Friday, August 1, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Virgin

Virgin by Radhika Sanghani

Publication Date: 08/05/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Books
Genre: New Adult
Pages: 304
ISBN-10: 0425278336
ISBN-13: 978-0425278338

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Books)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Radhika Sanghani on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Excerpt from, Virgin, courtesy of the author's website.


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."—*Joan Rivers

Okay, I admit it…I didn’t do it.

This is normal, right?  I mean, just because everyone I know has talked like they’ve already done it doesn’t mean that they’re telling the truth…right?
It’s not like I’m asking for that much. I don’t need the perfect guy. I don’t need candlelight or roses. Honestly, I don’t even need a real bed.
The guys I know complain that girls are always looking for Mr. Right—do I have to wear a sign that says I’m only looking for Mr. Right Now?
Sooooo…anyone out there want sex? Anyone? Hello? Just for fun?
I am not going to die a virgin. One way or another I am going to make this happen.
Hey, what have I got to lose? Besides the obvious.


Radhika Sanghani's debut novel is an irreverent look at the struggles of a young woman in today's highly sexual world. The book discusses a lot of topics that are considered taboo by many, but are basically rites of passage for young women. Sanghani does a wonderful job at poking fun and making light of a subject that is often taken way too seriously. This one is written in a conversational manner. The way you would talk to your closest girlfriends and that truly makes all the difference. A very subjective, yet humorous tale.

What I liked

Let's face it today's world is all about sex and the protagonist of Sanghani's novel, Virgin is just that... a virgin at twenty-one. So much has been written about this topic over the years that I was expecting the same old tried and true story of a young girl and her first sexual experience. But, Shanghani took Ellie's predicament into a totally different direction than expected and honestly I have mixed feelings about it. 

I loved the fact that Sanghani made sex, funny. She uses a lot of irreverent humor and makes something that is often hard to talk about, seem the normal thing that it is. Everyone wants it, everyone needs it, so why do we as individuals have such a problem talking about it? Something I never understood. It should not be a taboo subject. I liked the way that Sanghani put it all out there and made light of it. It is funny, if you think about it. How young women obsess over it, when it becomes something that is as natural as breathing. 

I like the fact that Sanghani writes this book in a conversational manner. Like the talks you have with girlfriends about sex and not like a clinical manual. She puts all the facts out there, but in a way that makes you feel safe and good about the fact that other people probably think the same way you do. I thought it was extremely easy to identify with. We've all been there and it was nice to see that portrayed through Ellie.

What I didn't like

This is the part where my mixed feelings come in. Ellie is 21 years old and her friends have all been having sex for awhile. I suppose I am a bit old fashioned about some things and if this were my daughter instead of a character in a book, I would be a little scared about that fact that 21 is too old, not to have had sex. As a young woman, you are just starting to learn who you are and what you want out of life at that age. I don't think 21 is too old, at all. It just needs to be the right time for each individual. So that part bugged me a bit.

There is a time a place for 'naughty talk' and Ellie just didn't have the knack for when to use and when not to. That took a bit of getting used to for me. As a character it made Ellie seem very immature. I had a hard time getting over the fact that Ellie was 21, but she acted like she was about 14 for the most part. I was expecting a character that was more grounded and not so caught up in what others thought about her virginity. Though the subject matter is light, there is still a seriousness about having sex for the first time and that was a bit lost here.

Bottom Line:

I liked this book. I liked the humor, the tone of the writing, the fact that sex was considered normal and not taboo. I liked how the author was able to make it conversational. But I also found myself wanting a stronger lead character. Someone who understood that sex doesn't have to be on a timetable. It just needs to be right. Ellie's immaturity was somewhat off-putting at times. And her language seemed more for shock affect than anything else. 

Virgin will be available from your favorite bookstore, August 5th. It is available for pre-order now!

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Radhika Sanghani is a journalist for The Daily Telegraph where she specialises in writing about women and women’s issues.  She has an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City University London, a BA in English Literature from University College London, and recently came second in GQ's Norman Mailer writing competition.  This is her debut novel.  She is currently working on a sequel which follows Ellie into ‘The Slut Years.’

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Virgin by Radhika Sanghani.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, August 15th.

1. Please leave a comment about your own first experiences with your sexuality. Don't worry we are all friends here and no one's preferences are anybody's business but their own...
2. Please fill out the FORM 


Carl Scott said...

Well now we're getting personal, aren't we? I remember a quiet, sunny afternoon in my high school girlfriend's bedroom. A little awkward but gentle and sweet. no bad memories there.

Anita Yancey said...

I can honestly say that my first time was at the age of 18 and it was my wedding night. There is something to be said for waiting, because I have now been married for 39 years.

bn100 said...

not much to share

justpeachy36 said...

I like getting personal, Carl! It lets us get to know each other a little better here at the Book Bag. First experiences are one of those things that people can be shy about. I can honestly say, I was really naive and very young... too young probably. But looking back it is always a pleasant memory and for that I am thankful!

Anita, there is definitely something to be said for waiting. I think people who wait get to experience something wonderful together that can't be replaced. Such a special moment to have with the person you are going to spend your life with... that's amazing!

Kimberly Sue said...

Ehhh...lets just say there was alcohol and an ex boyfriend first time really understanding and finding my sexuality came a few months later on my own! haha!


Texas Book Lover said...

Mine was when I 17 and with my now husband. Sneaking around when my parents were out of town.

Michelle F. said...

Nothing interesting in this regard. I like to say I'm like a nun without the religion.