Published by Penguin
Published on August 5th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Women, Fiction, New Adult
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For those who grew up on Judy Blume—and graduated to Lena Dunham—a “hilarious”* debut... “Bridget Jones and Carrie Bradshaw, meet your wisecracking, vagina obsessed match. Sanghani's debut is a hilarious, irreverent look at smart-alecky, painfully self-concious, 21-year-old Ellie's relentless mission to rectify a disasterous first attempt at performing oral sex, get deflowered, find the perfect Brazilian wax, avoid her tradition-bound Greek mother's nagging, graduate summa cum laude, be a writer, and fit in...This story for millennials is a wonderful blend of modern agnst with old-fashioned sweetness.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) “Even Bridget Jones’s Diary could take a page from this novel.
I’m so excited to share my thoughts about Radhika Sanghani’s awesome debut novel, Virgin! Check out the review, an excerpt, Radhika’s bio, and the GIVEAWAY! (You can enter to win an e-book or a paperback ARC of the book!)
I love when I read a book, and I’m able to instantly connect the hero’s plight. My biggest issue I normally have with contemporary novels is that I can’t relate to the situations the characters face within the story. This always led to eye rolling and utter frustration as the reader, and typically ended in a DNF of epic proportions. However, this was not the case with Virgin.
I loved reading this story from Ellie’s POV. There were so many times that I would say “OMG, YES!” while I was reading, and I giggled incessantly while reading about all of her trial and error moments. (Mainly because I could relate.) I loved how honest this book was, from start to finish. There wasn’t the usual “fairy tale fluff” when it came to the heroine’s love life either. <— I LOVED that. I loved that it was unpredictable, and brutally honest. Following Ellie as she embarked on her de-virginizing quest was highly entertaining (and at times, I wanted to leap through the book and give the characters a big high-five.)
“Fuck romcoms,” she said with such forceful assurance that I gulped on the green tea I was sipping. “They’re all lies, and I’m so bored of the whole scenario where the pretty girl gets burned by a guy, then gets a personality, a makeover and some confidence and then he comes crawling back. That’s not realistic.”
I nodded enthusiastically. “Yes! Where’s the rejection and the humiliation? That’s the stuff I can relate to, not amazing book deals that come out of nowhere and random trips to Hollywood. Chick lit these days is just as bad.”
AGREE. AGREE. AGREE^
“Back in the day” I loved reading Chick-Lit books. But as of late, I was finding that many books within the genre were falling flat, and I was losing interest in contemporary fiction all together. But, then I come across a book like this one that pulls me out of my genre fatigue, and gets me giddy and excited all about embracing all things contemporary while channeling my inner Chaka Khan…
I loved this book. Loved it. Every de-pubing, condom-buying, and gynecological-awakening moment.
This book isn’t solely about Ellie’s deflowering, but also her becoming comfortable with herself, in her own skin. She has to kiss a lot of frogs (and penises AKA “extra limbs with the texture of an old cucumber”) to discover what it was she really wanted and needed for herself. We get to see Ellie’s relationships with her family, friends, colleagues, and yes, even gynecologist. Each of which provided for even more laughs and entertainment.
Ellie embraces her unfortunate (virginal) circumstances, and together with her (non-virginal) friend Emma, decide to create an online blog in the hopes of helping to empower other women who are looking for a realistic outlook to the lady life…
The Virgin Entry
Welcome to our vlog. If you’ve clicked on our About Us, you will know that a vlog is a blog for people with vaginas, or anyone who wants to read about them. But before we start delving into the depths of our vaginas, we should introduce ourselves. We are—anonymously, because we’re discussing our sex lives (or lack thereof)—EK and EM. EK is a twenty-one-year-old virgin who isn’t sure why she hasn’t lost her V-plates yet and desperately wants to. She is not religious, she’s not waiting till she is married, she’s not waiting for The One, she’s not expecting her deflowerer to propose immediately and she’s not frigid. She is just unlucky. EM is twenty-four years old and the opposite of a virgin. She proudly calls herself a slut and is on a campaign to rid the S-word of its negative connotations and make it unisex: i.e., “Oh my God, they’re such sluts. Cool.” There you have it. One of us is a virgin and one of us is a slut. The two are not mutually exclusive and regardless of our experiences, we both have very similar views on the world of sex, virginity and vaginas. Ultimately, we’re both just twenty-first-century girls who grew up with Cosmo, Vogue, TV, Facebook and romcoms. We are part of the generation that has been seriously fucked up by media, but also the generation of women who have more opportunities than our mums and g’mas ever did. So. This vlog is here for anyone who has ever felt temporarily panicked about anything related to a vagina. It is a website, a forum, a social network where you can see what we have to say about taboo topics that no magazine would dare to publish. We are not afraid to say what needs to be said. In the most graphic way we can think of. So if ever you have felt confused/alone/upset/stressed/angry/worried because of something remotely sexual, we’re your girls. Whatever you’ve felt? We’ve felt worse.
So, in other words…
Vagina blog + Virgin=HILARIOUSNESS. Trust me when I tell you, this book is so explicitly honest, awkward (in a good way), and fabulously written. This is an absolute MUST READ for any fans of Bridget Jones’s Diary! (As with Bridget Jones series, this book is very British. Which is just fine in my eyes!) This was one of the most entertaining books I’ve read this year, and I hope you’ll love it just as much as I did!
4 HYMEN-EMBRACING STARS!
After Ellie’s First Brazilian Wax Experience:
Oh my fucking God. The wax hadn’t all come off on the strips, and it was stuck on my skin along with knicker fluff. I rubbed at it frantically until I realized it had hardened and wasn’t coming off. I needed to use some water, but it was a public bathroom. I couldn’t just rub my vagina next to the sink, could I?
Praying to God no one would walk in, I hobbled to the sink with my knickers and jeans halfway down my legs. I quickly started rubbing away at it with water and a runny pink soap I squirted from the plastic dispenser. The wax went gloopy when it was mixed with the hot water, and it spread across my skin. I had made it worse.
Feeling panicky, I rubbed as hard as I could and then tried to peel it off. The sticky wax caught under my fingernails and I tried to scrape it off with loo roll, but the paper stuck to the skin on my hands and vagina.
I looked at myself in the mirror, bent down with my legs spread open and my hand on my vagina, stuck there with wax and loo roll. This was not how I’d imagined the start of my first ever grown-up date.
The door swung open and a middle-aged woman wearing a brown fur coat stood in the doorway, staring at me in disgust. My mouth dropped wide open and our eyes met in the mirror. There was a squeal and I looked down and saw the child next to her.
“Mummy,” he asked. “Why is that girl rubbing her front bottom?”
The woman put her manicured hand over the little boy’s eyes and spun him around. She looked at me with something close to revulsion and shook her head slowly.
“You’re disgusting,” she hissed under her breath as she propelled her son out of the bathroom. I stared at myself in the mirror, wondering how this was my life. I could hear her hushing the boy outside: “Orlando, sweetie, are you feeling okay?”
I snorted. Orlando was five years old and didn’t have a vagina covered in dried wax. He was bloody fine. I, on the other hand, wanted to crawl into the loo cubicle and never leave.
Here’s a picture of the Print Paperback ARC: