Want your jaw to drop and your eyes to bug out? Then yeah, you want Tampa by Alissa Nutting.
Celeste is living the life of any girl's dream. Married right out of college to a man with family wealth, she drives a cherry red Corvette, wears expensive face creams, and has the body (and looks) of a Grecian goddess. Her life is perfect, except for her one dirty little secret--she is only attracted to fourteen year-old-boys. Her sexual deviance goes so far as to drive her to land a teaching job in a jr. high school. After surveying her prey, she settles on Jack Patrick--perfect in every way for her needs. The affair will set them both on a path from which neither may return.
This was hands-down the most audacious book I have ever read. (That is a huge compliment.) I was so horrified by the intrepidity of Celeste--her no-holds-barred approach to telling her story so brazenly and borderline offensively. She is clearly not right in the head; while I originally found myself put off by her nervy and flashy storytelling, I soon found that I couldn't stop reading this absolutely insane story. The prose was so disgustingly fascinating and utterly riveting that I found myself unable to physically put the book down.
Fair warning: Many of you will hate this book. The subject matter is not for the weary, and many on Goodreads and elsewhere have found this book offensive. I absolutely did not. Oh sure, the subject matter is super creepy and there were many times where I was like, "WTF???" But overall this was one hell of a debut novel and it is clear that Nutting has much to offer in her work. Because while I may have found the main character repulsive, this has everything to do with the incredible talent of Nutting's writing.
A novel like this is something so rare--with the most contradictory descriptive adjectives coming out of my mouth to describe the story yet it has everything to do with the vividly intense writing. Nutting develops characters that about whom you care about what happens to them. The story is so intricately developed that it feels complete yet as though you need to find out more. This novel is absolutely, positively, audaciously brilliant.
Alissa Nutting, I am officially asking you to be my best book friend.
I only have the link to the hard copy below. It's worth it.