The Most Dangerous Thing by Leanne Lieberman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Actual Rating: 3.75


The best thing about this book is how powerful and honest it is in addressing the topics of sex, gender, and female bodies.

The Most Dangerous Thing follows Sydney. She hates the idea of sex, she’s uncomfortable with talking about her body, and she’s secretly fighting depression. When her classmate Paul sends her a picture of an ugly mushroom, she’s only confused. As her relationship with him progresses, she finds herself fighting another internal battle – this time against the new desire that goes against everything she’s ever known.

Then her extroverted sister, Abby, decides to put on The Vagina Monologues at school, and it makes Sydney uncomfortable to no end.

The plot for this centered around Sydney’s emotional progressions, and therefore the story was extremely character-based. The author definitely pulled it off! There was extremely clear character development, and I especially loved the thing Sydney did at the end. (You’re gonna have to read the book to find out what I’m talking about 🙂 )

I was a little iffy about her relationship with Paul – there definitely was a lot of back-and-forth; this is totally understandable because of Sydney’s struggles, but I felt much more emotional invested in Sydney’s relationship with her own mind (if that makes any sense).

I did really love the relationship between Sydney and her sister, Abby, though. Abby was headstrong and outspoken, and I love love loved how open she was about talking about sex and female bodies – topics often considered taboo. Abby was definitely one of my favorite characters.

One thing I loved was how Sydney’s depression was described: in metaphorical terms, using words like “fog”. It really solidified the feeling of being trapped and numb, and it made the story much more powerful.

Although the book is YA, I felt like the writing had an even younger tone to it – I sometimes forgot that Sydney was sixteen, and because of this, the book sometimes felt like it leaned towards “middle-grade”. Overall, though, I’d say that this was a fast and fun read – perfect for everyone who wants to read something a little more “out there”, yet innocent and light.


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