The Most Shocking Book I’ve Ever Read

Have you ever read a 5-star book that you wouldn’t recommend? I didn’t think that was possible until this week when I read Tampa by Alissa Nutting.

This work of literary fiction puts us inside the head of Celeste, a smoking hot 26 year old teacher who is also a pedophile. We learn every one of her desires and impulses and it’s so compelling I couldn’t look away, even when I was grossed out by her. At the start of the book Celeste is just starting a teaching job with eighth graders and is determined to find a young man she can have sex with. The story takes place over the course of about a year and shows every detail of their relationship and what happens afterward. The lengths that she will go to, to not be found out is astounding. I suspect she is also a psychopath.

I’m not sure how this author managed to make the book so off putting yet interesting at the same time. It’s dark and twisty, yet manages to be funny at times, and it’s a debut novel too, which seems like an enormous feat.

While I think this is excellent in terms of a work of literary fiction, I can’t recommend it for everybody. If you’ve read this review and are intrigued, I say give it a shot.

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