Cam Girl
by Leah Raeder

originally published November 3rd 2015
published by Atria Books
new adult | contemporary | romance | suspense

find the book on
Goodreads | Book Depository

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 brings back a ghost from her past. Now Vada must confront the devastating secrets she’s been running from—those of others, and those she’s been keeping from herself…

[PLOT] typical | not quite there yet | cute | unique | kicks serious ass | what’s going on?!
[PACING] snail’s pace | slow | just right | fast | holy crap just stop
[DIVERSITY] none :sadface: | some (minor characters) | LGBTQ | mental health | characters w/ disabilities | racial | religion
[ROMANCE] insta-love | realistically paced | slow-burn | love triangle | love square | I am confused | none | it’s complicated
[FEELS] swoons | tears | laughs | cries of frustration | eye rolls | pukes | snores | screams of horror | holy shits
[WRITING] flowery prose | conversational | choppy or cluttered | telling, no showing | boring | info dump-y | simple
[ENDING] cliffhanger | open ending | satisfactory | was that an ending? | want moarrr | didn’t get far enough | ehhh
[RECOMMENDED?] heck no | eh | to select people | mostly | YAS

Book Review

7 Reasons Why You Should Read Cam Girl

1. Cam Girl is intense as fuck, in more ways than one. For one thing, this book does sort of have a mystery aspect to it, which, let me tell ‘ya, is a HOLY-MOLY-GIVE-ME-ANSWERS-NOW kind of mystery. It’s also intense in a way that Leah Raeder clearly doesn’t shy away from the nitty and gritty, and also points out a few of the things many of us don’t normally talk or think about.

2. Cam Girl talks about all these societal in social issues in such a raw manner. This book features does of sexism, racism, and of course, cybersex. The good thing is that this book shows the two sides of each coin: that there are people who support these, and that there are people who are against them.

3. Cam Girl is narrated by a realistic heroine. Vada is constantly confused about many things, and sometimes this confusion leads to frustration and anger–anger towards herself, and anger towards the people around her. She had lots of internal conflicts and expressed them through lashing out externally, which is something I think a lot of us do as well.

4. Cam Girl has some pretty epic character development. A lot of the characters are really iffy and make tons of questionable choices in the beginning, but as the novel progresses, you can see their mindsets and actions shifting into much better things.

5. Cam Girl features complex relationships–and you’ll love all most of them. This book is basically the epitome of the “it’s complicated” status. There are so many deep relationships in this book that are all woven together perfectly–from romances, to sort-of romances, to friendship, to family ties. This book has all of them, and they all play big roles in the story.

6. Cam Girl is written awesomely. Most of the time, it’s written in an easy-to-read and easy-to-get-into conversational tone, which is why I was able to speed through the book, but when Leah describes art and emotional scenes, dammit, everything gets so flowery and beautiful–in an amazing, vivid and colorful way.

7. Cam Girl made me cry in the second chapter. What other book can do that?!

Also, just in case you’re wondering, there are two reasons also why this book wasn’t a perfect 5-star read for me. The first is that I really, really couldn’t ship the main romance. Their relationship was way too toxic for me, and it hurt me to think that they might just continue to hurt each other. The other reason is that I didn’t like how the book ended, personally–no spoilers! It just wasn’t the ending for me.

All in all, I still highly recommend you to give Cam Girl a try. You won’t regret it.

Skulls 4


Have you read Cam Girl? If you have, what did you think of it? If you haven’t, do you want to read it? What do you expect from it?

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About Aimee

Aimee loves being a little bookworm (okay–she doesn’t like being little). She also loves chocolates and sweets but is freaked out by the thought of possibly getting diabetes.

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12 thoughts on “Review: Cam Girl by Leah Raeder

  1. First, I’m in love your little category checklist – so helpful to see if this book matches my style. And lol I think you may need to add “toxic” in the relationship category. When I think about it, that was my issue with all this author’s books. I love complicated, I’m fine with flawed, but toxic just makes me really sad. I still may try this, but thanks for giving me a better idea of what it’s all about.


  2. Leah easily became one of my favorite authors after I read Unteachable. Her writing is so raw, and her characters are always so realistic. I love how all of her books always crosses a line some authors are too afraid to go, and I heard Cam Girl is no exception. I’m reading this VERY soon, and your review has me so excited to begin!


  3. Fabulous review, Aimee. I love how the author addresses so many topical social issues in this one. And you’re right, it’s written in an easy-to-read style which made it so much quicker to get through than, say, Black Iris. I’m with you on the main romance, but I guess two wrongs make a right, in this case? Eh.


  4. Aimee, I completely agree with you! I rated it 3 stars, but the reason I rated it three stars was the same reason you rated it four stars. I agree, Leah’s writing is done beautifully and the story was raw and beautiful, but the relationship made me so angry that I just couldn’t deal with it. Way too toxic for me. Plus, the ending was just blah. Nothing great about it, but overall I will be reading Leah’s books in the future.


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