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!

She’s Desperate to Not be a VIRGIN–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a New Adult romance from a debut novelist: VIRGIN by Radhika Sanghani. It’s all about a 21 year old gal who is *still* a virgin. And she isn’t happy about it…

VirginAbout the book:
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.

My Review:

Elena “Ellie” Kolstakis is a 21 year old virgin. Some people would celebrate this as “strong moral character” but Ellie feels cursed. She’s been at uni in London three years now and has never had a boyfriend. She’s not hideous, or deformed. Mostly, she’s average–with an overdeveloped sense of self-loathing.

See, Ellie feels left out of the crowd whenever her buds start talking about hook-ups and beer goggles and embarrassing first times. She wants to have sex, dammit, and it becomes her mission. This, by the way, comes with a whole lot of pre-sex prep–including waxing, shaving, and plucking to cultivating the perfect lady garden.

I will, for the record, state this is the only book which made me laugh out loud over the use of the term: Hitler.

Ellie’s quest leads her to almost hooking up, having a huge fall out with her childhood BFF, fighting with her mom, making a new BF, making a gay best friend (who happens to also be virgin), starting a vlog, meeting a decent guy, having fairly decent snogs, gaining self-confidence, and experiencing epic fails at both scoring and pubic bareness.

I did have several moments of /facepalm laughs. Poor Ellie!

Spoiler–she does tear her V-card.

Not-so-spoiler–She has one heck of a time getting the deed done.

So, on a personal level, I totally sympathized with Ellie’s eagerness to be “just like everybody,” but I was also glad she found new connections. Her mother’s ham-handed effort to unite Ellie with Paul was so brilliantly handled. And, Ellie reaching out to Emma helped Ellie to grow out of her cautious shell. I truly adored Ellie’s adventurous spirit. She’s like that awkward cousin everyone likes but quietly pities because she’s so sweet and yet so socially clueless.

Ellie’s level of personal growth was excellent–she didn’t emerge from her shell-she burst forth and dove headlong into an active social experiment: Operation Fix Ellie. But, having finished her quest, with bittersweet results, Ellie took a moment to reflect on her self and realized that she wasn’t broken at the beginning of this journey. She was just fine being a virgin–even if she wasn’t a virgin any longer. I rather liked her more for that.

Now, be prepared for lots of vagina talk in this book. The amount of time devoted to pubic grooming is substantial, and forms many of the gags in this book. Imagine a hairy man being outraged by pubic hair, while a bare man is stunned to not find any? Yeah, poor Ellie just can’t win that battle.

I also liked VIRGIN’s commentary on porn in today’s society. The arguments about its prevalence and acceptability were sound and funny, and the expectations placed on women as a result of porn rang true. The setting was cool, because I like the London scene and lingo. The smexytimes were akin to THE FORTY YEAR OLD VIRGIN in scope and humor. Lots of fits and starts with cringe-worthy happenings that only made me love Ellie more for embarking on this personal journey. This book is NOT for kiddos. Lots and lots of frank discussions of sex, and how to get some…

Interested? You can find VIRGIN on Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I obtained a copy of his book via NetGalley for review.

Radhika SanghaniAbout the author: (in Radhika’s words…)

I have just written my debut novel VIRGIN, which will be coming out in August in America, with Penguin, and September here in the UK with Harlequin.
I’m a women’s writer for The Daily Telegraph in London where I write on women’s issues.
I read constantly and love reviewing contemporary novels. Feel free to get in touch!

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

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!