Monday, April 05, 2010

Laid edited by Shannon T. Boodram

In this hard-hitting anthology, journalist Shannon T. Boodram collects the compelling and personal firsthand accounts of young people dealing with sex in today’s world. Laid covers a range of important topics, from teens’ first times to STIs, abstinence to unplanned pregnancies. Boodram, an up-and-coming voice for her generation, engages teens and twentysomethings in honest dialogue and explores how they see and experience sex, how and why it shapes their beliefs, and what they have learned about themselves and their sexuality through their actions. Laid is a great conversation-starter, and doesn’t shy away from the personal topics. A great resource for young people, Laid invites teens and young adults to take a close-up look at sex and sexuality. Boodram’s chapters offer more than 40 personal narratives, from both female and male voices, with in-depth analyses, facts, and Q&As to further the discourse. Responsible and thought-provoking, Laid offers a range of honest perspectives on young adult sexuality in today’s easy access culture.

Laid is an anthology of personal stories about young people's experiences with sex, be it first times, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, rape, love and everything in between. It has the very important element of person stories and emotions that are missing from the sexual education people receive. The introduction of emotion and personal stories made it for me, so much more important and meaningful than the lists and statistics you would find in health class. If it could happen to this person it could happen to you. It made it more real.

I like how the stories were grouped into themed sections, though it did get tough reading some of the more serious stories all in a row. Overall the stories were pretty easy to relate to and understand. Though, I noticed in a few cases I didn't feel like I had enough backstory or was confused by a few things mentioned by the person. I definitely preferred the narratives to the poetic selections but I liked that there was a variety of writing methods used by the different authors. The perspectives are also varied from both men and women, straight and gay. The editor really did her job fleshing it out with variety to the best of her ability. You can tell how important this anthology is to her, sharing her own stories throughout and sharing insight that she's learned through her work as a sexual educator.

And while this is a book of personal stories there are still the facts and figures you'd expect, and also a Q&A after each chapter with all the questions you might have about what you have just read and also checkpoints to reflect on you own experiences and perspective. I think this book is a really important tool for teaching and learning about sexuality for young and old alike. I can't think of a soul that shouldn't read this.

Laid was released on September 15th 2009
Genre: Sexuality, Non-Fiction
4/5 Stars
Review copy provided by the publisher


  1. This sounds like a really interesting read. I'm gonna have to check it out.

  2. I just added this to my wishlist. It looks great.

  3. Thank you so much Alea. You're a remarkable young lady who is sure to make a talented writer with all the reading you do! I really appreciate this review - extremely well done!

    Please keep in touch,
    Shannon T. Boodram
    editor of LAID

  4. I saw this book mentioned in a magazine and promptly added it to my wishlist. Glad it made such a positive impression! I think I'll make sure my library gets a copy for their stacks.


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