"My Dark Vanessa", by Kate Elizabeth Russell, is a great but emotional and disturbing read. With each new page, this uneasy feeling grew. This story is about fifteen your old Vanessa who got involved in an emotional and sexual relationship with her 42-year-old literature teacher, Jacob Strane. It is obvious that Vanessa, even though she "willingly" participated in this relationship, deep down struggled with it. She was drawn to the man who gave her attention and, as it seemed to her, cared for her, but the man who used his authority and manipulated her young and naive soul. She was young, lonely, and vulnerable. There is a constant emotional battle within her, and even when other girls came forward with abuse that they had to go through with Strane, she still had doubts telling her story. These are the deep issues within her, having an effect on her whole adolescent and adult life. Those issues go much wider including school systems, beliefs, prejudices, the impact of the media. I read this book in two days, and couldn't put it down. Highly recommended.
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