My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Before I begin, I let me just preface this review by saying this is a heavy read.  It is likely not for everyone and makes the reader uncomfortable.

My Dark Vanessa puts the reader in the mind of Vanessa Wye, a thirty-two year old woman who had an affair with her high school English teacher, Jacob Strane, when she was 15. The story alternates between 2000, when the affair began, and 2017, when Strane is accused of abuse by numerous former students. As a reckoning ensues around the world, Vanessa wants no part of a victim narrative, claiming she consented to her affair with Strane. The novel explores the mental gymnastics Vanessa goes through as she combats what others tell her happened to her – grooming and manipulation generally, sexual abuse specifically. Vanessa, an unreliable narrator, rejects the victim label and questions the truth of the other women’s allegations. The reading experience is deeply uncomfortable, but is thought-provoking at its core.

Continue reading “My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell”

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

Hello, World.

Browsing Barnes and Noble last year, I spotted The Girl He Used to Know on the shelves. The cover held a certain familiarity because I’d seen it filling up my Instagram feed for months. The cover, a watercolor of a woman facing away, is pretty and captivating. Alas, I bought the book and then it gathered dust on my shelves. I wanted to pick it up, but I just never did. Using the Libby app, I got the audiobook and listened to it on my commute. The story was captivating, and I immediately felt bad that I had never picked up the book. This seems to be a theme lately, so I’m glad audiobooks force me to get through books I’ve wanted to read but haven’t picked up. Continue reading “The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves”

Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur

Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur

Hello, World.

Nonfiction is having a moment in my life. With Nonfiction November over, I’m a bit sad to report I only read one nonfiction book. However, seeing as November was a terribly slow reading month (I only read two books!), I’m happy that I at least read one nonfiction book. I used to read exclusively fiction, warding off nonfiction like it was an evil spirit. Still, I find myself gravitating toward nonfiction more than I ever have, and I wanted to share my thoughts about Wild Game, the memoir I finished over the weekend. Continue reading “Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur”