Published by Berkley on Aug. 5, 2014
Genres: Young Adult
21-year-old Ellie is determined to cash in her V-card before graduating from her London university. Surrounded by girlfriends who lost their virginity years ago and the survivor of a few mortifying experiences with the opposite sex, she’s ready to become a woman… with just about any man willing to deflower her.
This book caught my attention when it was pitched at the BEA book club speed dating event. The publisher rep presented it as a funny novel about all the things no one talks about, from blow jobs to Brazilian waxes. As I’ve recently been lamenting the dearth of smart novels about women in their 20s, I was really intrigued by this title and eagerly downloaded the e-galley after reading positive reviews by One More Page and 52 Books or Bust.
Virgin is a fun read, for what it is. It’s not the most literary thing I’ve ever read, but it was light and funny and relatable. Ellie’s obsession with losing her virginity is a bit annoying at times, but by the end of the novel, she comes around to a healthier attitude toward sex, realizing that it’s okay to be a virgin, and it’s okay to be a slut (not my choice of word) — that women should do as they please and not be ashamed about it — whatever it is.
This is definitely a book I would recommend to women who are or were “late bloomers.” Young women in Ellie’s situation will enjoy reading a book told from the perspective of a character who is going through the same things as them, and Virgin may answer some of the questions they might have. Women who have a bit more experience than Ellie may have flash-backs to their own days of sexual curiosity and frustration. Ellie’s escapades are terribly cringe-inducing, but I’m sure many women have gone through the same things! Virgin is written realistically in the frank voice of college girlfriends staying up late dishing about boys and their vaginas. Not everyone will love it, but I found it refreshing. It is a light-hearted, relatable book about a young woman trying to achieve her sexual awakening with the support of some great friends.
In wrapping up, I should mention that this novel is very graphic. For what this book is about, it needed to be graphic, but readers should be aware of this going in.