Thursday, November 23, 2017

2018 Most Anticipated - Indecent

The next book on my list is an adult novel that deals with a very controversial subject - student/teacher relationships. They are typically dealt with in one of two ways in entertainment media: they are either romanticized (see pretty much every CW television show in history) or they are painted as the harmful, and typically illegal, thing that they are. I only say typically illegal because in some cases, like a college professor and student, everyone involved is an adult which makes it legal (at least from a law point of view). However, even if all parties involved are adults there is still has a power dynamic element that makes the relationship harmful.

I totally get where a lot of people would have this reaction to picking up a book where this was the focus of the story:

I, however, feel that when this topic is handled well it can be a great conversation starter and let you examine the different ways we look at the males and females who get romantically involved with their students. Corinne Sullivan's Indecent looks like it is going to be one of those books that is thought provoking and allows for a discussion to be had (much like Alissa Nutting's Tampa did).

The Goodreads synopsis was what first made me super curious about this book, and my need to read it was cemented by Victoria Aveyard mentioning it on her Twitter account
Shy, introverted Imogene Abney has always been fascinated by the elite world of prep schools, having secretly longed to attend one since she was a girl in Buffalo, New York. So, shortly after her college graduation, when she’s offered a teaching position at the Vandenberg School for Boys, an all-boys prep school in Westchester, New York, she immediately accepts, despite having little teaching experience—and very little experience with boys.

When Imogene meets handsome, popular Adam Kipling a few weeks into her tenure there, a student who exudes charm and status and ease, she's immediately drawn to him. Who is this boy who flirts with her without fear of being caught? Who is this boy who seems immune to consequences and worry; a boy for whom the world will always provide?

As an obsessive, illicit affair begins between them, Imogene is so lost in the haze of first love that she's unable to recognize the danger she's in. The danger of losing her job. The danger of losing herself in the wrong person. The danger of being caught doing something possibly illegal and so indecent.

Exploring issues of class, sex, and gender, this smart, sexy debut by Corinne Sullivan shatters the black-and- white nature of victimhood, taking a close look at blame and moral ambiguity.
It is the kind of book that I predict people will have strong feelings about, and I do not see much middle ground where this one is concerned. I, however, feel that really great books spark that kind of heated debate and prompt you to want to discuss them with everyone you know.

Corinne was kind enough to answer a few questions about Indecent, and her answers have definitely made me excited to see what she has done with this story.

11 What gif do you feel represents Indecent?

2 If someone were to make a signature cocktail in honour of your book, what might be included?

An Indecent cocktail would likely include mezcal mixed with Cocchi Americano Aperitif, grapefruit, lime, honey, salt, and soda--an innocuous-looking pink drink with surprising bitterness

3 Your book tackles the subject of student/teacher relationships. What is your favorite book, TV show, or movie that also tackles this controversial subject?

Tampa by Alissa Nutting

4 Name a song you listed to for inspiration while writing this novel (if you didn't listen to music let me know and I can quickly send another question)

"Matilda" by Alt-J

5 If you could travel to anywhere, in any time period, when and where would you want travel?

As uninteresting an answer as this might be, I'd like to travel back to my teenage years and meet my adolescent self. Rereading my middle school and high school diaries feels like reading the words of a stranger, and I'd love to reacquaint myself with the person I used to be.

6 What 2018 release are you most anticipating?

Clarissa Goenawan's Rainbirds

7 If not too spoilery, can you share the first line of Indecent

"There had been no major incidents—at least, nothing of the sort I imagined could happen my first week at Vandenberg School for Boys (no salmonella outbreak, no imprudently still-lit cigarette disposed in a wastebasket, no menacingly quiet freshman with a handgun). Then I caught Christopher Jordan with his hand down his pants."

This gif of Riverdale's Miss Grundy immediately came to mind when Corinne mentioned her favourite book that handles the student/teacher topic is Tampa by Alissa Nutting. Alissa's Celeste is a predator through and through and Tampa unpacks the whole "society looks at women who do this differently than men" thing so well. Miss Grundy reminded me a lot of Celeste. I am not sure who Corinne's Imogene is going to be, but I expect she'll be complex if Corinne was inspired by Tampa at all. It makes me hopeful that this is going to be a great, but unflinching and uncomfortable read.

Indecent releases March 6, 2018 but you can pre-order it right now from any retailer.

You can also find out more about Corinne on her website, follow her on Twitter, and find out more about her books on the publisher website.

Is Indecent a book you'll pick up? Are you against student/teacher relationships being portrayed in entertainment media or do you feel, like I do, that if done correctly it can be something that starts discussions? Let me know in the comments. 

Be sure to stop by tomorrow to find out the next book on my 2018 Most Anticipated List!

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