Title: The V Girl
Author: Mya Robarts
Genres: Dystopia | Post-apocalyptic | Romance
Length: 363 pages | 6051 locations
In a dystopian future, North America is at war. The worst things are legal, including rape. Knowing her future, 18 year old Lila desperately wants to lose her virginity by having consensual sex. In a surprising turn of events, Lila is faced with protecting her family, while her dilemma gnaws at her. When mysterious Aleksey shows up, her inner conflicts only increase.
I chose this book because the few reviews I read were very encouraging.
Sadly, I felt less satisfied by the experience as it turned out to be more an erotic romance than a dystopia and I was not much of a fan of that.
I believe I have said before that I read books so I can get immersed in a new world. So it was interesting to me how the government justified actions such as rape, for instance, as well as the visitants occupation, not to mention the characters. The chapters were interspersed with quotes from leaders and other important people of the new system and those I found interesting because they sort of brought logic to the madness.
But I did not really get the rest of the world. How Starville did not have running water or electricity but they could make pills and gels to numb feeling in sensitive parts during rape. Why it seemed, at times, that not being a virgin could save Lila from being recruited while at others it struck me as a matter of entirely her preference, as she wanted her first time to be consensual. Then there’s talk about genetically engineered monsters but I never got to hear about any other than her dog.
It particularly annoyed me that I never new what Aleksey was on, as it was clearly said he was taking something. I was also unhappy that some things were mentioned and then later there was no resolution to it, like the story of a Prince living in the mountains (was it linked to Aleksey at all?), why people called him Prince even if it was the meaning of his name, or Clavel’s story I think that was her name? Hard to know cause I could not search on my Kindle, there was an error.
Having an 11-year-old act so much more older to bring out the main character’s innocence even more was not, in my opinion, the best way to do it. It sounds like Lila never had a sexual thought before the age of 18 when action occurs and I just not see how that could be possible.
On the other hand, Azzrael is more knowledgeable of the world in general than our main character. She is more organised, quicker thinking and just more mature at times. She gets things done.
So we have this 11 year old kid giving advice on her 18 year old big sister on how to flirt. Apparently saying hi and smiling is enough and it is a thrilling experience for Lila, despite Azzy’s smug face.
This episode right here sums up their relationship pretty well for me. 11 yo kid has all the answers, 18 yo struggles with emotions.
There’s a lot of repetition. Sometimes entire paragraphs are repeated, so the ARC could use some revising. The sensual scenes were repetitive as well. Lila’s infatuation with Aleksey and vice versa tries to sound natural but fails at it. The fact that she refers to their relationship as insta-love isn’t even cute. While it was interesting to see Aleksey’s layers exposed, the fact is that guy was always in control and as much as others may enjoy the macho attitude whenever he said something along the lines of ‘only I can give you true pleasure’ I cringed at the arrogance and never really got past that. I also wonder what would happen if he lost control. And I could not really see a future for the two. The entire story was a game of cat and mouse and now that Aleksey got his prey I am not sure exactly what ‘feelings’ could arise between the two other than lust and a sense of possessiveness.
I guess the book was too YA for me to enjoy. There’s the usual nasty upper class girl who all men crave giving the protagonist a hard time, who does her best to ‘come of age’ and overcome her fears and, of course, the dreaded love triangle. On the other hand, there were positive things as well, such as Duque’s character development. Rey’s however could have used some more. He was referred to as the Priest but I don’t remember him having any religious stance at all.
It’s not that the story does not have depth or the world was not developed. It’s just that it kept going back to sex and romance and, well, I wanted more.
Still, it addresses and explores important matters within sex and its boundaries, mainly of consent. The questions at the end were a nice touch and made me have an entirely new, more mature perspective of the book.
I am rounding the rating up because I know I am not the target audience and I am sure they will love it.
Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Read from Feb 06 to Feb 11, 2016