Being Lolita: A Memoir by Alisson Wood

Being Lolita: A Memoir by Alisson Wood

Being Lolita: A Memoir by Alisson Wood

Book Challenge: Diverse Reads

In August, I’ve set a personal challenge to read thirty books in thirty days. The aim is to reignite my passion for reading and elevate my reading achievements. To keep things interesting, I’m diversifying my book choices throughout the month, ensuring I don’t get stuck reading and reviewing thirty thrillers. Today’s pick was a memoir, and completing it within a day proved to be quite a challenge. Being Lolita starts with Alisson in her Senior year of high school. She had spent the previous years battling depression and after years of treatment a successful year at a special needs school, she is determined to finish high school at the school where she started as a freshman. Reintegrating back into the school is as difficult as one would expect. Students whisper about her past and she continues to feel isolated. A new English teacher, Mr. North, swoops in and makes her feel seen and heard. As the months progress, their relationship morphs from a mentor/mentee relationship into a romantic relationship.

Unlike “Lolita” or “My Dark Vanessa” which are fiction, “Being Lolita” is a memoir. While we will never live inside Dolores Haze and understand what she felt when her stepfather abducted and raped her, Wood exposes her memories of being a pretty yet isolated seventeen year old groomed for a sexual relationship with her twenty-seven year old English teacher, who she refers to often as simply, “the teacher” to highlight the disparity in power.

Wood uses Nabokov’s “Lolita” as a framework for understanding what happened to her, but if you’re looking for a long, slow seduction with a gradual descent into depravity, this isn’t it. The majority of Wood’s memoir is about the abusive relationship between herself as a recently graduated young adult and her former teacher than the predation upon and sexual grooming of a teenager (although she was only eighteen years old at the time of their first sexual encounter).

“Being Lolita” is an evocative coming-of-age narrative that delves into the tumultuous journey of a young girl seeking attention and affection. Tragically, she discovers it in the hands of someone who should have been her protector, but instead, becomes the catalyst for the erosion of her innocence. Alisson, our protagonist, finds herself entangled in a web of manipulation woven by Mr. North, unable to recognize the toxicity of their relationship due to her lack of experience with healthy connections. This poignant tale sheds light on the consequences of vulnerability and naivety, urging us to ponder the importance of guidance and understanding in a world where innocence can be easily exploited.

In a profoundly eye-opening manner, this book underscores the insidious impact of microaggressions on individuals coping with mental health challenges or special needs, severely damaging their self-concept. As we navigate our lives, it compels us to reflect on the urgency of this issue, making it essential for everyone to pause and ponder. Empathy and compassion are paramount in our interactions with one another, as we can never truly fathom the burdens others are silently carrying. This book serves as a poignant reminder of the significance of understanding and supporting one another, fostering a more compassionate and inclusive world for all.

“Being Lolita” presents a captivating memoir interlaced with intriguing parallels between the protagonist’s relationship with Mr. North and the infamous novel “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov. As Alisson’s perception of her connection with Mr. North evolves, so does her understanding of the controversial literary work.

Wood’s poignant narrative not only sheds light on her heart-wrenching experiences but also serves as a powerful inspiration. Her transformative journey has led her to a career dedicated to empowering girls and women while educating others about the dynamics of unhealthy relationships. It’s a book that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page, urging you to reflect on the intricacies of human relationships and the resilience of the human spirit.

If you’re eager to delve into this compelling tale of self-discovery and empowerment, you can get your copy of “Being Lolita” by clicking the link below.

Being Lolita: A Memoir by Alisson Wood

Trigger Warnings: Abuse, Sexual Assault, Child Grooming, Rape.

Rating out of 5
#It Was Good!
Book 27 of 33
Rms0033-19 who needs friends when you have books
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