[I received a copy of Virgin by Radhika Sanghani in ebook format from the publisher via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book in any way.]
First of all, I’d like to apologize for the lack of Monday Musing today. August is a huge month for new books and I want to be able to review them all in a timely matter, so unfortunately it had to take a break this week. The good news is I had a LOT of thoughts about this book, so read on!
When I first read the synopsis for Virgin, Radihka Sanghani’s debut novel, I’ll admit that I was reluctant to read it. Ellie, a 21 year-old virgin is sick and tired of being the only one in her age group that hasn’t done the deed yet and decides to go on a mission to lose her “V-plates” (is this the English version of “V-card”?) and Virgin chronicles her (mis)adventures. As I read this synopsis I wanted to shake Ellie and say, “You don’t have to do that! Just embrace who you are! Your time will come when the time is right!” and so, I’ll admit, my judgment almost made me not read this book. But you know what? I did end up reading it and belatedly realized that, at one point, I felt exactly how Ellie did.
The thing that is so delightful about this book is how realistically it’s written. It is a light-hearted read and it reminds me of the many talks I had with my girlfriends in university. It had me laughing and cringing and nodding in agreement. The best part about it is that Virgin is very non-judgmental. It doesn’t slut-shame. It doesn’t care if you’re waiting for marriage. It doesn’t judge if all you want to do is lose your virginity to whoever will take it. But it does have a message, one that takes time for the characters to understand on their own, after many amusing and enlightening encounters.
As a character, Ellie is very relatable. She’s not always the most selfless person and she does tend to be self-pitying but that’s all part of her character development. Her friends are always there to call her out when she’s being unreasonable and they’re there to support her when she needs them. Ellie’s adventures are just so entertaining that you can’t help but be drawn to them. Let’s face it: sex is weird and how the hell are we supposed to miraculously know what to do?!
Overall, this is an engrossing book that I devoured in two days. As someone who is 2 years older than Ellie I kept thinking “Nooooo, don’t do that!” at parts of the novel but I think that the things she learns throughout the book are very educational and informative for a younger audience. My sister is 6 years younger than me and, if she ever feels the way Ellie does, this book will definitely be making its way to her and I hope she will finish reading the final pages of the book feeling like a confident, self-assured, young woman. I would confidently recommend this to anyone, my peers included.
Verdict: A non-judgmental book with a very positive attitude towards sex. Basically, it’s the sex-ed you wish you’d gotten in high school. It’s super funny, relatable, and cringe-worthy at times but definitely worth a read, especially if you’ve ever been down on yourself. Chapters 31 and 32 are gold and I’m so, so happy that they’re there as I was waiting for them the whole way through.
Read if: You’ve ever gone through the pain of a Brazillian wax (great dedication by Sanghani), you’ve ever felt a need to conform to fit in, feel (or felt) the same way Ellie does, want an entertaining but positive book that will entertain you from beginning to end.
Have you read Virgin? Do you think you’ll be picking it up?
*Virgin will be published by Penguin Canada on August 5th, 2014*