V is for Virgin by Kelly Oram
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Received to review
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Book Description: 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?
Val is a diamond in the rough. She made the decision years ago that she would remain a virgin until she married. This was prompted by the letter from her birth mother. Her birth mother had her at age 16 and was unsure of who her father was. She gave up her baby girl to give her a better life. Val was determined that she wouldn't make the same mistake.
The book begins while Val is on a date with her boyfriend. They are alone at his home and he believes that it will lead to something more. When she declines, he promptly dumps her and does his best to ruin her reputation. In a moment of anger she lets loose in the school cafeteria, proclaiming her virginity and adds a few insults in for good measure. Her scene goes viral and she is caught up in a vortex of events.
Her decision is challenged on many levels. There is the ridicule of her classmates. She is introduced a local rock hero and he takes decides to make it his personal goal to obliterate her goal. She soon becomes national news and becomes a spokesperson for teens struggling with this issue.
This book deals with a very sensitive subject. I found it to be a very interesting theme. I would love to give Kelly Oram a hand for the way she handled a controversial subject. I love the idea of writing about a group of teens who decide to abstain until marriage. There is so much pressure on teens to capitulate that I find it refreshing to have a book about the power there is in standing up for the right to choose, to not get into a sexual relationship that they may not be ready for.
The book is about sex. For that reason I would recommend it to an older teen reader, or to any teen who is struggling with this issue. I would not suggest this to a youth who is not mature enough for the message.
A note about the title from Kelly : For those who might wonder about content based on the title -
From Kelly: The book has a great overall message and promotes good strong moral values. For a book all about sex, there's not anything even close to a sex scene in it, but because of the nature of the topic there is a lot of innuendo/sexual humor and some name calling.
Read a Guest Post from Kelly Oram!
Some people are born to write.
I am one of those people. This doesn’t mean I’ve always been
good at it. It just means I’ve always done it. I have always been a writer, for
as long as I can remember. I just didn’t always know that’s what I was. My parents
have stories that I wrote from as far back as kindergarten. By sixth grade I
was winning school-wide essay contests, and by the age of fifteen I’d completed
my first novel.
I was a very imaginative kid—daydreamed a lot. I also
suffered from a bit of insomnia. I remember lying awake in my bed for hours and
hours every night as a kid because my brain just didn’t know how to turn itself
off. (It still doesn’t. I never sleep.) Growing up I had a lot of time to
entertain myself and so I used to make up stories about things I wanted to do,
places I wanted to go and people I wanted to meet.
These stories played out in my imagination like a movie. I’d
think about something one night, fall asleep, and then pick up where I left off
the next night. Eventually somewhere in my middle school years I got frustrated
because I realized I couldn’t always remember everything. I’d think of
something good and not be able to remember what it was the next night. I
started jotting down notes in my journal late at night, then moved to writing
out scenes in spiral notebooks. Before I knew it I had over three hundred pages
of a start-to-finish story. So what if it happened to be about my best friend
and me going off on a crazy road trip where of course we met our teenage obsession
the Backstreet Boys… It was still a novel.
Back then I wrote whatever popped into my head. It was just
a hobby—a desperately needed creative release. I wrote stories about my
friends, or celebrities I wanted to meet, and then eventually I started writing
episodes of my favorite tv shows. I was writing fan fiction I just didn’t know
it. I never knew other people did this kind of thing. I didn’t know there was a
term for it, and entire websites dedicated to it, or awards given out for it.
It was my deep dark secret.
In school I hated English and writing classes. I hated
reading, and thought I was going to grow up to be a pastry chef. Then I somehow
ended up as a voice performance major in college. I was all over the place, but
being a published author was never a blip on my radar.
I didn’t begin to take writing seriously until I was 22. I
quit my job to become a stay-home mom when my son was born. We were broke and I
didn’t have much to do so I started writing stories again. Then I found the
world of fanfiction and joined several forums. It took me a while to get brave
enough to share my work with others.
After a few years I’d had enough of writing fan fiction. I
wanted to create my own characters. (Something about needing complete freedom
and control…) I made the jump into original fiction with my book Being Jamie
Baker, and have never looked back.
About Kelly: Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and loves to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children.
You could get a Kindle copy in time for Christmas for $3.99. :)
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