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Teen sex books: None greater than "Forever"

Thanks to our pals at Jezebel for posting this Today interview with the great Judy Blume, who introduced more pre-teens and teens to sex with her novel Forever . . . than, well, I can't think of an appropriate joke there so never mind. But you get the idea.

Forever Anyway, nice job pointing out how stupid it was to ask Blume if she's had to change her style to accommodate the more racy teen books of today. Um, ladies? Have you read Forever...? I would be hard pressed to think of a racier, more explicit (and let's face it, very real) book about teenage sex.

My own Forever story goes something like this. The book was published in 1975, amazingly enough, so by the time I got to high school it was all the rage. My parents, God bless them, never censored a single thing I read, so I had the book stuck in with all my other books. But then my snoopy little sister - seven years younger, mind you - gets ahold of it, and my dad catches her with it, but he's an English teacher and doesn't want to discourage his kids from reading anything. But then again he's not crazy about his eight-year-old reading this stuff at her age. So does he yell at her? No. He yells at ME for leaving it out where she can find it. I'm like, it's with my STUFF. Tell her to stay out of my STUFF. To no avail, of course, because little sisters the world over think YOUR stuff is their stuff. And so it goes.

I also remember reading that book at a time when I thought the characters (who were like, 17) were SO old. Imagine.

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Phoebe

I had to change her style to accommodate my adolescent sense of idealism. I think I still have my paperback copy somewhere (on another note, this semi-modern cover offends me). Anyway, in my old battered copy, I used Wite-Out to ... well, to white out the last page of the book, in which the main character (Katherine?) and her boyfriend run into each other at a store (I think??) and completely DO NOT GET BACK TOGETHER. And then I rewrote my own ending in which they did. At 11 -- which of course was a totally reasonable age to read this book, and in fact I might have even read "Wifey" first -- I was traumatized by the idea that you could be in love with anyone at 17 and not end up with him ... FOREVER.

Amy

Am I the only woman of a certain age never to have read this book? Or at least, not to remember reading it? I do remember reading her "Are you there, God? It's me Margaret," and that was scandalous in itself since it talked about periods!!!! Should I check this book out of the library now?

Connie

Forever is about 3,000 times more scandalous than Margaret...but I suspect it might lose its power if you're not, you know, 11...

Jill Cassidy

Amy, I don't know your age, but I have never read this book either, and I did read her earlier books. Connie, I must say, your set-up "My own Forever story..." made me think you were going to tell an entirely different anecdote than one about sibling rivalry.

jo

Connie, I think you shold be ashamed of yourself for letting your sister get a hold of that book at such a young age. You should have been more responsible.

Sandra Kester

I have read all of Judy Blume's books from Superfudge to Wifey...and have enjoyed them all. I will introduce "Are you there God?, It's Me Margaret", in due time. Excellent point about changing her thoughts and style. She is an author...isn't that what they should do to evolve and grow?

Thank you for bringing back some good memories...

Sandra Kester

I meant to add that I will share all of her books, in time, with my daughter who is now 8. No fear on my part...I know that they are stories. As there are movies and fairy tales....

Connie

It's funny, but I never read "Margaret" until I was in an adolescent literature course in college. Was amusing to read it at 20 and remember how painful things could be at that earlier age.

It's good to know kids still read this stuff!

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