Asking for It is the first book in Lilah Pace’s book series of the same name. It is a deeply disturbing erotica novel that brings us into the life of Vivienne Charles. Vivienne has a very specific sexual fantasy which stops her from having a healthy romantic relationship. She believes her twisted fantasy can never be brought to life until she finds Jonah Marks, a man as twisted as her.
Reader Advisory: Asking for It deals explicitly with fantasies of non-consensual sex. Readers sensitive to portrayals of non-consensual sex should be advised.
While reading this book I was on edge almost all the time. The way everything was portrayed was disturbing. I am not saying the book is badly written, just that sometimes I simply had to put it down to distance myself from it.
I believe the characters and their traumas were written well. I stumble upon many reviews that said Vivienne had to be strong, independent and such because she was a rape victim. That she should have been a character that shows in the best way that a person can overcome such a ghastly thing. Why? Why should she be strong? Why should she be something every rape victim can “look up to”?
This makes me angry. Firstly, because not everyone can overcome rape in the “best” way possible (whatever that means). Secondly, not every character who suffered such a thing has to be a “role model” for others. Thirdly, it is so much better to have a glimpse into the life of a person who hasn’t yet learned to deal with it, than to read about someone strong again. I want to see how she is doing so that I can feel less alone because I am not perfect!
Asking for It is a book that left me with many dilemmas. Some of them were resolved through the book. However, I can sense that some of those questions and thoughts will remain with me for a long time.
I don’t know what to say about the writing and the characterization and everything else since I was so focused on the plot. And I think that it is better this way. Because this book offered me a story so dark that I had nothing to do but to read.
I still don’t know how to rate this book and I am thinking to maybe leave it unrated. You’ll see for yourself. Now I think I’ll distance myself from this topic for a while because I can feel the scar on my skin left by the pages of this book.