Things I was not expecting this novel to be: crude and over the top. I’m not a prude. I just have a limit to excessive sexual content … and this book reached it. A did not finish at 50%, CAM GIRL by Leah Raeder is definitely the novel you have to read the fine print on.
RELEASE DATE: November 2015
PUBLISHER: Atira Books
DISCLAIMER: Novel received via NetGallery in exchange for a honest review.
SYNOPSIS: Vada Bergen is broke, the black sheep of her family, and moving a thousand miles away from home for grad school, but she’s got the two things she loves most: her art and her best friend—and sometimes more—Ellis Carraway. Ellis and Vada have a friendship so consuming it’s hard to tell where one girl ends and the other begins. It’s intense. It’s a little codependent. And nothing can tear them apart.
Until an accident on an icy winter road changes everything.
Vada is left deeply scarred, both emotionally and physically. Her once-promising art career is cut short. And Ellis pulls away, unwilling to talk about that night. Everything Vada loved is gone.
She’s got nothing left to lose.
So when she meets some smooth-talking entrepreneurs who offer to set her up as a cam girl, she can’t say no. All Vada has to do is spend a couple hours each night stripping on webcam, and the “tips” come pouring in.
It’s just a kinky escape from reality until a client gets serious. “Blue” is mysterious, alluring, and more interested in Vada’s life than her body. Online, they chat intimately. Blue helps her heal. And he pays well, but he wants her all to himself. No more cam shows. It’s an easy decision: she’s starting to fall for him. But the steamier it gets, the more she craves the real man behind the keyboard. So Vada pops the question:
Can we meet IRL?
Blue agrees, on one condition. A condition that brings back a ghost from her past. Now Vada must confront the devastating secrets she’s been running from—those of others, and those she’s been keeping from herself…
REVIEW: I don’t care about the ‘plot’ – a bisexual woman becomes a ‘cam girl’. Perfectly fine – I have no issues with either. But when the sexual content is so excessive in every single chapter, I didn’t know how to deal. Auto-erotic asphyxiation is not my thing.
Vada and Ellis are as close as two human beings can be – it’s hard to tell when one ends and the other begins. When a wicked car crash claims Vada’s artistic abilities and the life of the person in the other car, Vada breaks down and withdraws from her life. Problem is, Ellis withdraws from Vada at around the same time. Left with absolutely nothing left in her arsenal (money, love, support), Vada turns to the lucrative business of ‘camming’ for strangers. When one cammer begins to get suspiciously serious, Vada finds herself attracted to the mysterious commenter named ‘Blue’ – but around the time Blue enters her life, Ellis reappears. When Blue makes a proposition that she can’t ignore, Vada is tasked at choosing between her old life and her new one….
I’m going to be honest, I didn’t finish this book. At around 50% of the way in, I got tired of the sex scenes and fast forwarded to the end. Oops.
The plot is good, I will command Raeder for that. The love story between Ellis and Vada is so pure that I can feel it through the novel itself. I can’t say I’ve ever loved anything as much as Ellis and Vada love each other. It truly jumps off the page and even now, reminiscing about the novel, the only thing that sticks out for me as a positive was the intensity of their relationship.
Another thing I will command Raeder on is her ownership of female sexuality. While sex workers and ‘camming’ may be seen as hot topic issues that are predominantly antifeminist, I liked how Raeder took the power from the males (viewers) and transported it to the cammer’s and Vada’s characters. It was about their control over their bodies and limits rather than the objectifications placed on them by the male characters. Vada could have been another objectified female sex worker. Instead, I felt she had control over her empire. It’s realistic and probably in some way, heroic.
Another plus: this book is chock full of beautiful quotes.
I hope you get farther than I did! Happy reading.