Book Review || Chemical Pink by Katie Arnoldi

Katie Arnoldi's 'Chemical Pink' is a novel of NOTE. It had me absolutely mesmerised from start to finish.

Delving into the world of female bodybuilding, Arnoldi has used her own knowledge of the industry to recreate a world of bodily obsession and fetishistic sexuality.

Charles, a skinny eccentric man used to getting his way, is obsessed with creating the perfect male form in the female body. Jeanine, a single mother desperate for success and stardom, offers him the perfect canvas: her bodily symmetry is ideal for the sport and will take her far.

The two form a symbiotic relationship where Charles - who seems wealthy beyond belief - provides the training, tablets, and finances for Jeanine to continue perfecting her body, while she indulges his every fetish and sexual whim. But how far is too far?

This voyeuristic look into obsession is as addictive as the concoction it is named for. With intriguing characters who are all as obsessive as the others - Hendrik who is at once trainer, drug dealer, and pimp; Skip who believes he is in love with Jeanine; a daughter who becomes obsessed with her mother's former lover; and even the entire industry itself - the novel sweeps the reader along to an ending that is an attempt at resolving the overall conflict but culminates in a climax deserving of a cult novel such as this.

That being said, this dark comedy is at once thought-provoking and heartwarming and makes us all wonder at our own obsessions and how far they will take us before we are destroyed.


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