I bought the book shortly after that conversation because I was curious. I have to admit that I was surprised by how graphic some of it was. Not that it was that graphic, especially for a 27-year-old who has read her fair share of erotica. But I was surprised because it was written in the mid 70's. There was sex, discussion of birth control, an explanation of a "well-woman's check-up", and the f-bomb was dropped twice.
This book was also mentioned at the Virginia Festival of the Book by a panel of YA authors. They had mentioned that this book had endured because even though it was written over 30 years ago, it is still real. The story worked then, and it works now. Teenagers can still relate to Katherine because this issue has been relevant in teenage girls' lives for a long time.
One thing I found interesting, is on Judy Blume's site, she says she wrote the book because her 14-year-old daughter wanted to read a book where teenagers fell in love and had a physical relationship, and neither were punished for it. Because, let's face it... teens had sex then. They're having sex now.
I think this would be a great book for teenage girls to read with their mother's. I know sex is hard to talk about with parents. I think it's even harder for the parents. But using books as a tool to get the conversation going is great. I read this book in about 90 minutes, and I enjoyed it. And I think despite the subject matter, it would be appropriate for even some younger teens.