The V Girl by Mya Robarts
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Genres: Dystopian, New Adult, Romance
Find it On: Goodreads / Amazon / iBooks / Kobo
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In post-apocalyptic North America, sexual slavery is legal. Lila Velez desperately wants to lose her virginity before the troops visit her town and take it away by force. She makes plans to seduce her only friend. Lila does not love him, but he is the only man who has shown her true affection, an affection she is willing to take as a substitute for love.
Lila’s coping mechanism to cope with her mother’s loss is her secret. A secret that will bring her closer to Aleksey Fürst, a foreign, broody man who she distrusts because of his links to the troops and his rough, yet irresistible appearance. He offers Lila an alternative to her plans, a possibility that terrifies her…and tempts her in spite of herself.
With threats looming at every turn and no way to escape, Lila fears that falling in love will only lead to more heartache. The consequences of laying down her arms for Aleksey and welcoming hope might destroy more than her heart. They might force her to face the worst of her nightmares becoming a reality. Is love possible in a world that has forgotten what the human touch is?
About the Author:
Mya Robarts is a bookaholic who regrets nothing.
She spent years trying to become a contemporary dance choreographer. Eventually she realized that she enjoyed writing her stories rather than dancing to them.
Robarts is obsessed with books that present damaged characters, swoon-worthy guys, controversial topics and happy endings.
I'm going to level with you here: for the first 1/3 of the book, I was prepared to write this book a 2-star review.
The premise is extremely alienating. In Robart's dystopian world, rape is completely legal and has become the norm, such to the point that all girls of a certain age expect to be raped when soldiers come through town. The main character, Lila, therefor decides that she is going to lose her virginity to a man of her choice before it is forcibly taken away from her.
This decisions leads to the questionable first 1/3 of the book where literally all the narration talks about is sex, wanting to have sex, and how to go about having sex.
To be fair, this girl is a teenager, and maybe I'm just old enough to be removed from that mentality that it seems odd to me. Layer on that society literally does function around sex and sexuality, and the character isn't really in the wrong for her actions, it's just hard to get through as a reader.
Once Lila meets her dreamy man candy, though, everything picks up.
What brought this up to a four star review for me is how important Robart's treatment of rape, sexual assault, and bodily autonomy are handled. In a world dominated by rape-fantasy romances like Twilight and Fifty Shades, a dark and brooding man who says things like "may I do this?" "do you want this?" "do you enjoy this" and "we'll only do this when you're comfortable" is such an important thing to be romanticizing. And this book does read like a romance, not just a high school sex ed how-to of consent.
As someone with deep personal investment in this issue, I found Lila and Aleksey's romance to really strike a chord in me. But it's not only what I like to call "Tumblr Feminism" preachy--it has a full dystopian story line to it, which I think simultaneously makes the story more accessible to people who have not been close to sexual assault in their lives, and at the same time makes it easier for someone who has to make it through the work.
Well done, Ms. Robarts. This is the kind of YA/New Adult romance that we need to start seeing.
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