Do you think star ratings are necessary or fair? Is there some other system we could be using? I’d love to hear your thoughts!