Book Review : Cam Girl by Leah Raeder

October 27, 2015 Book review 21 ★★★★

I don’t know where to start with the review for Cam Girl by Lean Raeder!  It was raw, powerful and incredibly intense.  And I felt so much pain pouring out between the lines that it basically is trauma in the form of a book!

Book Review : Cam Girl by Leah RaederCam Girl by Leah Raeder
Published by Simon and Schuster on November 3rd 2015
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary, Suspense
Pages: 432
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon

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 will bring back a ghost from her past. Now Vada must confront what she’s been running from. A past full of devastating secrets—those of others and those she’s been keeping from herself…

ADULTS ONLY ARC REVIEW Refreshing Romance Unique

First Line of Cam Girl by Leah Raeder:

“A car crash is a work of art”

My Thoughts on Cam Girl by Leah Raeder:

I have never read a book quite like this one.  And I want to be really careful not to spill any details on what the book is about but the basic theme is the blurred lines in friendships.  And struggling to understand and accept just who you are.  I found it quite eye opening that the struggle was not so much about what other people thought of you but rather of how you thought of yourself.

The book is incredible intense and passionate.  But it also shows characters that are broken, sad and lonely.  It seems so sad to see characters that feel so strongly and that still are on their own and feeling like half a person because of that.

“My love is savage and rapacious.  It isn’t content to touch.  It wants to be inside, crawl into the marrow, caress each vein until the cells are all mixed up and there is no you and me anymore, no secrets or shadows sliding between our skin.  Only this endless devouring of each other.”

Phew!  Now you know what I mean when I say intense, right?  The book is also very sexually explicit as you might expect as the main character works in the porn industry as a cam girl.  I was surprised at just how much power she had as I thought I would feel that she was being exploited but that wasn’t the case here.  I’m not sure how I feel about that as I don’t know if it represents the true picture about people working in this industry.  I suspect not.

Vada was a promising artist but due to a car crash can no longer paint and draw.  And the book is full of artistic language and imagery which I loved.  The relationships in the book are really well sketched.  And I felt bewildered and isolated as I read so I could really identify with how Vada was feeling.

Also you can’t help but be impressed at how author has put her heart and soul into book.  And when you read the author note at the end, you just how this personal this subject is for her.  There is a craze for diversity in books at the moment which is great but so often characters are just added for sake of adding diversity.  Here the diversity is authentic, real and has a purpose.

I can’t say I loved everything about the book though.  I thought the pace was a bit slow at times and despite the fascinating characters and the tantalising mystery, I want things to move a little faster.

Overall a very uncomfortable read and there is plenty of grit and ugly details to flinch away from.  And hats off to Leah for creating a beautifully ugly book that draws you in and leaves you desperately hoping for a happily ever after.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-stars


Who should read Cam Girl by Leah Raeder?

I’d recommend this to you if you are looking for authentically diverse characters who don’t fit the mould, a theme of widening the focus on what is ‘normal’ and realistic but messy life struggles.  It won’t be for everyone though; you need to be ok with explicit language, crude references and dark subject themes.  Fans of You by Caroline Kepnes and The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay should also enjoy (but this one is lot darker).  Or if you are tired of cute and fluffy romances, maybe give this one a shot.

Thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.



Never miss a bookish post! Plus you get a free download - Note to Book - to document your own bookish thoughts.

Signup now and receive blog posts by email.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

21 Responses to “Book Review : Cam Girl by Leah Raeder”

  1. tonyalee

    I have been on the fence about this one since reading Black Iris – but I love the sound of it and how much passion Leah has and puts into her books. I am keeping my eye on this one, for sure!

    • trish

      I haven’t read Black Iris and I must reread your review on that one again to see why you feel like that. This one is insanely passionate and SO intense!

    • trish

      Haha, I can see why you would be scared to read it, it is REALLY intense. But I love how refreshingly unique it is.

    • trish

      This was my first Leah Raeder book but it won’t be my last! I can see why there is so much hype, her books are so deep and totally original.

    • trish

      Crazy intense, indeed! I’ve never read anything like it before and I love when an author is thoroughly unique and pushes the boundaries.

    • trish

      I didn’t know there was an overlap of characters, I love hearing that. And I’m definitely going to be reading more by Leah very, very soon.

  2. Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books

    Great review! I agree that one of the main issues I had was with the pacing. There were several times where the mystery just kind of stalled and nothing really happened. I love Leah Raeder though and her writing is so incredible powerful. Honestly, I think people assume that cam girls are all exploitative, but I don’t think it is necessarily that way. I have a friend’s sister who did that for a long time (I think she still does) and she was proud of it. She never felt exploited at all.
    Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books recently posted…BOOK REVIEW: The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

    • trish

      That’s interesting about the person you know who is a Cam Girl, I was thinking that a lot of them are exploited and it’s good to hear another side. And yes the writing is so powerful that even with the pacing issue, it was still a great read.

  3. Erica @ Novel Ink

    I gave this one 3 stars because I’m still continuously up in the air about it. I don’t know what to do because I did love the book and the whole idea, but the main thing was about love (well mostly) and I just didn’t believe that whole aspect of it. I hope once my review goes live and I have some comments about what I say I’ll know exactly how I feel. Once I start discussing my true colors come out 😛

    Lovely review!
    Erica @ Novel Ink recently posted…Reading slumps…what’s the cause?

  4. trish

    OK, I’ll need to check out your review! I love reading reviews that felt different to my experience as they make me look at another pov. And it’s funny as my issue was with the pacing but I never for a minute doubted the love.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.