Adult Life is NOT THAT EASY–A Review

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.

Not That Easy (Virgin, #2)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.

My Review:
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.

Interested? You can find NOT THAT EASY on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Radhika SanghaniAbout 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.

You can connect with Radhika on her website, Goodreads, and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

The Inheritance Series–Cover Reveal

The Inheritance

A New Adult Series

By: Olivia Mayfield

THE INHERITANCE- Olivia Mayfield

The Will (Book One of Six)

Maggie Willings knew that returning home for her estranged grandfather’s funeral would not be easy, but she never expected the reading of his will to be the most difficult part. The four people named in the will—Maggie, her brother Robert, her ex-boyfriend Andrew, and her grandfather’s far-too-young girlfriend Bethany—are given a challenge: find out the truth about what happened to Maggie’s younger sister Cassandra, who vanished over eight years ago, and win the entirety of the estate.

Maggie is thrown by the strange request, reluctant to drag up painful memories of her sister’s disappearance, and bothered by her lingering attraction to Andrew, who wants to team up to solve the mystery. But there are ten million dollars on the line and Maggie has no idea where to start—or who she’ll be able to trust.

Interested? Pick up your copy at:

 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg

Who is this author, anyway?

OliviaOlivia Mayfield has been an unabashed fan of romance since she was a young teen, secretly devouring her mom’s Harlequins.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing, as well as a Master’s degree in English, and lives with her family in Ohio.

In her free time, she loves reading, shopping, wearing absurdly high-heeled boots, cheesecake, singing karaoke, and harassing her friends.

You can catch up with her here:

PRECIOUS THINGS…indeed!

New Adult fiction is taking off–and many people are still trying to figure out if it’s a real phenomenon. What is it? YA rawness, plus more. The ones I’ve read are all contemporary with hotter (wetter? stickier?) romance.

Honestly, I’ve read a few and I’m hoping to find more, because it’s fun. I love the freshness. I love the romance. The uncertainty of ‘new adulthood’ is as energizing and rapturous as it is bittersweet.

And that’s how I felt about PRECIOUS THINGS by Stephanie Parent.

Isabelle is an excellent student. She’s been accepted to Johns Hopkins and Georgetown and her freshman year should be one of excitement and adventure, but it’s not.

Dad’s business is in the toilet and her college fund? Poof.

And, mom? She poofed years ago leaving Isabelle to help raise her younger brother, Corey.

Having not considered this possibility, Isabelle neglected to apply to a safety school that she could afford–so she’s wandering about Hartford Community College lamenting her extremely bad fortune and despairing over her ridiculous courses–not the least of which is Electronic Music Production which she abhors–that she only took because they were still open.

If life wasn’t bad enough, her Music TA Evan Strauss is hot, but runs hot-and-cold, and Isabelle, hoping against hope for financial aid from her real colleges so she can leave at the end of term, doesn’t want to reach out. She must however, because she’s clueless in Music and knows a failing grade will strand her in Community Collegeville. FOREVER.

She develops a friendship with Lily, a beautiful dance major and fellow Music classmate, and warms to her English prof finding that there is more to college than a GIANT DEBT, I mean, name.

Especially when she doesn’t just, ahem, warm to Evan…

Flames, people. Get the extinguisher.

And, of course there is conflict. Corey’s hanging with all new kids and his disrespectful attitude is stronger than teen-boy-foot odor. Dad’s poor business sense weighs on Isabelle, as does her resentment over high school friends finding their brighter futures. And Evan, delicious Evan, seems to be the next one to let her down.

Through it all, Isabelle develops an appreciation for being exactly where she is. Oh, and Depeche Mode. (Who doesn’t, BTW?)

What I loved?

Shit gets real. There are millions of kids out there living Isabelle’s disappointment right now–albeit without the hot TA who knows how to swing his hammer. It’s an important life lesson.  To borrow from The Stones: You Can’t Always Get What You Want in this life. And, yet, you must go on and do the best you can.

And sometimes, if you’re lucky like Isabelle, you get what you need.

And that is very precious, indeed.

Let me know if you pick up PRECIOUS THINGS in the comments. I’d love your take on it, or any New Adult title you’ve recently enjoyed.

Serial issue–THE DEBT COLLECTOR

I’m a reader. And, when I say that I mean it. Not in the ordinary way of people who read, really. See, when I get interested in a story I will read all night, all day, forget to eat, barely make it to the bathroom in time, until I hit the end pages. (I am AWARE that this is problematic…therapy is expensive!)

I can’t begin a new story before bed because I will read until the lines blur and I doze (book-in-hand) for a few hours then wake and read until I have to shower for work.

Which is why I thought I would hate a serial.

A serial is not simply a novel broken into bite-sized chunks, it is a recurrent character story with new adventures that all build to a coordinated climax.

Think:  24, in book form.

And for those who can’t stand cliffhangers (ME!!!) I couldn’t fathom how I would be able to survive the 3 month roll-out of all the episodes in The Debt Collector.

But I know Susan Kaye Quinn’s work. It’s solid.  She’s a critique partner and friend. Her Mindjacker Trilogy is Hunger Games quality political-suspense-sci-fi-action-thriller with less bloodshed. If she was writing a serial I knew it was something I didn’t want to miss despite my obsessive reader nature.

I wasn’t let down.

Quinn calls The Debt Collector future-noir—which, simply put, means that it feels like a gritty noir feature, but it’s timescape is future. It’s ingenious!

dc-1The Debt Collector occurs in a future L.A. where pollution and corruption are a daily menace (okay so not very different from now). Still, in this brave new world, everyone’s life’s value is constantly calculated, assessed between the amount of money you could potentially earn versus that which the person might owe. That balance is never breached—if you near the point of equilibrium your lingering life energy is drawn out by a debt collector and transferred to another person more worthy. (Kinda makes me glad my credit card debt isn’t higher, amiright?)

Lirium is a young debt collector. He’s not so keen on the job–honestly, who wants to be a grim reaper? He deals with his depression in the natural way—booze and women—until the night his hired sex worker, Elena, convinces him to give the hit of life energy he generally bestows on his partners to her ailing sister, a child suffering an incurable disease. This turn of events leads Lirium down a path he never envisioned.  Unwittingly drawn into the Kolek mafia, Lirium becomes a hit man of the highest order—taking life hits from the dregs of society and selling it to mafia patrons—along with fellow debt collectors Olivia and Valac. Along the way Lirium learns that kids are being illegally transferred out, and he’s compelled to determine the mastermind.

And, did I mention there’s romance? Not the main feature, but still present and pertinent.

Omigod.

I was dying waiting for each episode to go live. Following along with the release dates was like the anticipation of a new The Walking Dead episode—especially when the best characters got killed just after I fell in love with them!

As for The Debt Collector, each episode provides a satisfying arc and an excellent resolution while still propelling the overall storyline toward it’s finale.

Interested? You can get the complete 9 episode first season on Amazon.

Don’t forget to come back and tell me what you thought of it!