Updated: Dec 20, 2021
Tomorrow being Valentine's Day, it is only right that the post be geared towards a romantic book like Virgin River.
I actually watched the Netflix Series "Virgin River" first (I know, I'm guilty of a very serious book crime). It is truly a funny story if you hear the whole thing though.
You see, I won the book in a giveaway hosted by the author (I know, crazy right? I seem to win a ton of giveaways). I do really suggest checking out the sites of your favorite authors and subscribing to any newsletters to receive any news about giveaways they may be hosting. It is the quickest way to find out about free books you could potentially receive.
Anyway, I won this book. And it showed up in the mail very suddenly. But you see, I did not remember entering the giveaway (I had entered it in a series of entering into a number of random book giveaways on a number of different sites) and I didn't remember receiving an email telling me I won it (maybe it went to spam or maybe I accidentally deleted it). And so I kind of assumed that this random book I was receiving was either a terrible book, or a sketchy one, or both.
Either way, I didn't think it would be a good idea to read this random book (which by the way, had "virgin" in the title so, I mean, really what kind of book could it be???). So I stuck it on my "unread" shelf and left it there.
Until months later I saw "Virgin River" on Netflix.
Now for the same reasons I was concerned about the book, I was concerned about the show. It had "virgin" in the title. It could definitely be sketchy. Am I right?
But I did some research. I watched some trailers. I parent-guided some stuff. And finally, I decided to watch the show.
And I fell in love.
Maybe it was the timing. I was stuck virtually inside (I am able to go outside of course. I am able to go for walks around my beautiful neighborhood and I do in fact live in a rural area but I still feel stuck sometimes.) I am constantly surrounded by my immediate family but am isolated from friends and have no ability to date because of quarantine. And I always enjoy a little bit of medical drama because I understand some of the terminology and despite not being a doctor/nurse or in study to become one, enjoy learning about it.
I loved the small city vibe and the characters developed. I didn't enjoy Charmaine or the dramatics surrounding her. I felt it was overdone.
But guess what: in the book, Charmaine is practically non-existent.
After enjoying the series on Netflix, I dove into the books and found that, despite a very different writing stye (probably because it is a very different book) than what I am used to, I really enjoyed the book as well. Even more so than the TV series, I fell in love with the characters and their lives and always wanted more.
I just loved the simplicity of a small town and their small-town problems.
Just babies and marijuana sellers and LA doctors coming to Virgin River to make their home.
After the first book, I immediately thrifted the next two or three on Thriftbooks. I just wanted more of the simplistic, hopeful, small-town scene. And I couldn't help but want to read Paige and Preacher's story after seeing part of it on the show.
I do think there should be two things mentioned about the book, however.
There are sex scenes. Explicit sex scenes. I skipped over them because they were very much too much for me. I didn't come to the first one until I was far enough into the book that I did not want to stop reading. And I never felt that there were so many of these scenes that they made the books not worth reading for the rest of the book. But they were frustrating to have to skip over and too graphic to not skip over. So just a warning to parents for their kids and to young adults like me who would not want to read something like that.
The book is not at all like the TV show. There are a number of inconsistencies. The show, I feel (and so does the author, you can see it on her site) does capture the feeling of the town Virgin River. But they do not capture the book's details (or even the broad strokes) very well. They seem to have combined a number of books and then dramatized it thoroughly and then twisted it a ton. I tend to think of it as two entirely unrelated stories, both of which I enjoy. The fact that they both have the same name, characters with the same name, and a town with the same name is just a coincidence right??
Overall, I think Carr did a great job with the book. If you want to get a copy and read it this valentine's day, I think that is not a terrible idea. She captures a sense of hope for a brighter future and a hope to spend that future with someone special.