A summary of Get Savvy: Letters to a Teenage Girl about Sex and Love
On a winter night at a prestigious New England boarding school, two teenage girls compared secret love letters male teachers had written them. One girl kept a journal and recorded the events. The other, years later, took her own life.
When her own daughter was 16, Kathleen Buckstaff, author and former Los Angeles Times columnist, developed severe stomach pain and within a few months lost thirty pounds. Doctors eventually determined she was suffering from PTSD. As she reviewed her old journals, Kathleen had to face painful truths. When she discovered the two teachers were still teaching, she felt obligated to do everything possible to protect current students.
Kathleen interviewed over 60 college students, recent graduates, healthcare professionals, self-defense instructors, and professors. In letters to a teenage girl, Kathleen revisits the events that changed her life and the lives of her closest friends, drawing from her interviews to describe what she wishes she had known about sex, predators, self-defense, and love.
Get Savvy also includes a journal section with reflection questions, in which Kathleen offers a practice of self-love, kindness, and respect, encouraging the reader to take time to get to know herself.