Summary: When her father is caught with another woman at his fortieth birthday party, Louise’s world is turned upside down. Not only is her parents’ marriage suddenly in jeopardy, but the woman her father was with is Louise’s best friend’s mother making everything infinitely more complicated. As their families come down on different sides of the affair, Louise finds herself without the support of the best friend she’s had for years. Seeking out new friends and a sense of stability in an uncertain time, Louise deals with the increasing changes due to her parents’ sex lives, and tries her best to see past her own issues to protect others when needed.
Number of Pages: 234
Age Range: 14-16
Review: Portrayed through Louise’s clever and humourous perspective, My Parents Are Sex Maniacs by Robyn Harding explores every teen’s worst nightmare, the realisation that their parents are sexual beings. In Louise’s case (and her brother Tory’s) this realisation is amplified when their father is caught in the act at a party with their neighbours there to watch the fallout.
But the fallout doesn’t just involve the dissolution of her parents’ marriage, it also ends what Louise thought was a solid friendship with Sienna. So while Louise is dealing with her father moving out, her mother beginning to date again, and the embarrassment she feels over what has happened, she shows how incredibly strong she is because she keeps going.
I loved her friendship with Russell because even though it began with some false assumptions on Louise’s part, it still flourished. Throughout everything, Louise is always a good friend, not just to Russell but to Sienna as well. She doesn’t let anger hold her up for long even though she does feel it, and her genuine concerns for her friends and past friends lead her to be honest with them in as loving as she can manage.
I did not like how Troy’s nickname for Louise was ‘Fat Bitch.’ It was jarring every time I read it, and I thought he got away with it far too often.
It’s a fun, hilarious look at the horrors of parents having real and messy lives. Because it has some sexual content and swearing I would not recommend it for all 14 to 16 year-olds but I do think it is an enjoyable read about surviving high school under challenging circumstances.
“That settles it! There is only one gift significant enough to repay Russell for his chivalry: my virginity. I had been hoping to give it to him at some point anyway, and his recent actions have just affirmed my decision. Now it is time to take action. Make a plan. No more waiting for the right moment or for him to make the first move. I’m going to make it happen, thus showing my sincere thanks and solidifying out boyfriend-girlfriend relationship.” – Louise from My Parents Are Sex Maniacs by Robyn Harding, page 136
“That is, until Thursday at lunchtime, when, without any warning, my worst fear is realized. A few of us are leaning against Leah’s locker talking when she appears in the distance. She’s walking down the hall – or should I say waddling down the hall, her enormously round stomach leading the way to Mr. Bartley’s classroom, Okay, my mom isn’t really that big, but that belly of hers is obviously more than just beer and pizza. My first instinct is to make a loud noise or crack a joke or something – anything to keep my friends focused on me and not the obviously pregnant form of my mother lumbering to the math room. But if I do create some kind of outburst, will it attract my mom’s attention? Will she come over and say, ‘Hi, honey! Hi, girls! Would you like to touch my stomach and feel the child I created from your math teacher’s seed?'” – Louise from My Parents Are Sex Maniacs by Robyn Harding, pages 193-194