My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell (Review)

Format: Paperback

Source: Library

Publisher: Fourth Estate

Genres: Contemporary, Adult Fiction

Publication Date: October 2020

Synopsis/Blurb (Taken from Goodreads):

An era-defining novel about the relationship between a fifteen-year-old girl and her teacher.

Vanessa Wye was fifteen years old when she first had sex with her English teacher.

She is now thirty-two and the teacher, Jacob Strane, has just been accused of sexual abuse by another former student of his. Vanessa is horrified by this news, because she is quite certain that the relationship she had with Strane wasn’t abuse. It was love. She’s sure of that. But now, in 2017, in the midst of allegations against powerful men, she is being asked to redefine the great love story of her life – her great sexual awakening – as rape.

Nuanced, uncomfortable, bold and powerful, and as riveting as it is disturbing, My Dark Vanessa goes straight to the heart of some of the most complex issues our age is grappling with.”

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My Thoughts & Review

So, I finished this one at the beginning of October but it’s taken me a while to get my thoughts together for this book, and I’m still not too sure where to start. This is a book I’ve wanted to pick up since everyone who has read it have been raving about it. But now I’ve read it I personally do get what the hype was all about.

Don’t get me wrong the book is pretty well written, it’s dark and compelling and what happened to Vanessa is horrible but I just found the whole thing a little slow and a bit drawn out.

I also thought the characters weren’t done as well as they could have either. I found it extremely difficult to connect with the characters and honestly just found them to be boring and I also found it very difficult to sympathise with Vanessa’s character even after the horrible things she’s been through. I do think this was more to do with the way her character was written and not to do with the actual plot.

For me this was just an ok read. I personally think it was way too overhyped and thinking about it now I think I should have probably just DNF-ed it.

If you haven’t picked this one up and are considering it I highly recommend you try to borrow a copy first and also check out the triggering warnings for this as this book will definitely be triggering to some. I have mentioned a few below.


My Rating


Have you read this book? What did you think? Leave a comment below and let’s have a chat.

Happy Reading!!!

You can also find me on: Twitter || Instagram ||Goodreads

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