My Dark Vanessa By: Kate Elizabeth Russell/ Book Review



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 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  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. This is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood.

Trigger Warnings for this book is Sexual Abuse, PTSD,  Manipulation, Rape, Gaslighting, Suicide, Sexual Assault! If your thinking about reading this book please prepare yourself it’s one of the hardest books I’ve read!!!

“I just really need it to be a love story! You Know? I really, really need it to be that. ” 

I Know she says. Because if it isn’t a love story, then what is it? I look to her glassy eyes, her face of wide open empathy. It’s my life, I say. This has been my whole life!” 

I’m Going To Ruing YOU!!!

This book was a hard one for me to read it deals with some many emotions! Vanessa first meets Jacob as her English teacher at a boarding school that she attends! In this book Vanessa recounts her relationship with Jacob from the age fifteen into her thirtys. This book talks alot about Lolita, which is referenced alot through the story . He made her feel special and smart. This book reminds me alot of the Stockholm Syndrome how she actually falls in love with her abuser and will protect him always. At times reading this book I really felt her emotions and the real feeling she was having. This book specks volumes at how many young girls are like Vanessa, and the men that manipulate them into thinking they are special and actually get away with it, or they make you feel like your the exception to the rule and make you feel like you both belong together because you are both so dark. Even as a adult Vanessa still continues a relationship with him because she thinks what they shared was a connection that nobody can understand, when allegations about a new student comes out about Strane she must come to the conclusion and realization but will she? I highly recommend this book even though it’s not based on a true story  it very well could be I feel, alot of people don’t realize the effect and damage it could have on the way people live their life when they get older years after the abuse and the effects it has on someone’s mental health!

I give this book a 5 star rating everything from the writing the emotions were so on point and very well written I would also recommend the audiobook the narrator does an excellent job!  

Thank you so much for visiting my blog let me know in the comments if you have read this book and your thoughts on it! I would love to discuss them with you!



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