Title: V is for Virgin
Author: Kelly Oram
Release Date: December 11, 2012
Published by: Bloomfields
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?
I was hooked from the very first page. V is for Virgin had a very strong beginning, and I was alternately cringing, laughing, and moaning in dismay for Val all throughout the first few chapters. From the get go, I loved that Val wasn't afraid to be herself. She knew perfectly well that people would make fun of her desire to remain a virgin before marriage, but she stood strong in her beliefs. She was an amazing character to read and learn about - instead of cowering in shame because for being nicknamed 'Virgin Val', Val held her head high and became a role model for those who wanted to remain virgins and those who wanted to practice abstinence alike. I thoroughly enjoyed being part of her journey as she tried to discern the line between being Val, a normal high school student, and Virgin Val, someone to look up to.
The secondary characters made for an interesting read as well. Kyle, who made it his personal mission to sleep with Val, had me both laughing and shaking my head ruefully at his antics. I love that Oram was able to develop Kyle and Val's relationship through many arrays - whether it be fights, thoughtful conversations, TV interviews, and even through songs, it was adamantly obvious that the two mentioned have undeniable chemistry, and that there was indeed something between them from their initial meeting. I do wish that I could have read more scenes between Val and Kyle though!
I also loved how Oram portrayed Val's friendships with Cara, Stephanie and Robin. Her friendship with Cara showed that while it was possible to maintain a strong connection despite pretty much living separate lives, it was vital that the two in question meet halfway. It takes two to tango, after all. Val's friendships with Stephanie and Robin, meanwhile, depicted that stereotypes are usually false, and that one doesn't really know a person unless you actually make it a point to truly get to know him or her. Ultimately, Oram showed that true friends will truly be by your side through thick and thin, and that one shouldn't let go of these people easily.
The second to the last chapter broke my heart. I was practically dryheaving because I could not believe what was happening. While I had a difficult time in reading the chapter, I did understand why Oram felt that it was important that several important changes occur for Val. Val as a character experienced such growth, and I couldn't be prouder of her for standing so strong amidst so much pressure and adversity. The last chapter, meanwhile, had me tearing up... in a good way. I didn't think it was possible for so much to occur in a span of a few pages, but wow, did many things happen, and I was so happy that they did, especially after that heartbreaker of a previous chapter.
All in all, I expected a fluffy read when I picked up V is for Virgin, but it was more than that. I did get the romance that I expected, but I picked so many lessons from Val, Kyle, Cara, and the other characters along the way, and I truly thank Oram for writing this gem.
Rating: 4 Stars