Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Book: Virgin by Radhika Sanghani

Title: Virgin
Author: Radhika Sanghani
From: Netgalley
Genre: New Adult, Chick Lit
Release Date: 5th August 2014
Challenges: 2015 Netgally & Edelweiss Challenge
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Ellie is a 21 year old virgin, and she's desperate to change that. It isn't that she's religious, a prude or ugly, its just that she hasn't quite had the opportunity. Aided by her friends, Lara and Emma, and seeing a new guy, Jack, Ellie goes on a journey to discover who she really is, and why losing her virginity is so important to her.

I honestly got myself a bit in a muddle about what to put genre wise for Virgin, it isn't romance, though Ellie does date during the book, it is more coming of age, but it definitely isn't young adult. Virgin looks at sex in a completely realistic way, embarrassing moments and all, from personal grooming to embarrassing sex stories.

I was kind of nervous about reading this book because I have read some bad reviews of it, but I think that a lot of that is to do with personal taste (and to some extent a complete lack of knowledge of how the UK Uni system/21 year old final years act - on the part of the reader rather than the author, personally I thought the author nailed it, but I'll get to that in a moment). Virgin isn't erotica but it isn't clean cut romance either and I think that may cause some love-hate responses to it.

Virgin was set in the UK, and honestly I can't quite describe how excited I was by this! So many New Adult books are set in American Colleges, which honestly I don't understand the system for, so having one set in a UK university made me appreciate it more. The way that the final year students were acting around each other and socialising really worked for me, it did remind me of my own time and uni and definitely helped me to relate to the story.

There was also the two main friendships that Ellie had, one with her friend from home, Lara, and one with her uni friend, Emma. Emma basically felt like my old flatmates combined, that confident girl always full of stories and is fine with sharing clothes (<big thing! One of my old flatmates still has some of mine!) or sitting in front of the TV with a pizza. Lara on the other hand was the one that had always been there for Ellie and even when they fought it didn't last. I believed in both of these relationships, they felt realistic and suitable for the story.

Now the journey. I found Ellie's journey of self-discovery funny and relevant. Yes there is plenty of information out there for young women to look at about these things, but honestly I remember finding out some of those things for myself (though at a younger age) and that not only made the funny stories funnier but at the same time made me feel a little for Ellie!

It was also super refreshing to have a main character who was a virgin but not completely clueless (Ellie had seen a naked guy before) and also one that doesn't find and give her virginity to the perfect man that she just happened to meet during the book (let's face it that happens a lot). One of the sad facts is that a lot of people regret the who of giving up their virginity and this book hit the nail on the head with how it could happen.

I really enjoyed Virgin, it was real, gritty and funny in places!