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…
It’s not everyday that a book can make you stop, think, and assess every thought and pre-conceived notion you’ve ever had about people, gender, sexuality, and everything in-between. Well, if you’re looking for a book that has that type of power, Cam Girl is the right book for you- hell, in my opinion this is the right book for everyone.
Before I get more into talking about the book, don’t worry I keep my reviews spoiler-free, I want to talk about the things that made this book special to me (which in itself will talk more about the book). First, a hispanic main character!!!! Vada is Puerto Rican and (being Cuban myself) hearing a book mention camarones and maduros (Spanish/Caribbean dishes) hit home because those are the foods served during dinner at my house, so this was just one of the small ways in which I related to Vada. It’s also not everyday you see a main character that’s a minority. So thank you for that, Leah!
Secondly, this semester was my first at college and before the school year had started I found myself snagging the last spot in a Gender and Sexuality class, one I had been really wanting to take because it was just something that interested me. The subject of gender and sexuality and the difference between the two should interest more people than it does because it is so important. That’s another reason this book was so important, because everything I had been taught in class about gender and sexuality was being shown to me in a different light, a more real light that put everything in context ,because even though the characters of this novel are fictional, books and those in them can be some of the most real people you will ever encounter.
“Sometimes I bought into the black-or-white mentality, too. It was easier, picking a side. Not fighting to be recognized as a fluid, nuance individual, but simply accepting a premade label, a prefab identity.”
This was probably one of the most relatable quotes for me in the book, because I understood where Vada was coming from. People love boxes and their labels and they love putting everything into a specific box. I, as much as I’ve tried not to, have succumbed to the notion that we have to see things in boxes and this is because that’s what society has conditioned us to believe. Cam Girl has helped me in my goal to open up my mind and let go of this “black-and-white mentality” that’s engraved into our heads at such a young age.
Now, not only was Cam Girl an incredibly eye and mind opening book, it was a suspenseful, complicated, and sexy romance. One that gave me all the feels. Leah Raeder knows how to dish out some beautiful words to create an even more beautiful book and for that I am forever grateful and I will forever be a fan of her work.
“I dream of you in colors that don’t exist.”
Seriously, Leah, can you stop being so poetic and awesome?
“Maybe we needed to break a little, so we could put ourselves back together more beautifully than before.”
Nope. There she goes again with her lyrical AF sentences.
If you don’t want to open up your mind, if you don’t want to read incredibly beautiful and poetic writing, if you don’t want to get rid of the labels and boxes, then Cam Girl isn’t the book for you. Moreover, if it ends up being that Cam Girl isn’t the book for you based off of what I just said, you should change your wants. 😉
About The Author:
LEAH RAEDER is a writer and unabashed nerd. Aside from reading her brains out, she enjoys graphic design, video games, fine whiskey, and the art of self-deprecation. She lives with her very own manic pixie dream boy in Chicago.
(And she still writes pretentiously lyrical fiction.)