The Adventures of Holly White and the Incredible Sex Machine is a hilarious and scorching hot read about a young woman who is discovering her sexuality set against a sci-fi backdrop. In some parts the plot is absolutely ridiculous but the whole thing is done so well and comes together so nicely in the end that most of the oddities are quite endearing. Holly White is a nice girl from Brisbane who does not believe in premarital sex and who wears who pledge ring with pride. She has a clique of girlfriends who have similar morals. She's clearly a bit too good for her boyfriend, Jack, who is not the honest guy he passes himself off to be, but Holly cannot see that and has her own reasons for wanting to keep her virginity, which comes in the form of well ... something neon blue. (I'll let you discover that one for yourselves. But it's great. Really.) Anyway, one day one of Holly's classmates from uni invites her to a secret book club and Holly is surprised to discover that this club is devoted to discussing erotic classics. And with a little help from the books--and from some other unexpected places--Holly soon finds herself on a journey of sexual discovery, and along the way, a discovery of herself.
I was surprised by just how much I enjoyed this quirky novel. Kneen's writing is fresh, funny, sexy and utterly addictive. Some of the situations may be depraved--Holly losing her virginity to a stranger in a phone booth in Paris for example--but the writing and storytelling are not. Each chapter is given the title of an erotic classic and that chapter relates to the named classic in some way. The ending is a bit strange (though I love what happens to Jack--what a way to rid the world of a lousy ex,) and it took me a second reading to catch on to just how fitting that ending was for the book.
Highly recommended, but not for the prudish, or easily offended.