Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Book Review: V is for Virgin by Kelly Oram (Whitney Finalist)

Title: V is for Virgin
Author: Kelly Oram
Enjoyment Rating: ***
Whitney Finalist
This book would be rated: PG-13 for language and subject matter

The downside of posting with a baby by your side is that he might delete your entire review, which is what just happened here, probably resulting in a shorter, less generous review than I would have written if I weren't so annoyed right now.

Val is a virgin. She has her reasons. But she doesn't share those reasons or that fact with her boyfriend of many months. When he wows her with a romantic dinner and then dumps her when she doesn't want to reward him for his hard work, she knows the whole school will hear about it. When a popular girl confronts Val in the cafeteria, Val gives her a dressing down she won't soon forget, especially since someone captures it and puts it on YouTube, where it gets hundreds of thousands of views. Then Val rebuffs the advances of Kyle, a rock star, and she becomes even more famous when he writes a song chronicling his attempts to seduce her. Pretty soon she's the face of abstinence, but at what cost?

V is for Virgin is an entertaining story. Val is a great character, and I like the way Oram includes a Mormon character in her story (Val's new boyfriend-- not the lecherous rock star). However, the story would have been much better at 260 pages than at 360-- my attention waned after a while and I felt that Oram included too many details (like the jewelry design side story) that could easily have been cut. Parents should be aware that the story does not restrain itself with teenage language or frank discussions of sex-- this is definitely a book for high school students, not precocious sixth-graders.

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