Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.
This week’s book:
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
Blurb from Goodreads
Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.
2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.
2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?
Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.
Why I Want To Read It
I thought I already created a Goodreads Monday post for this book but apparently, I haven’t yet so I am featuring it on this update.
As part of my yearly tradition (which begun sometime 2018 I believe), one of the first things I do at the turn of the year is to search for books that are to be published during the year, books that I can look forward to. I usually post these 10 books in my yearly Books I Look Forward to List. One of the titles that I kept on encountering in many books -to-look-forward-to lists is Kate Elizabeth Russell’s My Dark Vanessa. It did sound young adult-ish so I was naturally ambivalent. I had a change of my when I read the synopsis. It captured my imagination, and eventually, my interest.
My Dark Vanessa does sound ominous. There seems to be a darkness that hovers above the book as well. It is not just the titular “dark” but the premise does spell heavy and dark. It does touch on a seminal subject as well, which works well with me. With the take off of the #MeToo movement, the internet has become abound with confessions of abuse. This is a very serious matter. Often times, victims of sexual abuse opt to be silent about their experience because they know that society’s prejudice goes against them.
I am expecting a very heavy reading with My Dark Vanessa. The subject is familiar as one can easily find materials all over the internet. There is a lot to look forward to but I am most interested on how Russell explores the subject. In particular, I am curious about how she dealt with the psychological aspects of the story. The book has stirred quite the controversy but I am nonetheless looking forward to it. Thankfully, I managed to find a copy of the book in my local bookstore! It was a pleasant surprise but one that I am thankful for. Do expect me to immerse in this contemporary tale this July.
And thus ends my Goodreads Monday post! How about you fellow reader, what book do you want to read? I hope you can share it in the comment box. For now, happy reading! Have a great week ahead!