Oh this book held such promise. The first chapter had me in hook, line and sinker. There’s mystery, there’s suspense and there’s messed up romance. There were parts of this book that I reread to make sure I was understanding it. This story is interesting and engaging about a very toxic relationship. There are secrets and some horrific details to confront. I had to stop and start because the content was so frustrating to me but in turn, when I was having a break from the book, I was thinking about it. Love it when a book does that. I really enjoyed the dynamics, the twists, the turns, the originality of the plot but I wanted to see more of Ellis’ story but I can see why it wasn’t. The author certainly has a wonderful way with words but I found it very flowery and that distracted me from the plotline, again, I think that was a prime reason of why I had to put the book down a couple of times for fear of skipping past bits. Some bits were a little slow paced due to the padding of flowery words but other parts were fast paced and had me gripped to the story. As controversial as the topic is, I do think this a read that should be shared. As tough as it is to say, the most engaging part of the story was the prologue and author’s short piece about their own lives. Now, as much as some aspects frustrated me, I would highly recommend this read and it’s made me want to seek out the author’s other works. I was kindly given an ARC by Simon & Schuster Australia for my honest opinion. Receiving this book did not sway my opinion in any way.
Cam Girl is unlike anything we have read. Leah Raeder’s poetic and artistic view from her main character was unique. This book takes you into a different world, it's is a beautifully written story about a moment in time that not only changes one girls future but the future of two others. Her path to adjusting to this new life laid out in front of her, her road to self discovery and acceptance of who she really is. The are so many twists and turns your head will spin.
Her name is Vada and this is her story.
Vada and her best friend Ellis are close, so close they cross that line to something more. After a night out they are in a car accident, a car rear ended them, killing the other driver and leaving Vada with a severely injured arm. It was just that, an accident. But that doesn't make the guilt any easier, nor does the secret she is keeping from this night.
Vada is an artist and her future of continuing her passion has come to a halt now she doesn't have proper function of her arm. She may not physically be able to continue her passion but the imagines of artistic moments continue to flood her mind. The way she describes life, the contrast and depth she sees around her is magical. Living with such passion is torture, her outlet in life was her and now it's been taken away.
On top of all that she is struggling with her sexuality, she is attracted to both guys and girls. She's in love with Ellis but is internally being held back. She was brought up in a conservative culture by her mother, she's meant to get married to man, always thinking she would end up with a man even though she's attracted to girls. Making her in more confused about being in love with a woman. Vada has always held back with sharing just how important Ellis is to her. You really feel the internal struggle Vada goes through with her sexuality, there is so much pain and anger radiating from her.
Confused and angry Vada pushes Ellis away. Their relationship was highly codependent, they seemed to hurt each other more than love each other. She also stars becoming friends with Max, the father of the man who died in the crash, two lost souls who find comfort from one another.
“If two people could make each other smile and laugh and forget all the pain and darkness in the world for a moment, why should we feel ashamed of it?”
Hitting rock bottom Vada is given a work opportunity, she starts working as a cam girl. It's easier to sexually connect with a stranger online than it is with someone who is in arm's reach. It was frustrating at times watching the push and pull relationship between Vada and Ellis. They connection so strong but their dishonesty was brutal and life altering.
Vada is a popular cam girl, she meets a client ‘Blue’ online who is willing to pay her to perform for him and no one else. The problem is they talk and connect, she's fallen for him leaving Vada even more confused. With Blue she can be herself she has opened up to this stranger in ways she never did with Ellis, at a crossroads she confides in him and tells him about herself, the real Vada not the cam girl persona. Having a connection with Blue each night cause strain between Vada and Ellis. Their once codependency is now a 3 way tug of war. Full of emotion and jealousy.
Max knows Vada is hiding a secret from that night, Ellis was drunk and doesn't remember anything leaving Vada very protective of her. Max starts digging around trying to uncover what Vada is hiding, comments he makes are leading her to start her own information gathering on his son. The relationship between Vada and Max at times felt off and strange. Their was such a turmoil between them.
Hold onto your seats because the twists and turns won't stop coming until the end. With Max digging into the personal lives of Vada and Ellis and them in turn digging into Max and his son's life; Vada and Ellis trying to be friends and maybe more than that, Vada trying to discover her sexuality, her relationship with Ellis and Blue you are in for one hell of a ride!
The big question is what is the secret Vada is keeping from the night of the accident, and who is Blue?
Kayla - Wow… I am once again blown away by the ability Leah has for making me feel things that make me question my own mind. It's like she reaches in and jumbles up everything inside of you. Cam Girl was nothing short of spectacular. The twists and turns, the lies, the love and the innermost battle Veda had kept me on the precipice right until the end. I can't wait to see what Leah delivers next.
Kristy - when I finished Cam Girl I didn't know how to rate it. The plot really keeps you guessing until you read those last few pages. It did feel a little drawn out at the time Vada and Ellis were trying to repair their relationship, I totally get that they needed to do this but it was a little long winded for me. The mysteries and twists keep me hooked. Leah Raeder did a remarkable job expressing the feelings of her characters coming to terms with their struggles on their sexuality and gender.
If you are looking for a fun, light and breezy read - Cam Girl is not for you.
If you are looking for a darker, grittier read, then keep reading.
Cam Girl had me on edge from the minute I started reading. It is not your regular love story, but at the same time, love is at the forefront of every move our leading ladies make.
Vada's future career is destroyed in a car accident. Her best friend and sometimes more Ellis was also involved in this accident.
The story is told from Vada's point of view, and it is her story of survival, grief, her struggles. But mostly I felt that it was her story of self discovery. Confused emotionally and sexually, she has a constant push/pull relationship with Ellis.
But Ellis - not sure what it was, but boy she annoyed me most of the time. She came across as whiney most of the time. I could understand her fellings at times, but still. I did not connect with her at all.
There was a bit of suspense, a bit of mystery over events and certain characters.
I enjoyed the banter between Vada and Dane - witty, sexy, fun.
I did feel that the story did drag a little bit in the later stages. Vada and Ellis went round in circles for a long time, the same argument over and over and I did start to skip those pages.
But in the end, I was happy with where the story took us. It is not a hearts and flowers kind of book, but it will suck you in.
Leah Raeder is an amazing writer, and I look forward to what she gives us next.