Top critical review
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on 16 January 2014
I received this book as a present several years ago but only now read it (I started it a couple of times in the past but the lack of somewhat gripping plot and the absence of any deep meaning behind the explicit diary entries of the young girl made me abandon "100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed" every time). I finished it today and, as you can see from my rating, I did not like it. It seemed a bit pointless, very juvenile, not at all insightful and quite a sad "search for love" of one [very] young Italian girl. Of course, sex sells, and I can imagine the uproar the book made in Catholic Italy, especially taking into account that Melissa P. (Melissa Panarello, that went on to write a few more books, which never repeated the initial success of "100 Strokes...", which sold over 2 million copies around the world) comes from a small Sicilian city.
To sum up, Melissa P. loses her virginity at the tender age of 14, at 16 she is having group sex with 5 men, she plays Lolita to her math teacher and dominatrix to a married guy she meets online. All of her sexual escapades she documents in the diary (which does not reflect on anything else in her life, it's just her sexual adventures with occasional sentence about her search for one true love thrown in). The said dairy, of which we are given extracts, is only about 160 pages long, it starts abruptly and abruptly it ends, with Melissa's quest for love over when she finds her prince (literally).
While the book has imminence, it lacks any insight into Melissa's brain, her background and why she came to be who she is. I hoped for clues, I searched for hint, but it seems all Melissa P. cared to document was numerous sex scenes, which, after the initial shock, became quite predictable and tedious.