Full of humor, romance, and a wonderful examination into the troubled thoughts of teenagers anticipating life after high school, Kalena Miller’s novel The Night When No One Had Sex is a hilarious story that depicts a group of friends that try—and fail—to enact a sex pact on their prom night. As the title suggests, this night obviously does not go as planned. Yet, by the end of the novel, you are still left fulfilled by the resolutions that the teenagers reach about relationships, friendships, family, and what will happen during college and beyond.
Everything is not quite what it seems
While the initial plot of the story appears to be a group of teenagers looking to fulfil a sex pact on their night of their prom, the evening takes a turn toward the inquisitive pretty quickly. The question of what will become of relationships and friendships within the group once they attend college is brought forth, and these teenagers’ resolve in sticking together is extraordinarily admirable.
Kalena Miller interjects sections of the teenagers’ group chat, and many times, this is where a lot of the characters’ personalities shine through. Sporadically intercut with emojis and ALL CAPS EMOTION, these chat threads felt like a true group chat shared by seniors in high school. The care and affection that they all share with one another is also apparent in these threads. It feels like such a genuine group friendship.
The Night When No One Had Sex has a good amount of representation
There is a sapphic couple—Zoe and Morgan—that have a healthy relationship with one another. Even their arguments are punctuated with the fierce love they have for one another. Madison, Morgan’s twin sister, is chronically ill with lupus, and the novel dives deep into how this affected her life and mentality.
The story makes a point to directly note that Kevin is a bigger man, but there is an underlying message of body positivity whenever this is brought up in the book, both directly and indirectly. Alex is an Asian-American man, and while he undergoes a journey in figuring out who he is outside of the boundaries of his room, he is extremely close with his family and appears to make an effort to understand the language of his culture.
Kalena Miller’s The Night When No One Had Sex is a feel-good story full of good-natured humor and if you are looking for an uplifting read, this is a great book to start of your September.
The Night When No One Had Sex by Kalena Miller was released September 7th, 2021.