An awkward but informative read
This feels like a hard one to nail down. On one hand, I loved the content of this book. Everything it said was something I agreed with and the emphasis on affirmative consent was a real plus. It also uses the art to emphasize how this approach to consent can be used in all types of relationships no matter gender or race or situation, so I thought the “better to always ask than not” approach was a good one to take. They mention how important it is to check in on your partner and make sure they haven’t changed their mind (not only about sex but if they’re enjoying a particular act, etc) which I think is great, as well as offering some checklists in the back for how to talk about topics concerning sex and consent that may be uncomfortable if you’re shy or don’t feel confident in a situation. All of that is fantastic.
That being said, I cannot for the life of me figure out who this book is marketed towards. With the other titles in the Quick and Easy series, I could easily see those being used for older teens in human health and sexuality classes or in college classes of some sort, or for just a curious reader. This one has a strange approach in that everything in it feels like it’s supposed to be aimed at teenagers but nothing in the book speaks in a way that is approachable to teens. “Sargent Yes Means Yes from the Consent Cavalry” shows up on page 1 and yeesh if any of my teen patrons picked this up and saw that, they’d laugh, roll their eyes and probably take a picture to send to their friends and never touch it again. You can’t put something that cringe in a book (potentially) aimed at educating teens and expect them to take it seriously. I do hope they do because it has loads of intelligent information, but this whole book came off sort of awkwardly preachy to me and contradicted itself a bit. There’s a lot of text for a graphic novel and I honestly wish the publishers would have gone ahead and printed this in full color because some of the REALLY informative parts of the book (US map of age of consent law) becomes pointless because you cannot distinguish one shade of grey from another to tell what state have what age of consent.
Overall the information in this is great, the execution is just awkward. 3.5/5
Title: A Quick & Easy Guide to Consent
Author: Isabella Rotman
Three Descriptors: Educational, understanding, hopeful
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The ABC’s of LGBT+ by Ashley Mardell
A Quick & Easy Guide to Sex and Disability by A. Andrews
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