Dec 24, 2013

Innocents by Cathy Coote (Autumn Taboo Review)


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Genre:
contemporary, realistic fiction, dark, new adult


BOOK SUMMARY:


Written when Cathy Coote was nineteen, Innocents is a taut, wickedly clever descent into the anatomy of an obsession, the debut of a precociously assured and provocative young literary voice. Forcing someone vulnerable and naive into a sexual relationship to satisfy a twisted desire is perverted, even evil.
But when the perpetrator is a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl, is she culpable?
And if the victim is her thirty-four-year-old teacher, shouldn't he have known better?
When the nameless young narrator of Innocents decides to seduce her teacher, she immediately realizes that the power of her sexuality is greater than she ever imagined.
She leaves the aunt and uncle who are her guardians and moves in with her teacher; 
together, they quickly embark on a journey into their darkest desires.
Unforgettable, disturbing, and morally complex, Innocents permanently unsettles our notions of innocence, experience, and power, and suggests that we all are culpable.


RATING:


MY REVIEW:

"My darling, all of this is my fault.
I know you think your to blame for what happened.
You’re wrong, my love.
I’ve been guilty all along..."


SHE is a 16 year old manipulative, cold, calculating and sadistic control freak and she is aggressor here. This Lolita , seed of evil, who's also the protagonist isn't even likable. She lives with her aunt and uncle who "don't understand her", and spends time drawing pornographic and sadistic sketches where she is the one in control and inflicting pain and humiliation on her female school friends.
This book is written in the form of a letter that this girl is writing to her ex-lover, teacher, to explain her side of things...


"I wasn´t born innocent.
My instincts were vicious, predatory, from the start.
When I met you, I had been a voyeur as long as I´d had eyes.
My very reflexes were sadistic.
The ascent of my reason from the animal ways of infanthood served only to give a form to my state,
as a painter gives shape to a colour.
It seemed I learned to think in order to fantasise."


HE is the 34-year-old teacher and he begins by worshipping this girl from afar because he knows how morally wrong it would be for him to act upon his desire. He puts her on her a pedestal and becomes obsessed with her, but from afar.
She initiates everything, she manipulates him and seduces and controls. She is really topping him from below.
But...she teased and pushed and pushed "her darling" (the teacher) until his untamed sexual beast was unleashed and he hurt her in the unforgivable way. She awakened something violent and kinky in this poor guy and she is devastated just because that one time she wasn´t in control...

WHO IS GUILTY HERE?
In this extraoridinarily dark psihosexual book they are both innocents: 
she´s inexperienced but manipulative aggressor, and he is naive but experienced victim.


"I understood that there is another path of innocence: that it can be attained like wisdom.
I knew that I am a kind of Holy Innocent, after all. One of God´s special cases.
Blundering around inside my own instincts, handicapped.
I´m like a Holy Idiot; a retarded child who is closer to Heaven because of his disability.
A kind of holy pervert, who struggles every day to be good"

It´s extraoridinary that author Cathy Coote was only 19 years old when she wrote this extremely complex book. Whole the time I was wondering where were aunt and uncle all this time and why they never done anything to stop her from running away from home. I thought that this was some plot hole. But, later I found out that in Australia, where this story takes place, the age of consent is 16.

BE AWARE: This IS NOT a romatic love story!
Sexual scenes are too graphic and obscene. They were detailed, but I didn't think they were horrific.
 I can't recommend this as a general read, but for those interested in the subject matter of Lolita Complex or student-teacher relationship.

Until next time,

stay naughty...


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