Review: Tampa by Alissa Nutting


Celeste Price is an eighth-grade English teacher in suburban Tampa. She’s undeniably attractive. She drives a red Corvette with tinted windows. Her husband, Ford, is rich, square-jawed, and devoted to her.

But Celeste’s devotion lies elsewhere. She has a singular sexual obsession—fourteen-year-old boys. Celeste pursues her craving with sociopathic meticulousness and forethought; her sole purpose in becoming a teacher is to fulfill her passion and provide her access to her compulsion. As the novel opens, fall semester at Jefferson Jr. High is beginning.

In mere weeks, Celeste has chosen and lured the lusciously naive Jack Patrick into her web. Jack is enthralled and in awe of his teacher, and, most important, willing to accept Celeste’s terms for a secret relationship—car rides after school; rendezvous at Jack’s house while his single father works late; body-slamming encounters in Celeste’s empty classroom between periods.

Ever mindful of the danger—the perpetual risk of exposure, Jack’s father’s own attraction to her, and the ticking clock as Jack leaves innocent boyhood behind—the hyperbolically insatiable Celeste bypasses each hurdle with swift thinking and shameless determination, even when the solutions involve greater misdeeds than the affair itself. In slaking her sexual thirst, Celeste Price is remorseless and deviously free of hesitation, a monstress driven by pure motivation. She deceives everyone, and cares nothing for anyone or anything but her own pleasure.

Actual Review:

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If someone asked me right now if I ever really loved this book, the answer is a definite NO.
Yet, if they asked me if I found it intriguing, the answer is yes. Intriguing in a OMG-why-am-I-reading-this-again way. It’s like a breath of fresh air, this book. Fresh, slightly polluted air. Books about male sex offenders and pedophiles are nothing new to me, but about female ATTRACTIVE ones? Nuh-uh.

So what was inside this book? Hm, let’s see here…

1.) Celeste’s methods of masturbating. Check.
2.) Lewd things that Celeste thinks about while teaching the students. Check.
3.) Celeste’s methods of stalking a child and actually using binoculars to witness her target in his house. Check.
4.) Everything bad that is Celeste. Check.

I would like to throw this one out though; huge props to the author. Whatever she was trying to do with this novel, she was very successful. The way this was written was so cringe-worthy not because of the style of writing but because of Celeste and her TMI statements and TGPDSI (too gross please don’t say it) comments. She was definitely perverted and twisted.

This book made me so uncomfortable that I actually had to take a break once in a while and read something wholesome, like Flipped. Seriously, the whole time I read this book my face was like this…

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You definitely do not want to be inside Celeste Price’s head.
Aaaand to make you guys feel a fraction of what I’ve felt while reading this, I’d like to share to you a certain passage (this is actually one of the milder ones)…

“The early start time of Jefferson Junior High was one of its main allures: seven thirty A.M. The boys would practically be asleep, their bodies still in various stages of lingering nocturnal arousal. From my desk, I’d be able to watch their exposed hands rubbing across their pants beneath the tables, their shame and their half-inflated genitals arm-wrestling for control.”


4 out of 5 devious smiles!


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