Jun 5, 2014

Unteachable by Leah Raeder


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Book summary:
Maise O’Malley just turned eighteen, but she’s felt like a grown-up her entire life. The summer before senior year, she has plans: get into a great film school, convince her mom to go into rehab, and absolutely do not, under any circumstances, screw up her own future.

But life has a way of throwing her plans into free-fall.

When Maise meets Evan at a carnival one night, their chemistry is immediate, intense, and short-lived. Which is exactly how she likes it: no strings. But afterward, she can’t get Evan out of her head. He’s taught her that a hookup can be something more. It can be an unexpected connection with someone who truly understands her. Someone who sees beyond her bravado to the scared but strong girl inside.

That someone turns out to be her new film class teacher, Mr. Evan Wilke.

Maise and Evan resolve to keep their hands off each other, but the attraction is too much to bear. Together, they’re real and genuine; apart, they’re just actors playing their parts for everyone else. And their masks are slipping. People start to notice. Rumors fly. When the truth comes to light in a shocking way, they may learn they were just playing parts for each other, too.

Smart, sexy, and provocative, Unteachable is about what happens when a love story goes off-script.

 My rating: 4 stars

My review:

Last year Beatrix read and loved Unteachable, and if you click HERE, you can read her wonderful review and interview with the author. Since then Unteachable got a new publisher, and a new gorgeous cover. Beatrix is still in love with the book, and a few days ago she convinced me to read it, too.

Beatrix, you can relax - I liked the book, so I won't have to kill you. Well, at least not because of this particular book. ;D

Lately, reading and reviewing has been going very slow for me. Just the fact how long it took me to read this book shows how out of shape I am. You could say I'm having a reader's block, but enough whining. It's not like I have a junkie mother, no father in sight, and having an affair with my teacher, and having to deal with druglords, and being blackmailed. No, that's all Maise. I'm just tired.

OK, now focus on the book. Normally, I avoid books with characters that are still in high school, and student/teacher romances are not something I look forward to reading. Not to mention that the last book I read with that theme was a disaster, but Bea was persistent. Luckily so because Unteachable turned out to be a book I enjoyed reading, even though Maise made me feel ancient. Seriously, how could she have lived 18 years in this world and not seen Casablanca?! It's just not right.

Other than that, I liked Maise a lot. She gave me hope I might find other NA books I like. At first I was afraid I wouldn't be able to connect with her. There were some things she said about herself that made me think she had a history of self-destructive behavior, which made me fear she would continue it throughout the book, but she surprised me in a good way with her way of thinking, of handling some serious issues. Many times it was she that appeared to be the adult one in her relationship with Evan. What I liked the most about her was that no matter what she was always building towards a better future to avoid becoming anything like her mother. I've got to hand it to her, the girl raised herself well.

Evan, on the other hand, is still a bit of a mystery to me. All the things we learned about him for me were just a start. I still need more from him. I need everything! Since the book is from Maise's POV, mostly we saw how he made her feel, and how she saw him, but in that relationship to me he did seem like the weaker part. Still, I liked him. He was sweet, kinda sad, and run-over by life. With that I had to like him.

As I said, my last student/teacher book didn't go well for me. How the relationship between the main characters came to be, and how it progressed, most of the time just made me cringe, but with these two it felt so natural, and right. They made me root for them with all of my heart. I admit, there were a few times I thought they were over the top with their touchy-feely statements. I certainly wasn't too happy with the ending - it reminded me of too many Hollywood movies... Although, it seems fitting since he did teach Film Studies, and they spent a lot of time talking about movies, even making them.

My award for the most loveable character in Unteachable goes to none other than Wesley. As much as I liked Maise and Evan, it was when Wesley entered the scene that I would start smiling. I just loved him, and the friendship he and Maise had. I'd like a Wesley of my own.

Lastly, I really liked the writing style. It really was something else. Beatrix, you were right about that. Personally, I think it could have been slightly toned down, but it was still lovely.

Oooookay, I think that's about it.

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