Release Date: December 11th, 2012
Finished Date: October 21st, 2012
Source: ARC, For Review
Source: ARC, For Review
The Review: V is for Virgin was my first book by author Kelly Oram and I have to say, I cannot believe I hadn’t heard of this author before she approached me to review her books. I must have been hiding under a rock because V is for Virgin is the perfect example of good contemporary romance books for teens!
Val Jensen is a teenage girl who’s always known she was adopted from a young age. Not wanting to follow in her birth mother’s footsteps – having a baby while being a teenage, Val made the big decision not to have sex until she was in love and married. However, she hasn’t told her boyfriend her plans, so when she does, he blows up and dumps her. The problem is, when her break up goes viral on YouTube, Val is suddenly given the name “Virgin Val” and she’s soon she's in the spotlight and even gets the attention of the leader singer of Tralse; Kyle Hamilton. How is Val ever supposed to stay true to herself and the nation, when the hottest guy in the world keeps fighting for her attention?
I’m not really sure what I was expecting when I started reading this book - a light fluffy read, but I have to say I was really surprised by the outcome because V is for Virgin is definitely more complex than it appears. With the storyline surrounding Val – who wants to remain a virgin until she gets married, it really does send out a great message to the younger readers. How many women do you know that wished they’d waited to have sex or wished it had been more than what they had experienced? Well, I guess we all know someone who wishes it and this book really is an eye opener to that. Yes, it can be beautiful but if your young and you have your whole life ahead of you, what’s the rush. Let it mean something. Don’t rush out and do it because all your friends are or because your boyfriend is pressuring you, do it because you want to and when your ready. V is for Virgin really does send out the right message to teens that are pressured into having sex and I definitely think there should be more books like this.
My favourite part of this book was Val herself. I loved her attitude - she's a happy go lucky girl who doesn't let anything get her down. She remains strong and true to herself and it shows how much courage she has. And then of course, Kyle...typical bad boy Kyle. Even thought his hard times, he's still a swoon-worthy character. I loved the banter between Kyle and Val and here's the perfect example;
" Virgin Val?" Suddenly I missed being called Legs. It was Kyle who'd said it. I ignored him and looked at the girl.
"How did you.....?"
"You're a virgin?" Again, Kyle.
"You say that like it's a bad thing," I couldn't help but snap.
"I'd be more than happy to help you fix that problem.
"I'll bet you would."
My only 'complaint' with the story was I wish there had been a little more to the ending. I finished it and I was left will with, well did they or didn't they? I had to go back and re-read it and I did get it eventually, but I guess I would have liked a little more closure. Other than that V is for Virgin is a fun, loving read - one that deals with real situations and I can't wait to read Kelly Oram's other book - Being Jamie Baker soon.
A big thank you to Kelly Oram for giving me the opportunity to review her book.
Author Interview with Kelly Oram
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself
I am a stay-at-home mother of four. If I couldn’t be a writer I’d be a book blogger. I read 2-3 books a week on average unless I’m wrapped up in a manuscript. I talk too much. I listen to music way too loud. And even though I now live in Arizona I will always be a beach bum in my heart.
2) How old were you when you wrote your first book?
I can remember writing “stories” as early as first grade, but I completed my first novel when I was 15. I have it typed out and spiral bound. It’s so awful I think it will become a family heirloom.
3) What is the most challenging thing about being an author?
Finding the time to write. Since I am a mom first and writer second, my family takes priority. I have to sneak in fifteen minutes here and there between naps and school projects and doctor’s appointments and diaper changings. Basically, I sacrifice sleep to read and write.
4) Where's your favourite place to write?
I love to write at the library. It’s quiet, there aren’t many distractions, and they keep it freezing in there so I’m not tempted to fall asleep. Of course, I never get to go there because I have two small babies who would tear the place up, but someday, when they’re in school, I’ll start going back their often.
5) Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure. I’m currently working on the sequel to Being Jamie Baker. Now that Jamie has learned to control her powers, she’s discovering that life still isn’t black and white. She has a gift that she’s not using and she’s not sure she can live with that anymore. In “More Than Jamie Baker” Jamie is once again struggling with how to live life as the only person in the world with superpowers, while Ryan Miller is back and his only inner turmoil is how does he get his insanely hot super girlfriend into a superhero uniform, and would she look better in a spandex suit or a short skirt and tall boots? Most of the original cast is back plus one or two new faces. An alter ego seems like a great idea, but what’s the line? With great power comes great enemies?
Questions relating to V is for Virgin
1) What was your inspiration for writing V is for Virgin?
It all started with my brother telling me to write a story about him as a “hot famous rock star who got all the chicks” oddly enough. I told him he was a dork, but decided to run with it…
2) Was there a message you want readers to grasp?
I never set out to write a message, but it ended up being there anyway. I’d say this story is about knowing who you are and standing up for yourself. Make your own choices for you, and not for anyone else.
3) Are there any parts of the story you feel particularly close to?
I guess just the subject matter in general. Like Val, I was a girl who waited until marriage to have sex and I got a lot of flack for it. It wasn’t always easy, and if I hadn’t known that was what I wanted, I wouldn’t have lasted.
4) Can you tell us how you went about choosing Val and Kyle’s names?
Kyle is named after my brother, as I mentioned before. He is always asking me to write him into one of my books, or asking my husband to put him in one of his movies. I finally gave in. Val was easy too. I just needed a name that started with V.
5) Who would play your dream cast if your book was optioned for a film?
I think Bridgit Mendler from “Good Luck Charlie” would make a great Val. Val’s the only one I’ve ever really thought about casting. If I had to cast Kyle, I’d say maybe Zac Effron if he could pull off the attitude.
Questions relating to Being Jamie Baker, Serial Hottie and V is for Virgin.
1) Which book was the most fun to write?
That is so hard. I loved them all for different reasons.
2) Which book was the most challenging?
Serial Hottie. By far. I had two slightly unstable main characters with serious flaws who I still had to make likable. I spent the entire book stressed that Ellie came across as a moron, and that Seth was too psycho for people to like. But if I hadn’t made him legitimately a bit creepy, and her a little over imaginative, the story wouldn’t have worked. Finding an acceptable balance was hard. In the end I just had to tell myself that it was meant to be a comedy and not taken I was sure there would be plenty of people out there that wouldn’t like it, but I’m okay with that because as much of a headache as those two gave me, I had so much fun writing them!
3) Are there any characters that are most like you?
My mother will tell you Jamie Baker, but my sister will say I’m way more like Ellie Westley minus the punching people. I think I have a few traits of both of them but that neither of them is exactly like me.
4) What’s your favourite cover?
V! I love the V is for Virgin cover!! So fun!
5) Out of all the love interests, who’s your favourite?
I’m going to cheat and say it’s Russ from my upcoming supernatural series. You guys haven’t met him yet, but he’s definitely my favorite. Otherwise I’d go with Ryan Miller. He’s a lot like my husband. Plus, can’t really consider Kyle Hamilton when he’s named after my baby brother.