*Being Lolita by Alisson Wood | Book Review

8/30/2020

 Being Lolita is an eye-opening memoir about a young girl who was groomed by her professor into thinking that their relationship was healthy. Being seventeen and "falling in love for the first time", Alisson Wood was oblivious to the rose-tinted bubble that the professor created for her to see their relationship through - her the Lolita to his Humbert. 

From the title alone you know that this book heavily mirrors the events of Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, but I never expected this memoir to read as brutal as the criticized novel. When Alisson wrote about their "sex life" I had a lump in my throat throughout. I said it in my NetGalley review, but I'll say it again, I'm in awe at what the author managed to write this much of her heart into a book. It must've been so difficult for her to open up so fully on page, especially when he's still out there. 

The other thing that impressed me about this book was that though it was a memoir, it never really delved into her childhood or the 'after the professor' part of her life. She mentions where her career led, and how she came to terms with her view of the relationship and she really delved into her own personal relationship with the book Lolita, yet you never really got to know her away from the relationship. Some may not like that, but I think it really helped hammer home the message I think the author was trying to convey to her readers. This is a book for other people who have gone through something similar to her, it doesn't sugarcoat anything yet you can understand how she got involved in something that many may just brush off with a '17 is old enough to know better' mentality which is so incredibly dangerous and leads to people being too uncomfortable to come forward. You never know who will be sucked into a world of abuse. 

Though not necessarily a part of the book, I found it very interesting that as a teen Alisson would read a lot of Sylvia Plath. yet the professor wanted her to be a Lolita. For me personally that aspect of the story really brought attention to the fact that so many men want women to be the submissive to their Humbert, instead of having our own strong voice like Plath. The Night/Day of the two women felt like an unintentional message. I don't know, maybe it hit me in a strange way, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. 

All in all, I couldn't not give this book a 5 star rating. The writing was simple, but enjoyable and easy to read. The author's voice was strong throughout the book, and I think she did an excellent job at writing about such a dark time in her life. If you enjoy memoirs pick this one up. 


*This finished copy was kindly gifted to me through the publisher for an honest review. Thank you to both them and Net Galley! 

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