Confession: I'm not reading that much this year. I read 51 new books in 2012--that is to say, all my rereads of old favorites did not count. But I have only read 7 books this year. I blame working two jobs. Having a second job drastically cuts into my reading time.
One book I read back in March was V is for Virgin by Kelly Oram.
It. Was. BRILLIANT.
From Amazon: 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?
There was so much I liked about this book. Like Val's reasons for saving sex for marriage. The different perspectives on saving sex for marriage and intentionally have sex with someone before marriage. The acknowledgement that some teenage girls have low self-esteem and turn to male attention for being sexy or having sex. The acknowledgement that some teenagers just want to have sex, and it's not necessarily a bad thing.
There is a teeny tiny bit of slut-shaming, but it happens when Val is really hurt and upset about rumors flying around about her, so she lashes out. There is also sexual assault that isn't labeled sexual assault--Val is kissed against her will. She does slap the guy, if I remember correctly, but she is also mad at herself for enjoying it. As someone who is a really big proponent of consent, I felt a little uneasy about this. But overall, Val was pissed about it, so I think that is mostly in the right direction.
Does the book lack realism? To an extent, yes, but it's not quite as fluffy and outlandish as any of Meg Cabot's books (which I adore, by the way). It's also not totally predictable. Val had three potential suitors--four, if you count her ex repenting and coming back to her. I honestly didn't know until the very end how her love life would play out.
This was a quick read that I finished in an afternoon. If you're looking for something short and fun, or if you're interested in different (albeit fictional) perspectives on abstinence, I highly recommend this book!
As usual, I'm linking up with Book Club Friday!
And, of course, Blog Every Day in May!