Hi there! Today I’m sharing my review for a contemporary New Adult novel NOT THAT EASY, by Radhika Sanghani. This is the sequel to VIRGIN and there are a lot of references to what happened in the previous book…so I’d recommend reading them in sequence. Besides, VIRGIN made me laugh out loud, in that “Thank Good it’s YOU and not ME!” way. Poor Ellie!
Well, she’s back and determined to live life on her own terms—which gets her into some strange and wild problems.
About the book:
Ellie used to be a virgin, but now she’s a woman with sexual experience. Well, some sexual experience. She also has debt, an unpaid magazine internship, and three flatmates who left her with the single room to match her single status.
That’s okay. She doesn’t want a boyfriend anyway—she wants several. And if the sex is exciting enough, her ruthless magazine editor boss can exploit her dating life for a column.
After countless hook-ups, a disastrously fiery encounter with some heat lube, and one orgasm class, Ellie is faced with the sad reality of her sexual ineptitude. But when she starts to witness the emotional wreckage she’s leaving in her wake, Ellie realizes that sex can be hard, and there’s a down side to giving it up too easy.
This book is a sequel to VIRGIN, and is best enjoyed if read in sequence, though it CAN be read as a standalone.
Ellie is a 22 y/o new uni grad living in a flatshare with her good friend Emma, and two men, Ollie (on whom Ellie has a total crush) and Will. The thing is Ellie’s the only single one, and she’s not happy to be stuck in the only single room of the flat.
She wants to find men to have sex with, many men, preferably. She recently lost her virginity to a douche, and she is dying to get more experience. She feels as if she’s crap at sex, and doesn’t get that everyone is, at first. As she’s hardly had a chance to experiment, Ellie agrees to sign up for online dating. This is intriguing and disastrous.
Her first date is a bit of a train wreck, with Ellie bolting via a fire escape just to get away from this guy. The second guy was really a good guy, I thought, but Ellie has weird idiosyncrasies that drive her to push him away. Their sex scene did give me a laughter cramp. Ye gads, Ellie’s so very uptight.
This is a problem every time she meets a man, actually. She desperately wants to have an orgasm with a guy, yet when she’s in the act she’s so trapped in her head that she can’t enjoy the experience at all. It was honestly painful being in her brain–and the lack of arousal she experiences *almost* put me off sex for more than 24 hours… (It was a near thing!)
She does meet a great guy, Nick, who’s been quite hung up on his ex for too long. Ellie sees the opportunity to get her first One Night Stand out of the way, and does so–only to be stymied the following morning when he wants her number. And further confused when he calls her! And takes her on nice dates! Ellie is really a neurotic mess. She has roughly 3 ounces of self-esteem and cannot fathom how to behave as Nick’s “rebound” girl–but her boss sees Ellie’s dating nightmares to be fodder for a tell-all column in the online mag that she interns for–on an unpaid basis. The horrors that are Ellie’s bad dates and bad pubic hair and further are now out on the ‘net for all to read. It’s mortifying, and she isn’t even getting paid!
While Ellie is a mess, she does get things together by the end. She makes bad, bad, bad decisions that upset her friends, family and flatmates, but she perseveres. She atones the best she can, and she takes control of her future in a way she had not considered before. Some of this is funny–uproariously so–but other points are raw. Ellie doesn’t feel good about herself and this makes it easy for people to take advantage of her. She’s trying to claim her life, but she really has no sense of being an adult, only a few vague ideas which make her feeble attempts at “adulting” poor. Her naivete is simultaneously humorous and sad, because it continually leads Ellie into poor choices.
I liked how she worked through her issues in the end, becoming a far stronger character. I liked how she asserted her sexual independence throughout the book. She and her feminist friends attempt to redefine “slut” into a positive term, which was an interesting concept, even if it didn’t quite turn out.
About the author:
Radhika Sanghani is an award-winning journalist for the Daily Telegraph, where she reports on women’s issues and has a regular column on everything from feminism to sexist air conditioning.
She spends unhealthy amounts of time thinking about gender equality, or the lack thereof, and has written two novels based around exactly that.
Her debut millennial comedy Virgin came out in 2014 (Joan Rivers said it was the funniest debut she’d ever read) and the much-awaited sequel Not That Easy just came out in October 2015.
Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!