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Hot Buttons Series: Dating, Sexuality, Internet, and Drugs Editions By Nicole O’Dell Blog Tour and Book Review


My Review:


Nicole O’Dell has written a series of books entitled, Hot Buttons that consist of topics ranging from dating, sexuality, internet use, and drug use. There are many more book topics that she is currently working on to address the issues and situations that teenagers may find themselves in. So be sure to check them out!

Let me just go ahead and say that I am not in the target audience yet for these parenting series books. I am only twenty-two, not married yet, and I don’t have any children or teenagers. But I hope to one day be a husband and a father.

If you have a minute and would like to pray this over my life, I would gladly appreciate it:

Please pray that I would meet my future wife and that God would make me the best husband and father that I can be. Also praying to be blessed with children. Lead my and direct my steps and provide me with a great career.

Thanks so very much!

 Dating Edition:

In the Dating Edition, Nicole points out the importance of setting clear boundaries regarding our teenagers dating. A common mistake parents tend to make is waiting to late to discuss the rules and expectations we have on our children and who they are allowed to date and when. This book has extremely helped me to realize the impact I have on my children and that I can take steps to insure that I am encouraging them to open up to me without fear of judgment. Two widespread problems that Nicole shared that teenagers have complained about parents are they are too busy and they don’t ask questions when they share what’s on their hearts. I must always give them my undivided attention when they are speaking about their problems and I have to avoid telling too many personal stories all at once. I must let them ask the questions of what I went through with my dating relationships. As parents, we have to set the example and display with our words and actions that we deeply care about the issues they encounter.

One statistics that terrified me was, “A recent survey suggested that if a child has a first date between the ages of 11 and 13, he or she has a 90 percent probability of being sexually active during senior year in high school. First date at age 14 leads to a 50 percent change; first date at age 16; 20 percent chance” (Page 57 in Hot Button- Statistics from Ray Guarendi, Discipline that Lasts a Lifetime). This was a huge eye-opener and a heartbreaking study that would cause parents to not let their children date until they are at least sixteen years old. This is a boundary that I now see that I must go ahead and stand firm on! The book also covered the differences between like, lust, and love. Most of our teenagers struggle to define what their relationships truly are and some are searching for love but settling for lust.

Sexuality Edition:

In the Sexuality Edition, Nicole O’Dell shared with parents the issues that our teenagers are being tempted by satan about their sexuality. The book covered hot buttons like vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, oral sex, and mutual masturbation. Most of the descriptions are brief and they don’t get to technical and I know parents get a little worried and embarrassed discussing the concept of sex to your teenagers. Some parents even decide to just let the school system teach sex education. I personally think some do this because they are afraid they won’t be able to answer their children questions regarding sex. Why not at least education our children, and even if your children ask you something you don’t know, then tell be honest and tell them I will find out answer and explain it to you. Sometimes we let the church explain the importance of waiting until their married to have sex. But it’s our job and responsibly to lead our children the way Christ has instilled for us to do. I immensely liked how Nicole pointed out would you rather let your friends or the internet tell our children the acts that our considered sex. It’s important to realize that vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, oral sex, and mutual masturbation are all sex!

One of the biggest things that the book presented was overcoming and exposing the lie that the first time, you have sexual intercourse you won’t get pregnant or get someone pregnant. This is completely untrue anytime you have vaginal intercourse it can result in pregnancy. There is one way that we have to teach our teenagers and that is abstinence is the only way that is 100 effective. The book shared all the different forms of birth control, including the one most teenagers like to use, you got it the withdraw method (which isn’t safe). The book pointed out the risks of getting an STD from the result of unprotected sex and if the condom breaks you can still get one and possible could get pregnant. The book also talked to the parents who take the stance, I will just get my teenage daughter(s) on the pill it’s better to be safe than sorry. But as a future father, I can’t comprehend doing something like that. I would personally feel like I am endorsing for her to engage in sexual intercourse. Now let’s me flip it around, I also couldn’t see myself handing my son(s) a condom and saying if you’re going to have sex here, wear this. I understand that talking about sex to our children can be daunting. But it’s worth talking about! I know it’s my job as a parent to lead my children in the Father’s ways and when they fail to extend forgiveness.

 Internet Edition:

In the Internet Edition, Nicole O’Dell addressed the issues that come up surrounding internet usage and the dangers lurking around our children. I understood her position on making sure we have boundaries and rules in motion to protect our children. We must supervise how are children are communicating online with and limit how many hours they spend online each night. I personally loved the fact that she proclaimed that we have to check our children’s internet browser history regularly. If the internet browser history is deleted then there has to be a consequence for their actions. Why was it deleted if you weren’t doing something, you know you weren’t supposed to be doing?

I am extremely glad that Nicole stated to make sure you have your children’s social networks passwords. She helped me to avoid not knowing what my children are up to. She also suggested that we make the rules that our children are required to accept our friend requests from their parents. This is done in order to make sure our children aren’t having a chat and connecting with people that they don’t know. The book also covered the dangers of internet porn and the risks of being sucked into the misrepresentation of what sex really is.

Drug Edition:

In the Drug Edition, Nicole O’Dell explains the hazards of consuming alcohol, taking drugs, inhalants, and prescription drugs. Most teenagers start drinking alcohol or drugs because they want to fit in and be accepted. But others take it in order to seek an escape from the pressures of life. An important aspect we have to teach our children is that consuming alcohol makes you not able to focus and think clearly. Many teenagers have regrets because they were drunk, and they have sex, and they couldn’t think clearly.

I have personally never have done any type of drugs or even been offered one and that’s a wonderful thing. But this book has helped me to learn how to teach my children the dangers of drugs or alcohol because they could be offered them. I will admit that I have consumed alcohol but it was when I was the legal age. I also have only had one drink a night on special occasions like vacation and the end of some of my college semesters to celebrate. I am personally not a fan of alcohol because it really doesn’t taste all that good to me.

The book covered a number of different types of drugs where parents could understand the dangers are children are facing in today’s times. I immensely enjoyed the warning signs of drugs included to assist parents into looking out for in your teenagers. The most shocking to me was the rate of prescription drugs that teenagers are using to get high. I am so glad Nicole helped me to understand some of the drugs and I now know how to look for the signs.

Whole Series Review:  
I would recommend this book series to any parent wanting to protect their teenagers from the hidden dangers of the internet, sexuality, dating, and drug use. Parents need to teach their sons to respect girls and not to use them. Girls also need to be taught not to play around with boy’s hearts. It’s vital we teach our children the foundations of great relationships now so eventually when they enter into marriage they know how to treat their spouse. The book taught so many details and scenarios that I have never even considered that could be something my teenagers might have to face.

The scenarios section in each book contained 13-15 different scenarios per book. Parents would then describe the real life story to the teenagers, and then the teenagers would choose which ever multiply choice answer they would have done in that story. I loved that Nicole coached the parents to not freak out on whatever response their children gave them. These life lessons aren’t meant to preach to your teenagers. It’s meant to connect and understand what your children are thinking. Then you can guide them to the correct choice slowly. If you’re looking for guidance on how to parent then this series could significantly benefit you! It has opened my eyes to the truth and I plan on doing this with my own children someday! If you’re a parent, get this series, and do it with your children!

“I received this book for free from Litfuse Publicity Group/ Kregel Publications for this review”.

 Link to buy Hot Buttons books:

Win a $100 Visa Cash Card at the Hot Buttons Live Video Chat with Nicole O’Dell!
Kregel Live Webcast event

About the books:
Nicole O'Dell helps address the Hot Buttons in teens' lives before the issues become problems

From dating to drugs, modesty to purity, morals to popularity, teens face all sorts of tough issues. How teens respond to these hot-button issues can have lasting effects on who they want to be and who they actually become. What if parents can help their teens prepare for these hot buttons-before the issues become a problem?

The uniquely packaged Hot Buttons Series is an accessible, quick-reference resource that parents can use to equip their children to make the right decisions, even in the face of peer pressure and outside influences. More than just another how-to manual, Hot Button Dating Edition offers practical real-life situations that parents can read and discuss with their preteens. Topics include: physical activity, missionary dating, and violence/abuse in dating relationships.

Author, mom, and broadcaster, Nicole O'Dell provides short scenarios followed by three or four responses that a teen might choose in that particular situation. Parents are then encouraged to help their children explore the issue, ask questions, and discuss the options, so when a similar situation comes up in real life, the teens are already prepared to respond.

Hot Buttons Dating Edition offers practical real-life situations that parents can read and discuss with their preteens. Topics include: physical activity, missionary dating, and violence/abuse in dating relationships.

Hot Buttons Internet Edition helps parents prepare their teens for online challenges they may face. Topics discussed include: internet activity, file sharing, social networking, and internet predators.

Hot Buttons Drug Edition braves the scary world of substance abuse, equipping parents with facts, warning signs, and real-world scenarios on: alcohol; Marijuana and other drugs; inhalants; and prescription drugs.

Hot Buttons Sexuality Edition offers the facts about teen sexuality, backed by statistics; specifics for how to talk frankly about sex with your kids, discussion about the growth of homosexuality and bisexuality among teens; and compassionate advice for guiding your teen to reclaim purity.
Meet Nicole:


Youth-culture expert, Nicole O'Dell is the host of Choose NOW Radio: Parent Talk and Teen Talk and the founder of Choose NOW Ministries, dedicated to guiding teens through tough issues and helping parents encourage good decisions.

On air, O'Dell covers peer pressure, dating, purity, drugs, alcohol, modesty, popularity, and anything else that comes up along the way. Nicole writes and speaks to preteens, teenagers, and parents about how to prepare for life's tough choices.
As an author, O'Dell writes both fiction and nonfiction. Her popular YA fiction includes the Diamond Estate Series and the Scenarios for Girls interactive books that feature alternate endings, allowing young girls to decide the outcome for the main character. Her nonfiction for teens includes Girl Talk, which she wrote with her two daughters based on their popular advice column.

While her YA resources encourage and equip teens, Nicole also works to bridge the communication gap between teens and their parents. The Hot Buttons series helps parents discuss tough issues with their tweens and teens before the issues pop up in real life. Watch for future Hot Buttons books on subjects like bullying, image, prejudice, friendships, politics, and more.
O'Dell, resides in Paxton, IL, with her husband and six children-the youngest of whom are toddler triplets.

Find out more about Nicole at



Andrew, thank you for the detailed review. I'm so glad that these books have opened your eyes to some things that you'll need to know when you become a dad one day.

Nicole O'Dell


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