Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Elana K. Arnold
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Seth is the center of the universe, at least to Nina. Her life, her schedules, her emotions, everything revolves around her boyfriend. Nina was told at fourteen that there was no such thing as unconditional love, and she lives every moment to meet the conditions of Seth’s love. When she fails, Seth breaks up with her and leaves Nina adrift, searching for the meaning of love in a high-kill animal shelter, in the art of Rome, and in her own disappointing family and friendships.
Vivid and poignant, What Girls Are Made Of is incredibly graphic in exploring sexuality. This book is for mature readers capable of understanding the complexities involved with sex and love. Nina has an abortion, and there are multiple descriptions of sex as well as mildly disturbing short stories written by Nina for a project on magical realism. Nina visits Rome and views sexually explicit art exhibits, yet her interpretation and analysis of these are deep and thoughtful. There are also allusions to divorce and an affair between Nina’s parents. This book is not recommended for young readers; however, the themes of self-exploration and self-love are incredibly valuable.
*Contains moderate language and severe sexual content.