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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

an alternative to her plans - The V Girl by Mya Robarts

Lila’s coping mechanism to her mother’s violent attack is her secret. A secret that will bring her closer to Aleksey Fürst, a foreign, broody man that she distrusts because his links to the troops and his rough, yet irresistible appearance. He offers Lila an alternative to her plans, a possibility that terrifies her…and tempts her in spite of herself.

Description:

Cover Artist: Kitfoster

In post-apocalyptic North America, rape and sexual slavery are legal. Lila Velez, desperately wants to lose her virginity before the troops visit her town, and can take it away by force. She makes plans to seduce her only friend, Rey, the most attractive man in her town. Lila does not love him, but he is the only man who has shown her true affection, an affection she is willing to take as a substitute of love.

Lila’s coping mechanism to her mother’s violent attack is her secret. A secret that will bring her closer to Aleksey Fürst, a foreign, broody man that she distrusts because his links to the troops and his rough, yet irresistible appearance. He offers Lila an alternative to her plans, a possibility that terrifies her…and tempts her in spite of herself.

All the while Lila will have to find a way to live in the constant company of death, slavery, starvation, sexual abuse and the danger of losing the people she loves the most.

Due to strong language, violent scenes and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

GUEST POST
Difficult topics in entertaining literature 

The sound of canyons made it evident that the local troops were about to defeat their foreign enemies. They would recover the dominance of her hometown soon. 

The mother finished shaving her hair, looked at her fourteen year old daughter apprehensively, and said, “You’re tall and pretty. The soldiers have spent months away from their women and you already look like one.” The young girl couldn’t suppress a whimper when it was her turn to get rid of her long curls. 

Mother and daughter pressed their chests using bandages. They didn’t want to look attractive. They wanted to look sick. Blood, make up. The mother knew that the soldiers were afraid of catching tuberculosis. 

When the troops arrived days later and forced the door of the small apartment, they couldn’t hide their disgust at the sight of an agonizing girl coughing blood in a handkerchief. They sought victims in other apartments instead. 

The screams of the soldiers’ victims resonated all over the building. 

Hundreds of stories like this are happening as we speak. There hasn’t ever been an armed conflict that hasn’t brought an increase in sexual crimes and this is a worldwide phenomenon. From the ancient Greece to medieval Europe. From Berlin during WWII to Nanking, from Okinawa to Darfur, from Sierra Leone to Romania. Korea, Iraq, India, Somalia. The perpetrators have been (and always will be) people from all nationalities: British, Canadian, Peruvian Japanese, etc. Shockingly, as this doesn’t match the Hollywood portrayal of the people who liberated Europe from Nazi tyranny, American soldiers took part of war rape as much as anyone else. 

At this moment, some people who live in countries that endure war are taking provisions not only to avoid death, but also to avoid rape. Yet stories like these are shushed inside a wall of silence by mainstream entertainment. Why is it so difficult to present mass rape in entertainment fiction? One would think that out of millions of these stories, at least a dozen of worldwide best-sellers could have been written. 

It’s not as though there aren’t movies and books about these events: A German movie that few people have seen, a New York Times bestseller about mass rape in Niankang, memoirs, and documentaries. Compare these few portrayals of mass rape to the number of books and movies that present the holocaust in an entertaining way. 

What about the 285000 women who allegedly were raped in Berlin by allied troops? What about mass rape on Darfur? The ethnic cleansing on Bosnia? Aren’t these victims as worthy to inspire a bestseller/blockbuster as any other victim of war? 

Even so, I see why Mass-rape isn’t a term that can be associated to the words mainstream and entertainment. Who wants to read about rape? Who wants to see the men who have risked their lives serving their countries portrayed as sexual criminals? I can’t think too many people will say “I”. Rape is a word that disturbs and disgusts. As a crime with sexual connotations, most readers and authors feel uncomfortable at the mere mention of the word. 

I, like many other readers, prefer to write and read for entertainment, to get away from uncomfortable realities. However, as I wrote The V Girl, a book that depicts a society in which war-rape is legal, I discovered how gratifying writing about a difficult topic can be. My goal was to entertain the readers and invite them to discuss a difficult topic at the same time. 

Think about the girl I mentioned at the beginning of this post. Young girls look forward to discover sex for the first time through love, not through violence. The thought of losing her virginity to her boyfriend (if she had one) before the troop’s arrival might have crossed this girl’s mind, and perhaps that has been a common preoccupation of young girls who face the cruel reality of war. I thought this was a powerful idea that deserved to be written. 

I had the honor not only to write my own take on that story, but also to transform it into a love story that ends on a hopeful note. 

Is my book for everyone? No, it’s not. The themes are disturbing and might upset some readers, but if you can handle the subject-matter you might find yourself captivated. As gritty as the subject matter is, anyone who dares to read The V Girl will find that the words hope and love are mentioned more than the word rape and that love is possible even under the most unfavorable circumstances. 

And we can never read enough books about LOVE.

About the author:
Mya Robarts is a bookaholic who regrets nothing.

She spent years trying to become a contemporary dance choreographer. Eventually she realized that she enjoyed writing her stories rather than dancing to them.

Robarts is obsessed with books that present damaged characters, swoon-worthy guys, controversial topics and happy endings.

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1 comment:

Mya Robarts said...

Mersi for hosting the blogtour :)