Friday, September 30, 2011

YA Nonfiction Review: Dating Declassified by Jeanne Mayo

Dating Declassified: The Uncensored Truth About Friendship, Dating and Sex by Jeanne Mayo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There are two things that young adults value over anything:
1. Honesty
2. Trust in their abilities and maturity.
Jeanne Mayo has without a doubt made it clear that she gives these two things freely.
The attractive cover and enticing table of contents made me grab this book and I'm glad that I did. I was not aware of the fact that it was written from a Christian perspective until I had already been caught up in the captivating narration. For somewhat of a "self-help" book, Mayo doesn't sound as though she is telling the readers what to do, but merely reminding them that they already know what and how to do what they need to. (Slow down, read that again)
The fact that the book is written by a Christian Youth pastor is not covered up or hidden, but many of her suggestions and statements can apply to ALL youth (and some adults).

I appreciated Jeanne's candor and honesty, not only because it is what she promised from the cover page, but also because it is rare. Especially from a clergy-woman.

The topics are raw and uncensored and range from suicide, bad breakups or abusive relationships, pornography and the addiction to it, to sexual frustration and pressure. She gives great advice and suggestions for not just dating but also starting and maintaining healthy friendships with both the same and opposite sexes. I thought these chapters were almost better than the ones about dating and sex because friendship skills seem to be lacking these days.

Some readers may disagree with her personal views of homosexual relationships, but she is even-handed and clear on them being her PERSONAL beliefs and doesn't say anything hateful or crude concerning them. Her advice in this particular chapter tends to focus more on teens who don't wish to remain in homosexual relationships or those who feel that because of their mannerisms or past feelings that they have no choice but to remain classified as gay. For those young adults, she reminds them that they are young, still understanding their own feelings and free to make different choices as they grow older.

No matter what you do though, you're bound to make SOMEONE unhappy, so I will say that while open-minded and progressive Christians will love this book for their teens and youth groups, I'm sure there will be some that find her a little too open and honest. For me, I thought it was great, and would definitely recommend it to any Christian (or non) teens interested in an honest and direct look at dating, sex, and friendship.


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