Review: Tampa | Alissa Nutting

I found that sometimes it was a relief to do something unattractive in private, to confirm that I’m deeply flawed when so many others imagine me to be perfect.

Book Info

Genre: Dark Fiction
Number of Pages: 272
Perspective: First
Location: Tampa, FL

Content warning: Tampa is about a sociopath pedophile, Celeste, as she starts her first day as an eighth grade English teacher. Her chosen career path is only to satisfy her fetish: fourteen-year-old boys. For a complete summary, you can go here.

Book Review

TL;DR: Very disgusting, intriguing, and worth a read for the dialogue it starts.

Rating: 4/5

Full Review: WTF did I just read? I’m going to be very careful in how I review this one. I want to start off by saying that it is repulsive and, obviously, the actual storyline is perverse. I picked up this story because I had heard a lot about it, especially after I reviewed Any Man. I don’t believe in avoiding books because of their content, so I gave it a chance.

The most fascinating part to me is that it was based on a true story about a teacher from Tampa that got caught sleeping with her students. She was let off without any jail time. See the story here. I think it opens up an interesting debate about gender biases. If this was a man raping his fourteen-year-old female students, it would be seen as horrific by everyone and he would (hopefully) end up in jail. But because the teacher is a sexy twenty-six-year-old woman, the defense is that it is not rape because every teenage boy would dream of sleeping with their teacher. Fantasy fulfillment, right? Wrong. IT IS STILL RAPE. Let me say it again: even if the boy wants it, dreams about it, begs for it, a twenty-six-year-old woman having sex with a fourteen-year-old boy is rape.

With all that said, if you can force yourself through the stomach-wrenching sexually explicit scenes (don’t say I didn’t warn you), the story itself is truly fascinating. I’ve read books about victims of rape of all ages, genders, and sexualities. I have read books in the mind of murderers and sociopaths. But it is truly a bizarre experience to be in the first-person perspective of a psychopath pedophile. She has a rationale for everything she does. It truly shows how sick some people can be. So someone please read this book so I can discuss it in-depth.

Now, comparing hard to read sexually explicit books, Tampa is less disgusting than Push, but more disturbing than Any Man. [Make sure to check out my reviews of Push and Any Man too]. Remember, don’t listen to this one on audiobook in the car with your kids or at work. And don’t read it in public…I mean, look at the cover. Read at your own risk. There, warnings complete. If you are interested in buying Tampa, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think!

My Rating

4 star review

People are often startled by my handwriting; because I’m pretty, they assume everything I do is pretty. It’s odd to them that I write like I have a hook for an arm, just as Ford would be startled to learn I have a hook for a heart.

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