Synopsis: Lolito is a love story about a fifteen year-old boy who meets a middle-aged woman on the internet.
When his long-term girlfriend and first love Alice betrays him at a house party, Etgar goes looking for cyber solace in the arms of Macy, a stunning but bored housewife he meets online. What could possibly go wrong…?
Hilarious, fearless and utterly outrageous, Lolito is a truly twenty-first century love story.
3 out of 5 stars
I put off writing this review for a few days as I needed to think about the book first. Any book that makes me think is a good one though, and provoking thought is one of the main reasons for writing, so …
Lolito is the story of Etgar, a fifteen year old who has just discovered that his girlfriend cheated on him. Devastated and heartbroken, he turns to the internet adult chatrooms where he meets Macy. Pretending to be a twenty something stockbroker, he chats with her, has cyber sex and finally the two decide to meet for a rendezvous.
What I liked: I liked that Brooks has made this story fresh and relevant by tying in social media. Facebook, Twitter, and the like are such an important part of most people’s everyday life and to the average fifteen year old, it’s a minute by minute lifestyle. Etgar finds out that his girlfriend is cheating by hacking into her Facebook account.
I also liked that while this is the story of an underage boy having sex with an adult, it doesn’t feel predatory. “Tampa” by Alissa Nutting has such a predatory feel to it – the protagonist actively seeks out underage boys, and this book has none of that feel. “Lolito” is more of two people coming together in strange circumstances. We are never really sure if Macy is aware of Etgar’s age before meeting him but she definitely is after meeting him. The two do have sex, but Macy is so damaged that it’s hard to see her as a predator.
What I didn’t like: The writing style threw me at first. The book is written in a stream-of-consciousness style and the dialog is such that I found it easy to get confused as to who was saying what. Etgar also has access to almost any drug or alcohol he wants, and his fake ID is never questioned.
The end of the book feels a little rushed and we are never sure what the conclusion is. Will Macy and Etgar ever see each other again?
Ben Brooks is in his early 20’s and as an author, this is not his first published book. I’m excited to read more of his work as his style grows and matures.
ARC provided by NetGalley