My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Review: Sexpectations: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Healthy Relationships

Sexpectations: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Healthy Relationships Sexpectations: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Healthy Relationships by Barb Winters
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

“One of Sue’s sons moved in with his girlfriend.” This is literally the fifth sentence of Chapter 1 and it was in response to a generally question asking how Sue was doing. The problem here being that Sue was not actually present and this entire conversation can be classified as judgmental gossip … not exactly a virtue nor something I was expecting. Needless to say … this was a pretty rough start to what promised to be a controversial topic to begin with and I was disappointed. 

Immediately after this, the author goes on a screed about the phrase “As long as you’re happy …” which for me is in the same passive aggressive category as “Bless your little heart …” but for the author apparently represents a capitulation of morals. What follows is a mostly anecdotal review of “hook-up culture” and online pornography before diving into what the author believes is driving this risky behavior: Self-Doubt, No Relationship with Christ, Everyone is Doing It … with the implication that addressing any one of these might short circuit the “perpetual cycle of unhealthy relationships.” … an opinion that is not well supported in the book (citations of actual studies are rare if they exist at all).

The author regains some traction in Section Two (2) with habits of healthy relationships; however, I am reasonable sure most people would accept these general habits prima facie. Chapter 5 gives us a list of relationship red flags and green flags that seemed reasonable and the sections on “love languages” even had some practical advice (although each section was very brief and mostly cursory). Chapter 6 on Communication was the best of the group and almost worth the effort to get there. Chapter 8 on reconciliation comes in a close second. Over all … the book was not what I expected nor ultimately very useful to me.

SECTION 1 - The Deterioration of Relationships
Chapter 1: As Long as You’re Happy
Chapter 2: Consequences of Unhealthy Choices

SECTION 2 - Habits for Healthy Relationships
Chapter 3: Love
Chapter 4: Selflessness
Chapter 5: Mutuality
Chapter 6: Communication

Chapter 7: Healing from Wounds
Chapter 8: Reconciliation and Maintaining Healthy Relationships

I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#Sexpectations #NetGalley

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.