Virgin: A Novel (

Virgin: A Novel ("Girl" cover)

by Radhika Sanghani

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Overview

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.
Yet.
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425278338
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/05/2014
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

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.’

Read an Excerpt

***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof***

Copyright © 2014 by Radhika Sanghani

Ellie Kolstakis

21 years old

Nonsmoker

VIRGIN

I stared in horror at the words on Dr. E. Bowers’ computer. The status of my hymen was plastered across her screen in capital letters.

V-I-R-G-I-N

The letters glowed luridly on the green computer screen, the kind used before Steve Jobs figured out Apple. They imprinted themselves into my mind in an eighties blur. A lump of anxiety lodged itself into my throat and my cheeks started burning. I felt sick.

My humiliating secret was all over my medical records and Dr. E. Bowers was going to see it. I didn’t even know what the E in her name stood for but she was about to find out that in the two and a half years I had spent at uni, not a single boy had wanted to deflower me. Not one. I was twenty-one years old and I still had my V-card.

“Ms. Kolstakis?” she asked, pushing her rimless glasses up her nose. “You’re a final-year student at University College London, and you’re here to register, is that correct?”

I forced my paralyzed face into a smile and tried to laugh politely. “Yep, I don’t know why I didn’t join earlier. I, uh, I think it’s because I’ve just never been sick, you know?”

She stared blankly at me.

“Um, also, you can call me Miss Kolstakis, or just Ellie, if you want,” I added.

She turned her head back down towards the forms, creasing her brow as she struggled to read my messy attempt at writing in block capitals.

I wiped the sweat from my palms onto my jeans and told myself to be calm. She was a doctor. She wasn’t going to be shocked by meeting a twenty-one-year-old virgin. Besides, she was probably just going to ask me about the Kolstakis family history, and the worst thing I would have to tell her would be about Great-Granddad Stavros smoking a pack of cigarettes every day from the time he was nine. He didn’t even die from lung cancer in the end; he choked on an almond at the age of eighty-nine.

She breathed in sharply. “Mm, oh dear—this isn’t very good at all. You have more than seven alcoholic drinks a week?”

Oh, God. If she figured out I had deliberately rounded down by three drinks, I would probably be on the first bus out of here to rehab.

Dr. E. Bowers cleared her raspy throat.

“Oh, sorry.” I giggled nervously in a way I hadn’t since Girl Guides. “I don’t always have seven drink a week; obviously it’s just during term-time. We normally go out on Thursdays. Oh, and Mondays. Sometimes Wednesdays, but that club night is kind of full of freshmens these days so we don’t go as much.”

Dr. E. Bowers furrowed her forehead and pursed her lips together. She started tapping away at her keyboard and I held on to the edges of the chair with anxiety. I focused my gaze on her computer. The six letters were no longer there. She had scrolled down the page without commenting on them. I breathed out an audible sigh of relief.

A sentence appeared at the bottom of the screen. Over seven drinks a week, heavy drinker, binge drinks.

“Wait, I’m not a binge drinker!” I cried. “In fact, I’m not even a heavy drinker. I’m a normal drinker—I barely drink anything compared to my friends.”

“Ms. Kolstakis, seven drniks a week is still rather a lot. You should think about cutting down, or you’ll be back here asking for a new liver in ten years,” she said severely.

She tucked her Princess Diana–circa-1995 hair behind her ears and continued. “I see you’ve left this section about sexual health blank on your forms. Are you sexually active?”

I died.

Am I sexually active?

I couldn’t even talk to my friends about just how un-sexually active I was, let alone Dr. E. Bowers. Someone who wore glasses with no frames was never going to understand how traumatic it was to be a final-year student who had never had sex. I bet she lost hers through a hole in a bedsheet like they did in the Middle Ages. She stared into my eyes as though she could read my mind. I felt my body perspiring. I wished I’d worn a black top.

I fidgeted in my seat. “Oh right, well, I’m actually not really very sexually active so . . . I didn’t bother filling in that section. I’m not pregnant, never have been and never will be at this rate!”

Her lips stayed in a thin line and she blinked her anemic-looking eyes at me.

I made a mental note to stop trying to distract her with failed attempts at humor and quickly added, “Honestly, I definitely don’t have any STDs or anything. It’s completely impossible.”

“Ah, so you’ve been tested recently for chlamydia and so on?” she asked.

“Well . . . no. I just can’t have chlamydia. I’m . . . well, I’m a . . . I mean . . .” My voice broke and my words trailed into silence. I couldn’t bring myself to say the word out loud. My best friends grew up just knowing this stuff and I’d spent the last three years hiding it from everyone I’d met at uni. I opened my mouth to try again but no words came out.

“Yes?” Dr. E. Bowers blinked and looked directly at me. “You’re a . . . ?”

“I’m a v . . . a vi . . .” Great. On top of everything, I’d managed to develop a stutter.

I took a big breath and tried again. This time the words tumbled straight out of me. “I’ve never had sex before so I can’t have any STIs. Or STDs. Well, neither.”

She blinked again. “But you are sexually active?”

Um. Does one failed attempt at a blow job and a few fingers jabbing into my vagina count as being sexually active?

“I don’t know,” I replied miserably. “I mean, I’ve never had sex but I’ve kind of been to third base.”

She sighed. “Ms. Kolstakis, are you sexually active or not? This is a confidential space. I just need to know whether or not to give you a chlamydia test.”

My stomach plummeted straight down into my Keds, taking my jaw with it. My own doctor didn’t believe I was a virgin. “No! I’m telling the truth, honestly. I’ve never had sex. I don’t need a chlamydia test.”

She squinted at me as though she was looking for any traces of a postcoital glow on my face. “Do you have a boyfriend at the moment?” she finally asked.

I lowered my eyes in shame. What kind of student was I, who had never had a boyfriend and was unable to answer a single question about sex when I was in my sexual prime?

“No,” I mumbled.

She turned to her screen and scrolled up without warning. I started in panic as the six letters emerged on the monitor. I threw my hands up to my face, shielding my eyes from the V-word.

She sat looking at the screen for twenty-seven seconds before she clicked it away and turned back towards me. Slowly, I lowered my hands from my flushed face.

She looked at me with something resembling pity. “Right, then, Ms. Kolstakis, I’m going to give you this chlamydia test to do at home. It is self-explanatory, but essentially you just use the cotton bud to swab your vagina and mail it to the address in the pack. You should hear within a couple of weeks. Is that all right?”

I stared at her with my mouth gaping open. “I . . . What?! I just told you that I’ve never had sex—why do I need a test?” I cried out.

“We offer free chlamydia tests for everyone over the age of twenty-one who is sexually active or has been in close contact with someone else’s genitalia.”

“But you know I’m not actually sexually active.” I blushed furiously. “I have never been, well . . . penetrated.” I stumbled over the last word.

Dr. E. Bowers raised her eyeballs to the ceiling. “Ms. Kolstakis,” she said, “I am now well aware that you are a virgin. However, I advise that you take this free test I am offering you to ensure that you do not have chlamydia. It is still possible—though very rare—to catch it in other ways.”

“But what other ways? Surely fingers can’t give you chlamydia?” I blurted out.

“No, they cannot. However, you can catch it from oral sex or if a penis has been around your vagina, even without penetration.”

How Dr. E. Bowers knew that James Martell’s penis had touched my VJ but never actually gone in, I will never know. I stared at her mutely, impressed for the first time by her medical abilities.

She pressed the packet into my hands with a knowing look. I stood up, clutching it. I could barely see past the bright green letters flashing in my head so I walked in an undiscerning daze back out through the waiting room. My throat felt parched and scratchy from mortification so I stopped off at the water cooler. As I poured myself a plastic cup of water, I felt something fall behind me.

I turned around in surprise and saw an upturned cardboard box lying in the middle of the room surrounded by small silver packets scattered all across the waiting room floor and under the waiting patients’ seats. Oh God. My satchel must have knocked it off the shelf behind me.

I closed my eyes briefly in shame before forcing myself to bend down and pick it up. The waiting patients in the room were staring so I pulled my jeans up, hoping my faded knickers weren’t on show. Crouching on my knees and trying to pull my jumper down to hide my VPL, I started picking up the packets. I was half-finished shoving them carelessly back into the open box when it suddenly hit me. These weren’t just shiny silver packets that I was picking up from under people’s feet. They were condoms.

The irony was not lost on me as I fled the doctor’s office, my eyes swimming in hot tears. I ran out into the street and chucked the brown envelope straight into the first bin I saw. My face burned red-hot as I watched it sink in with the empty McDonald’s paper bags, taking my dignity down with it.

I was nothing but a twenty-one-year-old VIRGIN.

Chapter Two

Life as an adult virgin is more complicated than you might think. Obviously it is normal, there are thousands of us, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Choosing when to have sex is a completely individual decision, and everyone is different. Some people choose to wait till marriage, and some just want to wait for the right person. Others are religious, and others are just too busy being successful in every other area of their lives to worry about something as minor as intercourse.

At least, that’s what the Internet said when I Googled it the second I got home from the doctor’s office.

I knew Dr. E. Bowers hadn’t even believed I was a virgin to begin with, because clearly no average-looking third-year university student who had seven-plus drinks a week could still be a virgin. Except me.

I buried my head in the duck feather pillow I’d spent a week’s food budget on. I pulled my duvet over myself to try and block out the six letters blinking over and over in my head: V I R G I N V I R G I N V I R G I N.

I hated the word. I hated it just as much as I hated the fact that I was one. It wasn’t fair—why did I have to be the only non-deformed, non-religious girl who got stuck with an untouched inner lotus at the age of twenty-one?

I sighed loudly and let my mind go over the familiar responses to the “Why am I still a v*****?” question that visited me as regularly as my period.

1. It was my parents’ fault. They were education-obsessed immigrants who moved from Greece to Surrey and sent me to an all girls’ school. Their plan was for me never to meet any boys so I wouldn’t be distracted from their one and only goal for me: Oxford University. Result? I didn’t get into Oxford and I didn’t meet any boys either.

2. I was a very unfortunate-looking teenager. By the time I figured out how to make myself look passable and wear a bra that gave me enough support to show off my 36D assets, it was too late. All the boys from the school next door already had girlfriends, and to them I would always be the slightly unattractive and quiet girl with big boobs hidden behind massive jumpers, and long dark curly hair that was more horizontal than vertical. It didn’t help that all the other girls had figured out how to pluck their eyebrows and flirt while I was locked up in my bathroom with a bottle of bleach, battling my moustache. By the time I got to uni, I realized I had missed out on learning how to talk to boys. After a few minutes of my blunt humor and self-deprecation, they usually moved on to talk to real girls. Girls with minimal body hair, button noses and socially appropriate senses of humor.

3. My dysfunctional family. I was an only child, which meant most people assumed I had spent a spoiled, lavish upbringing pleading with my parents never to have another child so I could have all their attention. The reality was that I spent my whole childhood avoiding my mum and dad whenever they were in the same room, which meant most of my formative years were spent on the swing in the back of the garden with my imaginary older brother, or reading books under my duvet. Consequently, I moved up to the top reading set at school, developed an overactive imagination and became obsessed with my friends’ functional families. I couldn’t figure out how all this linked to the “why am I still a virgin?” question, but it must have had some kind of psychological impact on me. My latest theory was that it gave me a pathological fear of men.

4. I was a late bloomer. I spent every lunchtime listening to my friends talk about their first kisses and boyfriends but their lives always seemed so far removed from mine. Over the years, they moved on to second base, third base, and when they were all finally losing their virginity, I was still the only girl who had never kissed anyone. I sat on the socially acceptable side of the senior class common room. I hung out with the cool people and eventually managed to wear the right clothes, but somehow I didn’t kiss a single boy until the ripe old age of seventeen. I didn’t stop there, either—I begged him to have sex with me. He said no.

5. The Bite Job. It happened just before the First Kiss refused to deflower me and it is the reason why I have a fear of penises (penii?), second base, third base, rejection, teeth and pubic hair. It is my worst memory.

We were at Lara’s eighteenth birthday and I was wearing a dress so low-cut you could see my bra. It was just like any other party, except this time an actual boy came over to speak to me. James Martell. He was no Mark Tucker (senior year’s own Brad Pitt from the boys’ school), and his nose was, surprisingly, bigger than mine—but he was funny and had floppy blond hair. He took me upstairs to Lara’s older brother’s bedroom and drunkenly pushed me onto the bed.

We snogged. I mirrored what he was doing with his tongue and wondered why none of my girlfriends had ever mentioned how much saliva was involved. Then his hands started creeping into my pants. Any self-respecting girl who was having her first kiss would have yanked them back out, but not sexually starved Ellie. I let his fingers venture down into my VJ and let him poke away. I carried on shoving my tongue down his throat at full velocity and after a few minutes of discomfort in my sacred zone, he stopped. We went back downstairs holding hands and swapped email addresses.

We ended up chatting on the computer every night for two weeks, until one Saturday evening when he invited me over. I was so nervous I ended up sitting on the loo excreting my nerves for an hour beforehand. After a second shower, I got the bus to his place.

We sat in awkward silence for half an hour until he swooped in and started kissing me. We snogged on the sofa for a while before he put his hand down into my pants again. This time I was more prepared and didn’t wince in pain when he started waggling his fingers around. The next thing I knew, he was pulling my dress over my head and I was naked except for my pink polka dot underwear.

He pulled his clothes off, undid my bra and slid my knickers off. He stared in shock. After a few seconds of total silence when I wanted to curl up in a ball and die, he threw his head back and howled with laughter.

I froze. Why was he laughing at my vagina? I stood, paralyzed with humiliation, and waited for him to speak.

His laughter died down. “Wow, I knew you had some hair down there but I didn’t realize you had a full-on bush. You’re the first girl I’ve ever met with an unshaved vagina.”

I hadn’t shaved. Why hadn’t I shaved? Why hadn’t I known I was supposed to shave?

He didn’t seem to care very much because he carried on kissing me. Then he pulled his boxers off and I saw his naked penis staring at me. It was the first one I had ever seen and I kept trying to sneak a peek at it while we snogged. I felt it gently prodding my thighs and as we writhed on the sofa, I realized it was rubbing around my VJ.

I reached out and touched it. It felt alien and alive. I was about to move my hand away when he moaned in pleasure and I realized I was going to have to give him a hand job. I tried to remember what the girls at school had said, and with fear settling in my throat, I slowly began to move my hand up and down.

It looked like an extra limb and had the texture of an old cucumber. I had no idea how tightly to hold it, or at what speed I should be moving my hand up and down. What if he thought it was awful? What if he didn’t come? What if he laughed at me again? I panicked. Without thinking, I took my hand off his penis, broke away from the kiss and crawled down the sofa. I took it into my hands and slipped it into my mouth.

I felt my face getting hot as thoughts raced through my head. I tried to make my mouth fit around him and began moving my head backwards and forwards. The minute I started I knew it was a mistake. I had thought it would be easier than the hand job but I could not have been more wrong. I had absolutely no clue what I should be doing. I opened my mouth wider and pushed forward, when suddenly I heard a loud yelp.

I stopped what I was doing and dropped his penis in shock. I looked up and saw him try to pull his face into a smile.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, though I didn’t want to know.

“It’s just, um, you bit me.”

I felt bile rise in my throat and wanted to throw up and cry in the corner. Feeling my skin prickling with humiliation, I laughed shrilly and said, “Oh, sorry.”

I wanted to leave but there was no escape. If I ran away, everyone at school would know. I took a deep breath and went back down to his penis. I tried to carry on like before but this time I wrapped my lips around my teeth. It was so uncomfortable it had to be wrong. I tried to go down deeper and then gagged. I swallowed the urge to throw up and carried on. How was I going to finish?

I pulled away from his penis. “James, let’s have sex.”

He laughed awkwardly. “Um, are you serious? I thought you were a virgin.”

I flushed fuchsia. “So? I’m seventeen. I’m ready.”

He looked at the floor. “Ellie, we’ve only kissed a few times. I can’t take your virginity.”

“But . . . I want you to. Please?”

He squirmed. “I can’t. Not like this. Your first time shouldn’t be like this.”

Standing, I pulled on my pink dotted knickers and did my bra clasp with numb fingers. I ignored his protestations and left.

I never saw James Martell again. I avoided the parties that I knew he would attend, and I blocked him on instant messenger. He didn’t try to call me and I never did anything more than kiss someone ever again.

Once I got home from the doctor’s office, I lay down on my bed and felt a familiar wave of disgust flood over me. Only this time it wasn’t just because of The Bite Job. It was mixed up with Dr. E. Bowers.

I always knew it was weird that I was a twenty-one-year-old virgin, but it hadn’t really hit me until I saw those green capital letters screaming at me from my medical records. I wasn’t even eligible for a chlamydia test. Dr. E. Bowers had either given it to me to make up a quota or because she thought I was a religious nut job who didn’t want to go the whole way but secretly gave head to every guy around. If only.

I sat up straight in my bed. This was it. I was in my final year of university and I would never be surrounded by so many horny men again. This was my last opportunity to lose my virginity and I had to grab it now. I had to ditch my V-plates by the time I graduated in the summer—which meant I had four months to finally understand what an orgasm was and to learn how to give blow jobs.

I took a sharp intake of breath and visualized my future.

In June, I would go back to Dr. E. Bowers, get a chlamydia test, and make her swap VIRGIN on my records for SEXUALLY ACTIVE. The next time I came into contact with a condom, it would not be falling off a shelf in the doctor’s office; it would be on an actual penis. And this time, it wouldn’t just rub around my vagina à la James Martell; it would be going straight in there.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Virgin is laugh out loud, share with a friend, nonstop entertainment. Even Bridget Jones’s Diary could take a page from this novel.”—Joan Rivers

"Bridget Jones and Carrie Bradshaw, meet your wisecracking, vagina-obsessed match. Sanghani’s debut is a hilarious, irreverent look at smart-alecky, painfully self-conscious, 21-year-old Ellie’s relentless mission to rectify a disastrous 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 angst with old-fashioned sweetness."—Publishers Weekly (starred review) 
 

Customer Reviews

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Virgin: A Novel ("Flowers" cover) 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
belle7171 More than 1 year ago
Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this book. Virgin is the story about Ellie, an exasperated 21 year old virgin. This book was being compared to Bridget Jones’ Diary and other “Chick Lit”. I absolutely adore these types of stories. Unfortunately, this did not do it for me. There are lots of funny moments in the book, and I must confess I read the book in one sitting – it was a very quick read. However, I wasn’t very fond of the main character. Her desperation annoyed me, and the idea that losing one’s virginity was a hurdle to get over and a stigma to have did not sit well. I would hope my own daughter would be more accepting of herself and not give in to social pressures of any sort and own her body and mind, as I’m trying to teach her to be proud of her uniqueness. I don’t think I’ll be reading the book again.
COBauer More than 1 year ago
Received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Fantastic coming of age story. A wildly funny and almost painfully truthful look at virginity. There were moments that had me laughing out loud like a crazy person and others I was visibly cringing. Ellie was an extremely lovable and relatable girl. I adored the way the author talked about all the things young girls tend to wonder about during this time of exploration: contraception, shaving, waxing, HJs, BJs, masturbation, etc. ;) These are not things girls should be afraid to discuss.  It was really satisfying to read about something that has typically been such a taboo subject in such a refreshing and honest way. There was no slut-shaming. These girls embraced their own sexuality and were able to realize that it's not sex that defines a person. It's the positive relationships that make your life complete. Particularly your relationship with yourself. To truly be comfortable sexually a person has to be able to love themselves. Definitely recommend.
Kristen_Noel More than 1 year ago
  Wow. I loved this book so much! I'm really hot and cold when it comes to New Adult. Sometimes it just doesn't work for me and other times, it kills it. Virgin was the latter. It absolutely killed it. It was filled to the brim with humor that every woman can relate to. Admittedly, it won't be a book for everyone. It isn't full of swoon worthy guys. It doesn't have scorching sex scenes. But what it does have is a wonderful story, amazing characters, and outstanding writing. I'll take those three over swoon and sex any day!   Ellie is hilarious. I so wish that she and I were best friends! There were so many moments in the book that I was laughing out loud at her antics. But there were also those times whenever I wanted to just squeeze her in a big hug and tell her it'd be okay. I truly bonded with this character. I loved watching her growth throughout the book. Radhika Sanghani does a brilliant job at showcasing her characters and did such a phenomenal job at creating and nurturing Ellie.   This book deals with things that all of us women ponder daily. I would pay good money for the Vlog to be a real website! I'd visit every day. There is so much to connect to in this story. Even if you can't connect with Ellie and her virginity, there are plenty of other characters and situations that you will. This isn't a cliche book about a girl losing her virginity. It is so much more. I only wish that I could have spent more time with Ellie!  **I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.
csingh More than 1 year ago
There's been a lot of hype surrounding this book.  Naturally I picked it up and read it.  I read the book pretty quickly and enjoyed it for the most part.  I both liked and disliked one aspect of the book: how realistic it was.  Now I'm sure you're wondering why I said that.  I'll get to that in a little bit. I liked Ellie.  I understood her pain.  She was ready to get rid of her pesky hymen and she was going to do it and get it out of the way.  She was sure she could do it without getting emotionally attached.  I understood where she was coming from just as I understood all her reactions post-coitus.  I liked how I was taken on a journey detailing all of Ellie's (non)experiences with the male flesh.  Some of them made me laugh so hard my chest hurt and others made me feel sad and embarrassed, just as she was. Coming back to the realistic part.  I liked how the book treated the issue of virginity.  It wasn't glossed over or treated lightly.  Neither was there any preaching or judging of when a girl/woman should have sex or not. I really liked the message it portrayed.  That being said, I was hoping since this book was being touted as new adult there'd be a lot more sex and a some sort of happy-for-now ending.  I know, me and my expectations don't mean I'm going to get what I want.  I know I can't have it both ways, but would love it if I could. I think this book should be a must read for every teenager once they hit puberty.  It doesn't matter what your sexuality or gender is, the message is clear.  I also feel like the book is this generations Bridget Jones's Diary. It is something women of all ages can relate to.  I look forward to seeing what Radhika writes next.  After all, she now has a high bar to measure up to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book sounds so good! Can i get a free copy from NetGalley????????
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
~Reviewed by SUZANNE & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog Ellie thinks she must be the only virgin in her university, 21 years old and all she has to her name is some kisses and a bite job. It’s not even like she is looking for Mr Right with his candlelit dinners and bouquets of roses. She would settle for a few drinks, so long as she can throw away her V card at the end of the night. But this year Ellie is determined to finally do it and get rid of her shameful secret once and for all. This book is two things that I generally don’t read…and have no interest in reading; New Adult and Chick Lit. But wow, am I glad I didn’t listen to my usual MO, VIRGIN was one of the funniest books I have read this year. So much so that I don’t recommend eating or drinking anything while reading it, or even reading it in a public place. But as well as funny, it was also well written and utterly relatable, full of the sort of thoughts and feelings that most of us girls have battled with at one point in our lives. If you are are a traditional romance than this isn’t for you, there is no romantic HEA at the end of this book. What you do have is a bundle of hilarious situations, friendships and a bit of character growth, all showing the trials, tribulations and confusion of a girl growing up, from masturbation, waxing and other inconvenient hair growth to who exactly who does pay on a date? This was a great read, it lagged a little in the second half of the book, but by than I was hooked. If you are after something that will give you a good belly laugh than I highly recommend that you pick VIRGIN up. *ARC provided by publisher
eBook_Addict More than 1 year ago
I received this novel from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion, and honestly I wasn't thrilled about this novel. The story begins with the main character, Ellie Kolstakis, in the Doctor's office. In that scene, we learn that Ellie is 21-years-old, a Senior in college, and a virgin. The entire novel is based on Ellie's journey and the lengths she goes to to actually lose her virginity. There were a number of reasons I didn't really care for this novel. The first reason is because it was way too detailed. For example, the author would take you step by step of how the main character shaved her nether regions or how to properly give a "blow gift" as they called it in the book. Another reason this novel didn't sit well with me is because the main character was way too hard on herself, and didn't find herself pretty until after she lost her virginity. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with being sexually active, but a woman also shouldn't feel as if she needs a man or sex to justify her beauty. It was hard for me to finish this novel. Although this novel wasn't my most favorite read, I must still commend the author for being brave enough to put such a provocative novel out!
Book_Bite_Reviews More than 1 year ago
I'm really glad I got the chance to read this one. Ellie is so funny that she literally had me laughing out loud and reading parts to my fiance. The pacing was very steady and calming, but I do wish there was more drama in the book. I just needed bit more action. Although Ellie is hilarious, she is the victim of those jokes she makes and I felt like she never enjoyed her own company or life until the very end. Overall, I really enjoyed the read and would definitely recommend it to those looking for a good laugh and a book with feminist qualities. I will definitely be looking out for more from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read funny and entertaining
Gigi2321 More than 1 year ago
I really liked the book a lot. When you first read the title you think "OH MY GOD it's a dirty book." It is not like that at all. It is very repeatable, what the main character went threw with her first experience and her way of thinking was similar to mine and mostly to a lot of young females. I would recommend this book to woman to get a good laugh of how the main character handle everything. My only negative think about it was i didn't like was how desperate she was to lose her v- card.
maxliv387 More than 1 year ago
Book was funny. I enjoyed every minuet of it. I could not put the book down. There were parts within the book that just mde me feel embarrassed for Ellie. This is a book that many young people can relate to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read, believeably neurotic main character who you want to hug and punch at the same time. Very relateable story line. I was sad to get to this book's end.
sportochick More than 1 year ago
This is Radhika Sanghani first book and the author did a great job of the relationship/friendships between the three girls Emma (her college friend), Lara (her long time BFF), and Ellie. I loved how she portrayed them with all their idiosyncrasies and them all coming to terms and accepting themselves just as they are. Ellie’s humor and her vblog were hysterical.  My main problems were, this was written at a college character level and I had a hard time relating, also she spent too much time in the first half of the book saying over and over she was a virgin. Once she got into the girlfriends and their relationships she started showing her full potential as an author.  I WAS GIVEN THIS ARC FOR AN HONEST OPINION VIA NETGALLEY. To see the full review visit my blog: sportochicksmusings.blogspot . com
mickeyjj More than 1 year ago
this was the worst book i have ever read, i did get to the end by skipping a lot just to see if it does get better but it didnt. The author had way to many repeats of the same thing. After reading it once you don't want to read it again and again
bbstargazer More than 1 year ago
This quick, funny story tells of the trials of being a 21 year old virgin at college.  This is a great read for a college student, virgin, or anyone who just wants to laugh.  I love the way the author takes a very serious subject and uses humor to write a story that you want to read to the end.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ToManyBooksNotEnoughTime More than 1 year ago
Entertaining Read!!     I would like to thank NetGalley &amp; Berkley Trade for granting me a copy of this e-ARC to read in exchange for an honest review. Though I received this e-book for free that in no way impacts my review. Goodreads Blurb:<blockquote><strong>Okay, I admit it&hellip;I didn&rsquo;t do it.</strong> Yet. This is normal, right?  I mean, just because everyone I know has talked like they&rsquo;ve already done it doesn&rsquo;t mean that they&rsquo;re telling the truth&hellip;right? It&rsquo;s not like I&rsquo;m asking for that much. I don&rsquo;t need the perfect guy. I don&rsquo;t need candlelight or roses. Honestly, I don&rsquo;t even need a real bed. The guys I know complain that girls are always looking for Mr. Right&mdash;do I have to wear a sign that says I&rsquo;m only looking for Mr. Right Now? Sooooo&hellip;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.</blockquote> Imagine combining <em>Sex in the City, Seventeen Magazine, Bridget Jones' Diary</em> , along with a dash of <em>My Big Fat Greek Wedding</em> . Then take the results and have them retold by an uber-sensitive twenty-one-year-old Greek woman who just happens to still be a virgin. Now throw in two best gal pals and a bunch of hysterically funny stories of past, and present, mortification suffered by said virgin, and you have the recipe for a great beach read. Ellie is obsessed with the fact that she's 21 and <em>still</em> has her V-plates as she calls them. She and her best friend Lara are constantly bemoaning the state of their lives, though we mostly hear about Ellie and her virginity. She is completely awkward around the opposite gender because all she can do is wonder who she can get to help her lose her virginity, and when she's close enough to a member of the opposite sex for that to happen all she can do is worry if she's doing something wrong. Is she kissing the right way? How do you give a hand-job? What techniques are required to give a blow-job? Ellie has set herself a deadline - she <ul>will</ul> lose her virginity before she graduates from university. . . in four months. Her conversations with best gal pals Lara and Emma range from desperate, to racy, to laugh out loud funny; usually all three within the same conversation. Ellie asks the questions that most of us have wondered and never asked ourselves. She faithfully believes in Google when it comes to learning all she needs to know about sex but was never taught in sex-ed, and shares her findings with her friends. The thing that makes this book stand out from all the other 'chick-lit' is its raw intensity, as well as it's no-holds-barred attitude when it comes not only to sex, but any other topic. And Ellie, Lara, and Emma are all distinct personalities, each bringing something unique to the table. Between these three women you'll learn all kinds of entertaining facts, often in the form of one of Ellie's disastrous attempts at dating, or even at a flat-out hookup. Funny thing is, like most things in life, we never appreciate what we have until it's gone. And that seems to hold true for most everyone, regardless of the situation. But getting to that point with the girls is more than entertaining. The things Ellie thinks of, and situations she gets herself into, could easily be any awkward young woman - Ellie is just more honest about them. A great afternoon of beach reading as long as you don't mind laughing out loud, and aren't embarrassed to share just what it is that's making you laugh!
KDH_Reviews More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome. Radhika touches on subjects that every girl wonders about (from masturbation to pubic hair to technique), but no one else seems willing to go anywhere near. Not only does she talk about everything that's on a virgin girl's mind (and let's be honest, even those of us that aren't virgins anymore certainly still deal with these things), but she does it with an honesty and humor that I absolutely adored. I loved that Radhika took a positive outlook on sex. It's great to see a book about sex where there's no slut shaming or guilt about wanting to have sex. Ellie is a strong, independent woman and she wants to have sex. Good for her! To top it all off, I loved the story. I think the characters were brilliantly done. While a woman may not relate to everything in Ellie's life, it's safe to say that you'll be able to find *something* to relate to. As for the actual story, it was perfect. I loved that it stayed true to real life and wasn't all rainbows and butterflies. Yes, I certainly enjoy those stories, but I find more realistic stories to be especially enjoyable. I think it's safe to say that I recommend Virgin. It's a wonderfully funny and relatable story. * This book was received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. * You can read all of my reviews on my blog, KDH Reviews.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
This book is humorous take on an issue we all face in life, the losing of our virginity. The writing was well done but I had a difficult time connecting to the characters and some of the attitudes. While this book isn't necessarily for me others may find the humor on the subject entertaining.
SezjbSB More than 1 year ago
Virgin is a laugh-out loud contemporary novel that follows Ellie, a twenty-one year old student in her final year of college, and oh yeah she's a virgin, and she is determined to lose her V card before college is over. Unfortunately Ellie has not had the best track record with guys, she feels left out whenever her friends talk about their sex lives, if only she could find a guy to lose her virginity to, or even to ask her out on a date. With hilarious anecdotes and mishaps along the way, o.k a lot of mishaps, this book goes through what most females have had to deal with, and questions we've all had about our bodies and sex. I also enjoyed the blog entries throughout after Ellie and her friend Emma start a blog about the aforementioned subjects. I didn't think I would enjoy this book as much as I did, Ellie is a character that all females can relate to, not perfect in any way but with all the same worries girls have had at one time or another. I'm intrigued to see what Radhika releases next, if it's anything like this book I'll be all over it. A fantastic debut novel.
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
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
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
Go Girl Power! If anyone can laugh at the humorous side of Virgin by Radhika Sanghani, it&rsquo;s those of the feminine persuasion! Nothing is better than discovering you are not alone in the jungles of coming of age as a female in this contemporary world. From relationships with &ldquo;humanly realistic boys&rdquo; (read: not perfect) to all the torturous primping that girls will put themselves through in the name of &ldquo;beauty&rdquo; and sexual attractiveness, it is so easy to see oneself within these pages. Is being a virgin really so bad? Is &ldquo;the first time&rdquo; all it&rsquo;s cracked up to be? Radhika Sanghani has tackled a delicate subject with the grace of a rhino, stripping away those canned &ldquo;girl talks&rdquo; that teachers and parents give and laying it all on the line in all of its naked glory. Like sharing with your best of best friends and having a good laugh about it, once the sting of immaturity subsides, Virgin should be required reading for every girl going through the pressures and insecurities of her teen years where peer pressure and curiosity run rampant. For me, the message is make your own choices, live with them and own them, no matter what, and for Pete&rsquo;s sake, keep you sense of humor dialed to high..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mild yes, but I noticed only one free book for honest review had nerve enough to give it a two. Please note that STD are still spread by the exchange of body fluids and that includes kissing plus non sexual incounters with blood dental procedures resisitation just as getting in the way of sneeze can give you flue and not washing hands sonething nasty from bathroom door handle. anyone that thinks this is "cute" needs a quick review of proper personal hygiene m.a.@ sparta
BATread More than 1 year ago
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