Maggie is a hunter’s apprentice – following in her mother’s footsteps to take down all the creepy monsters that lurk in the world (including gross ghosts and sidhe which may or may not have eaten an eyeball)
But she can’t be more than an apprentice yet because she is still a virgin. Virgin blood drives Vampires into killing frenzies making them strictly off limits. If Maggie wants to face the big leagues she needs to tackle an entirely new experience: The Sex
And while teenaged boys may be daunting, a new kind of zombies and a vampire cover up may be far more dangerous.
When I first saw this book, I saw the synopsis of “teenaged girl has to lose her virginity to fight vampires” and, I admit, I rolled my eyes and thought “I don’t want to read this.” I then sharpened my snark and prepared to read.
Then I heard that Booksmugglers and Cuddlebuggery had read this book and loved it – this meant that I now had someone to blame should I hate it for many many many years to come. The promise of snark and eternal shame did make things look much brighter
Alas, I have little of either because The Awesome was, indeed, awesome in many ways and all the terribleness I both dreaded and was ready to skewer just didn’t arise.
It was awesome in the way the whole quest to lose her virginity was treated. There was no massive putting of hymens on pedestals. There was no forcing Maggie into sexual encounters she didn’t want. There was no terrible romance tropes marauding all over everything and neither she nor Ian felt particularly exploited, used or mistreated by the other. Even with The Sex being the stated goal for hunting purposes, both Maggie and Ian are clearly interested in their sexual encounter before going ahead
And that sex is perfectly imperfect. As befits two very inexperienced teenagers. It isn’t terrible and they both enjoy it and they like each other and the whole experience but it is certainly not an epic passionate time of skilful sexual maestros causing people to go blind and pass out from the 8 fold multiple orgasm of doom either. It’s awkward and fumbling and not always done right and the bedrooms are messy and alcohol doesn’t help things. It’s excellent, I think it’s the first time I’ve read a sex scene where it was improbably perfect screaming orgasm time while still being happy and fun.
I also liked that Maggie and Ian built a friendship and relationship as well – which was also sweet and fun with them actually enjoying non-romance time together.
I loved that at no point, from nobody, did we get any sex shaming. I loved that virginity wasn’t considered precious beyond words. And I loved how this book even addressed LGBT people being hunters and also needing not to be virgins – since the whole concept of virginity is so completely heteronormative. There were so many ways this trope could have gone terribly wrong – and it didn’t. I’m impressed.