Thursday, 14 July 2016

Review- V is for Virgin (Kelly Oram)

V is for Virgin (V is for Virgin, #1)


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?


My Review 

Val is a virgin and she intends on staying that way until marriage. However, when her boyfriend of 3 months finds out it’s the end of their relationship. To add salt to the wound, he hooks up with one of the more ‘promiscuous’ classmates in no time at all. This leads to an awkward and very public argument in the middle of the cafeteria and Val’s self-declaration of virginity in front of all her class mates. Of course it’s all been captured on film and soon she skyrockets to internet stardom. With the nickname Virgin Val, and some of her classmates behind her, Val’s Virginity campaign begins.

“Telling someone you're a virgin isn't easy to begin with, but telling someone that you plan on staying that way is even harder.”  
- Kelly Oram (V is for Virgin)

The slow burn, between Val and Kyle (the lead singer of a local band) was everything I expected from Kelly Oram. The lady knows how to write a hot romance… and there wasn’t even any sex. Kyle is arrogant, cocky, the stereotypical musician. He sees something he wants and pursues it. Unlucky for him Val is pretty steadfast in her beliefs, which makes Kyle work even harder for the thrill of the chase. While Val is trying to be the good girl and stand by her values, she isn’t completely unaffected by Kyle and the chemistry between them sizzles. 

“It scared me how much he affected me, and I don't even think he was trying all that hard."  

- Kelly Oram (V is for Virgin)

For me the ending was a bit rushed. The epilogue takes place 4 years later and you feel a bit thrown into it. However, it did leave itself open to another book, which is exactly what the author did. I can definitely say I’ll be reading the next book, it takes place where V for Virgin left off and is written from Kyle’s perspective. I can only imagine what naughty, steamy but completely innocent things may ensue.

All in all, I like that this book isn’t necessary pro waiting till marriage, but rather pro-choice and making the right decision for yourself at the right time for you. There’s no outright slut shaming despite Val’s strong belief in waiting till marriage. Despite the criticism and condemnation from her classmates, Val stays strong. I wish more young people today could stand up to peer pressure, and see beyond the typical “Everyone else is doing it, why shouldn’t I?” mind-set. 

My rating: 3/5

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Review- Tell Me Three Things (Julie Buxbaum)

Tell Me Three Things


Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.
In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?
Julie Buxbaum mixes comedy and tragedy, love and loss, pain and elation, in her debut YA novel filled with characters who will come to feel like friends. 


My Review 

This was a nice fluffy contemporary perfect for my vacation in the tropics. As many YA’s start, we have a girl who’s moved to a new school for some reason or another. In this case, after Jessies mother’s death her father remarries, dragging them across country to move in with his new wife in LA and Jessie is thrown into a world she knows nothing about.

“Not feeling like I belong anywhere has made me crave constant motion; standing still feels risky, like asking to be a target.” 
- Julie Buxbaum (Tell Me Three Things)

One of the downsides of the book was its easily transparent ending. From the start I knew who S/N was and I’m no genius. It just felt all a bit too easy, like the author didn’t have enough faith in the readers to figure it out on their own along the way,  (or maybe the lack of patience in today’s society led her to believe we couldn’t wait till the end for the big reveal.). So she gave us large clues, which took a bit of the mystery out of it.

However in saying that, the book was still plenty enjoyable and worth the read. It touches on some important life events, like the death of a parent and dealing with the remaining parent remarrying, including the difficulties of becoming a blended family, changing schools, starting over and of friendships; old, new, and growing apart.

My rating: 3/5
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