V is for Virgin – Kelly Oram

Synopsis

When Val Jensen gets dumped for her decision to stay a virgin until marriage, the nasty breakup goes viral on YouTube, making her the latest internet sensation.

After days of ridicule from her peers, Val starts a school-wide campaign to rally support for her cause. She meant to make a statement, but she never dreamed the entire nation would get caught up in the controversy.

As if becoming nationally recognized as “Virgin Val” isn’t enough, Val’s already hectic life starts to spin wildly out of control when bad boy Kyle Hamilton, lead singer for the hit rock band Tralse, decides to take her abstinence as a personal challenge.

How can a girl stay true to herself when this year’s Sexiest Man Alive is doing everything in his power to win her over?

Review

This book was rather polarizing. I didn’t enjoy it for the majority of the book, but by the end, I found the characters winning me over.

At first, it all seemed unrealistic. No one could be as evil as Zach. No one could be as predatory and lecherous as Kyle. No one could be as high on her horse as Val. No one could be as fake as Olivia.

But then… Zach admitted his behaviour. Cara took Val down a notch by making her own decisions. Kyle became understanding. Olivia had more to her than appearances.

And I realized that I liked a lot of the other supporting characters too, like Stephanie, Rachel, and Eric. Isaac was a bit intense for the novel, but I suppose that was his purpose.

My main issue was Val’s stance that everyone should be pressured to follow her beliefs. I understood her personal decision based on her experiences as an adopted child, but that wouldn’t compel others to take the same pledge because they don’t have the same background. But towards the end, Cara brought up this same issue. Val and Cara never really reconciled from that, which is a crying shame. It meant that Val never really understood others’ perspectives or respected their decisions. Kyle would only have promise in her eyes if he was abstinent. She couldn’t deign to be friends with someone who had sex before marriage. I felt that her explanation to Kyle was well-done, but I wish Val had more respect for others’ choices as well.

I also felt like the portrayal of teenagers’ attitudes towards sex were grossly over-exaggerated. I wouldn’t just say Not Everybody’s Doing It, I’d actually say Hardy Anybody’s Doing It. Sl**-shaming is a much bigger issue today than virgin-shaming.

Related Reading

  • 40 Things I Want to Tell You – Alice Kuipers
  • How to Love – Katie Cotugno
  • The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne

Rating: 4/5

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