HMH Signs Dr. Drew Pinsky and Daughter Paulina Pinsky for a Teen Guide to Relationships and Consent

New York, Oct. 22, 2020 – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers announced today the publication of a guide to relationships, sex, and consent by celebrity M.D. Dr. Drew Pinsky and his daughter Paulina Pinsky. Filled with accessible advice and candid personal anecdotes, It Doesn’t Have to Be Awkward: Dealing with Relationships, Consent, and Other Hard-to-Talk-About Stuff takes on important questions that teens have about relationships, whether romantic or otherwise.

Writing frankly and with humor, the Pinskys explain why all healthy relationships balance three key ingredients: trust, compassion, and boundaries. In It Doesn’t Have to Be Awkward, they cover a range of topics including sexual attraction, gender expression, dating, friendships, bullying, and trauma to help teens, parents, and educators have open, positive conversations around consent and related issues. HMH will publish the book on April 6, 2021.

“My years of experience offering guidance on sex, health, and relationships have made it clear how much the topic of consent is confusing terrain, especially for young people,” said Dr. Drew Pinsky. “In the book, we hope to clarify the meaning and importance of consent in the context of maintaining healthy relationships.”

“Consent is fundamental to some of the most important questions we are asking ourselves today,” said Paulina Pinsky. “Do I have to wear a mask? Do I submit to the status quo? What do I believe in? It’s important to make space for discussing relationships and consent because it impacts every one of us, in ways big and small.”

Emilia Rhodes, editorial director at HMH Books for Young Readers, acquired world rights to the book from Albert Lee at United Talent in an exclusive submission. “We had often talked in-house about how helpful it would be to have a book to guide needed conversations about relationships and how to respect one another, but it was always a big question as to who had the right voice to speak to it,” said Rhodes. “With Dr. Drew and Paulina, we had our answer. Dr. Drew has always spoken to young people with respect and understanding, and that empathy and expertise alongside Paulina’s modern lens and lived experience is the perfect pairing.”

A trusted source of advice on relationships and sex, Dr. Drew Pinsky is a practicing internist and addiction medicine specialist, New York Times bestselling author, and a prolific television, radio, and podcast host whose multifaceted career has spanned decades and informed and inspired generations of teens and young adults. In addition to his 30-plus years hosting the iconic radio show Loveline, he has appeared on every national and cable network and has hosted numerous award-winning television shows, including Loveline and the Teen Mom Reunion Specials, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, and The Dr. Drew Show. When he isn’t on television or on the radio, Dr. Drew can be found on several digital platforms, which include the Dr. Drew Podcast, Dr. Drew After Dark, and two streaming shows, #AskDrDrew and Dose of Dr. Drew.

Paulina Pinsky is a writer, educator, and amateur painter and dancer. After studying sketch and improvisational comedy at the Second City Conservatory in Chicago, she received her MFA in Nonfiction Creative Writing from Columbia University. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she teaches writing.


John Sellers

Director of Publicity

HMH Books for Young Readers

(212) 420-5878