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YA Review: The Night When No One Had Sex by Kalena Miller

Title: The Night When No One Had Sex
Author: Kalena Miller
Year published: 2021
Category: YA fiction
Pages: 336 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location: (my 2023 Google Reading map)USA (OR)

SummaryA sex-positive all-in-one-night romp told from four different perspectives.

It's the night of senior prom, and eighteen-year-old Julia has made a pact with her friends. (Yes, that kind of pact.) They have secured a secluded cabin in the woods, one night without parental supervision, and plenty of condoms.

But as soon as they leave the dance, the pact begins to unravel. Alex's grandmother is undergoing emergency surgery, and he and his date rush to the hospital. Zoe’s trying to figure out how she feels about getting off the waitlist at Yale―and how to tell her girlfriend. Madison’s chronic illness flares, holding her back once again from being a normal teenager. And Julia’s fantasy-themed role play gets her locked in a closet.

Alternating between each character’s perspective and their ridiculous group chat, The Night When No One Had Sex finds a group of friends navigating the tenuous transition into adulthood and embracing the uncertainty of life after high school.

Review: I just couldn't resist this book based on the title. Before beginning the book you know the ending! And it's a fun book. Here are my thoughts
  • Friendship. It captures a good group of friends, how they love each other, drive each other crazy, and support each other
  • Prom. If you are an American, you have very strong feelings about prom: you hated it; you loved it; the expectations were too high; you missed out and didn't go. This book capitalizes on all the "stuff" that goes along with prom.
  • Sex. As the title suggests, no one ends up having it. But along the way they talk about doing it, attempt it (this brings up issues that are often not talked about), and think about the significance of it.
  • Lupus. One of the characters has Lupus so there is discussion of her pain, exhaustion, what makes her feel better and worse, and how others can help.
  • College. Where to attend, where did you get in, how will it feel to leave friends behind? Such angst during senior year in high school.
  • Diversity/POV. Chapters are told from various characters' perspectives and there is some diversity in the characters (White, Asian, Straight, Lesbian). It is light-hearted so a fun quick read.
Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Popsugar (takes place in one day)

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