A little over a month ago, I got an email from Entangled asking me if I wanted to share an excerpt of Ask Me Anything. A sex-positive YA book that features an awesome female hacker? SIGN ME UP. I shared that excerpt, which only made me more excited to read this book.
For the first half of the book or so, I was sure this was going to be a four- or even five-star read. I loved Amber and her friends. I loved Dean and his sister. I loved the Code Club and the whole idea of the competition between Amber and Dean. I loved the idea of the Ask Me Anything blog and I loved that the book gave reasonable, realistic advice in the form of blog posts. Simply put, I loved everything.
The second half, though? It’s not like it was bad or anything. It just wasn’t as good. Amber and Dean were cute together, but a few things happen that felt entirely unrealistic. Principal Tanner was a ridiculous character, completely over-the-top, and almost a caricature of a villain. There are also two points that I can’t really discuss without spoilers, so click below for that.
These are spoilers!Alright, so the first thing I want to talk about is Amber and Dean’s first time. In general, this book is pretty realistic when it comes to sex. I expected Amber and Dean’s first time to be at least semi-realistic. I did not expect it to be complete and utter perfection, where Dean knows exactly how to make Amber “fly apart” (or whatever euphemism the author used for having an orgasm) despite it being both of their first times.
The second thing I want to address is Tessa’s pregnancy. As I said, the majority of the book is pretty realistic. Tessa’s pregnancy, though, felt contrived, almost like something out of a bad educational film they’d have made us watch in Catholic high school health class. (That’s right, kids, have sex and you’ll get pregnant, there’s no way around it.) It seemed to add a lot of unnecessary drama without really adding to the plot, other than giving Amber and Dean an excuse to have an argument.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book. I think it’s timely and important and I wish something like it would have existed when I was a teenager.
Quick note: This book contains many descriptions of sexual assault. If that’s something you’re sensitive to, know that it’s handled well, but it’s still a definite presence and a fairly large part of the story.
#mm19: crack the case
Have you read Ask Me Anything? Do you know of any similar books?Let’s talk in the comments!