Friday, December 30, 2011

YA Review: Giving Up the V by Serena Robar

Giving Up the V by Serena Robar
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book was NOT what I expected it to be.
From the description, I was truly expecting a humorous journey through the life of Spencer Davis, proud virgin.  What I got was a journey through the life of Spencer Davis,, Just kinda waiting on someone to give it to.

I'm not a prude, nor am I a stranger to books that cover the sexual ideas and philosophies of teenaagers, but this book left me unsatisfied.

Spencer Davis has just turned 16.  And in her house that means her first trip to the gynecologist and a brand new shiny pack of birth control pills.  The first date in the stirrups proves to be mortifying but not fatal and Spencer is less than enthused about receiving this rite of passage because she personally can't see herself needing the pills.  She isn't very much like the other members of her "Crew", who are very much sexually active.

There's Morgan and Justin, the on-again/off-again couple, who are currently Off again now that Morgan has learned that Justin had sex with school H.B.I.C. Shelby.  Then Ryan, the school clown who changes girls like underwear...and maybe more often, whose mom wants Spencer to be the one that grounds him.  Zachary and Allysa(Soon-Yi) are the only other virgins in the Crew, but Zachary is tired of his gentleman reputation and Allysa wants to have a one-night stand so that she can just get the whole virginity thing "out of the way".

Spencer isn't interested in any flings or one-night-stands, though her mother assures her that it may happen so fast that she will be glad she was prepared. First of all, she's a size 13, and can't imagine finding a man who wants to see the body she normally hides underneath sweatshirts and baggy pants. She also believes sex should mean something and wants her first time to be with someone who makes her tingle all over her body, and not just in her nether regions.

Then suddenly, (and I mean like same week, suddenly), there appears in the school a new student.  Benjamin Hopkins walks up and asks her for directions to the main office and Spencer is suddenly twitterpated.  She can barely remember her name, and by the time she gets to Chemistry class and finds that Ben is her new lab partner, she can hardly even speak.  Yet she somehow speaks well enough to agree to let Ben copy her notes.

And thus begins my loss of interest in Miss Davis.  I can totally understand the urgency and unexpected ways love or in this case "lust" can creep up on adults and teenagers alike, but for Spencer to go from "never have I ever" to "Bring it On", was unbelievable for me.  The fact that she didn't really "know" Ben, I could get over, but the way she quickly fell into letting him copy her homework, slob her down and grope her up...confused me and made it seem as though her primary issue was more about her body image than her actual concern for her virginity; a theme I'm not sure teen readers would catch on to and would therefore become unnecessary.  I also grew frustrated with how easily the reader could see where Spencer's true affections and issues laid, which made it feel predictable in a few places.

The real stories here were with Spencer's friends...but even they became cliche after a short while unfortunately.  This book closed sweetly enough, but without much to write home about.  It could fit comfortably into any booklist that contains Forever by Judy Blume...which says something in and of itself.


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