Wednesday, 18 September 2013
Review: Unteachable by Leah Raeder
Publication Date: July 26th, 2013
Publisher: Velvet Pony Press
Add to Goodreads
I met him at a carnival, of all corny places. The summer I turned eighteen, in that chaos of neon lights and cheap thrills, I met a man so sweet, so beautiful, he seemed to come from another world. We had one night; intense, scary, real. Then I ran, like I always do. Because I didn't want to be abandoned again.
But I couldn't run far enough.
I knew him as Evan that night. When I walked into his classroom, he became Mr. Wilke.
I don't know if what we're doing is wrong. The rules say one thing; my heart says screw the rules. I can't let him lose his job. And I can't lose him.
In the movies, this would have a happy ending. I grow up. I love, I lose, I learn. And I move on. But this is life, and there's no script. You make it up as you go along.
And you don't pray for a happy ending. You pray for it to never end.
Ok, I'm on a total NA kick right now. And this book is probably one of the better ones I've read. Holy crap it was intense! If you've read Slammed by Colleen Hoover, Raeder just takes that to a whole other level. I really, really liked Slammed, but it was pretty tame. Raeder gives me exactly what I was looking for when I was reading Slammed.
Now with a lot of books in the NA genre, it can get pretty mature; graphic, language and subject wise. Unteacheable really doesn't hold back there. So if any of those topics are a little out of your tastes, I can definitely recommend other books. But you'd be missing out on something fantastic!
Adjectives to describe Unteachable- raw, intense, gritty, emotional, funny, honest.
The thing with these student/teacher relationship books (from what I've found) is that they only touch the issue of this taboo. They don't really get in to the darker issues.
But not Unteachable. Evan and Maise actively question if the whole student/teacher relationship is what's making them feel this desire for each other. And of course, to an extent it is (as you'll see by the sexy times in the book), but they're also both pretty screwed up people. So they may have originally been drawn to each other physically (and again, it can get pretty physical, and intensely so), but also mentally they connect.
Maise is a very truthful. She never holds back what she's feeling. She's not some whiny teenager or naive for that matter. Growing up wasn't pretty for her. No dad, and her mom does tricks and deals to get by. So whether it was dealing with her passed out, drugged up mom or trying to hide from the strange men walking into the house, she grew up fast and she grew up smart. And she's never touched drugs. She's a smart girl that wants to go to college and not end up anything like her mom.
Evan has some pretty dark secrets himself. Which he's trying to keep hidden from Maise. But I like him. He's intense but he shows Maise love and companionship. She's never had either before. And I think that even though they are 15 years apart (:S), it's what connects them.
I don't want to get to much into the relationship because everyone needs to read this book to experience it. Just know it's not some high school relationship. They both have deep issues and the intense feelings for each other helps them help each other. This definitely is not a happy book. There are a lot of tricky bits.
Also, the supporting characters are all well developed. Distinct personalities. Especially Wesley, Maise's bff. They only become friends at the start of the school year, but their relationship is fantastic on a whole different level. They're both loners and really need the companionship from each other. Especially Maise. Wesley has a strong family dynamic. It's something that I think ultimately draws Maise to try hard and keep Wesley as a friend.
Raeder is a fantastic story teller. Her writing is true and beautiful. And this book is honest. It just doesn't hold back.
Please, please check Unteachable out! It's only available as an e-book but with more readership that can change. This book deserves to be more widely known.