V is for Virgin (V is for Virgin series) by Kelly Oram

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Official Rating: 2/5

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?”

My Review:

To be totally honest, I didn’t really like this book. I liked the concept, a teenage girl not being afraid to stand up for her opinion on abstaining from sex until she was married. Her cause and purpose was admirable, I wouldn’t disagree with that. But there were a few other aspects in the book that made me uncomfortable.

The first issue I had was that there was no obvious character development. People can always improve, people in real life and characters in books. Always. There are perfect characters, but they aren’t realistic. What does an author have to do in order to make them realistic? Give them flaws and gradually develop the character(s) as they start to realize their issues and try to fix them. I didn’t see any development in Valerie, but plenty of flaws. When “Virgin Val” becomes public and her campaign “V is for Virgin”, starts to become more popular, she starts to blow off her friends. The first person being her best friend, Cara. It was honestly disappointing how their friendship turned out in the end. Valerie made it seem like everything was Cara’s fault. While I do agree that Cara was very selfish in some of the decisions she made, Valerie wasn’t a saint either. She ignored Cara and started to make new friends, casually leaving Cara behind and then blaming it all on her. Then Valerie does maybe two things to try to “patch” the relationship and when it doesn’t work out, she storms off as if she had be bending backwards trying to make things work. But in all honesty, she wasn’t. All Valerie did was “fit” Cara into her schedule and she barely even did that. There was no change in Valerie’s perspective on the situation nor her actions, even though she was wrong.

Along with the character development, I don’t feel that Valerie was given a chance to develop. She didn’t experience anything that, in my opinion, would have made her realize her errors and try to work on them. For example, she’s practicing abstinence. Wouldn’t it have been realistic to have her face temptation to break the promise she has made to herself? While I respect that she’s practicing it, and it does prove that “not everyone is doing it”, if she isn’t given any tempting reasons as to why she should stop practicing, how will she grow stronger in her decision? It isn’t an easy decision to make and while her main reason for not wanting to have sex before marriage is a strong reason, there’s still a battle of inner desires when you’re surrounded by peer pressure that makes you feel like “everyone’s doing it.”

I didn’t like Kyle–at all. He didn’t “do everything in his power to win her over.” Not in the least. I won’t give away too many spoilers, but all Kyle did was make things uncomfortable. The songs he made with explicit meanings were disgusting and if I were Valerie I would have been furious that he had dedicated those songs to me. It wasn’t sweet, it wasn’t cute, it was demeaning and degrading and I wouldn’t have stood for it. He had no excuse for the inappropriate things that he said and did and while he could have made a fairly good love interest, his actions ruined it. Instead of trying to impress Valerie with genuine gestures, he wrote songs about how much he wanted to have sex with her and that she should “Put those morals on the back burner.” Considering her reason for developing those morals, Kyle is absolutely disrespectful and disregards her wishes and personal space in an attempt to be her “saving grace.” He had a few cute one-liners, but that’s all he had and I’m disappointed in his character. The other male love interests that Valerie could have chosen were really good ones and I liked them. While I understand if you’re just not attracted to someone, I think that either of them would have been an excellent choice on Valerie’s part.

The plot was a bit unrealistic as well. While I’m sure she could get a pretty good amount of support for her campaign, I think that some of the results she received were rather doubtful. For example, her campaign supposedly decreased teen pregnancy. That’s a lot of influence for a seventeen year old in high-school to have that she was able to launch a campaign that ultimately decreased teen pregnancy rates.

Rest assured, I didn’t hate the book. I wasn’t ready to jump up and cheer Valerie on for her decisions but it wasn’t difficult to finish and I didn’t mind reading it until the end.

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