Wednesday 3 September 2014

Virgin, Radhika Sanghani

Pages: 304
Publisher: Mills and Boon
Release Date: 12th September 2014
Edition: NetGalley proof, review copy

I don’t need the perfect guy.
I don’t need candlelight or roses.
Honestly, I don’t even need a real bed...

Ellie Kostalis is a twenty-one year old virgin.

She’s not religious. She’s not waiting for marriage. She’s not even holding on for The One.

She’s just unlucky,

But with her final year of university coming to an end, she’s determined to shed her v-plates, once and for all.

And she’s ready to try anything – from submitting to her domineering Greek mother’s matchmaking skills to embracing the world of nether-waxing trends (no-one wants a ‘Hitler’) and even YouTube tutorials on how to give a ‘blow gift’ (it should never be a job).

After all, what has she got to lose? Well, besides the obvious.

I hadn’t heard of Virgin until I spotted a review on Wondrous Reads. Then I immediately knew I needed to read it so I raced over to NetGalley. I’m very glad I listened to Jenny.

Ellie is in her final year of college and still a virgin, and so begins her quest to lose it by the end of the year. She’s always the friend rather than the girlfriend, has body hair issues and very personal questions about her body that no magazine has ever dared to answer before, and she’s one of the most relatable heroines I’ve ever read. It was incredibly refreshing to read about UK university life without all of the sheen of Oxbridge or the stereotypes of an Americanised institution. And there wasn’t a hint of a New Adult novel as we know it; but Virgin is exactly what I was wanting from New Adult and I’m hoping beyond hope that this will be the first of many novels in this vein.

Virgin is a frank and honest exploration of discovering sex and your body for the first times, sometimes in a cringe-inducing way. Ellie has so many questions and most of them are integral ones, but ones that have never been encountered in magazines, online articles, novels, movies or TV shows. So Ellie and Emma start a vlog all about the mysteries of the vagina and related topics. It’s a brilliant idea and I loved reading the excerpts of posts they wrote for the site. They were full of hilarious anecdotes and valuable advice.

I have to admit that I went into Virgin with the expectation of laughing aloud every few pages, and while it was genuinely funny, I wasn’t as outwardly hilarious as I expected. The humour made me snort, smirk and shake my head in embarrassed empathy. It made me smile a whole lot. I really do hope that there are blogs and vlogs like Emma and Ellie’s out there for the legions of girls in the same position.

Virgin is a novel about feminism, friendship and all of the awkward, embarrassing and painful moments a girl goes through on her path to adulthood.

Thanks to Mills and Boon and NetGalley for the review copy.



  1. This sounds truly adorable and exactly what NA should be like! Gonna have to keep my eye out for this :)


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