Friday, November 7, 2014

Book Review: Unteachable

Author: Leah Raeder
Title: Unteachable
Publisher: Atria
Publish Date: Oct 14, 2014
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb:  
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.

Review: Unteachable is almost a Lolita for the modern age, but Maise isn't a naive young thing. She's 18, she's street smart and she's got quite a messed up life.

This is a book that you will be shocked and intrigued by. Maise and Evan aren't your average couple, but there's nothing average about either one of them.

Maise is the daughter of a druggie/drug dealer. Everything she has, she's got on her own. She's pretty much raised herself. So when she hooks up with a much older guy at the fair,  you don't think twice about it. She is 18.  You also don't know Evan's age when they hook up either.

Then they meet again at school, where Evan is Maise's film studies teacher.

I could deal with most of their relationship at the beginning. I mean, the "hot for teacher" thing is quite common, but the fact that their relationship is really rooted in sex made things ultra creepy at times.

And then there's Wesley, the boy her own age, that has a stalker-esque crush on her. I have to say, I was team Wesley throughout the book. I felt Wes would have brought stability to her life, whereas Evan was just going to screw her up, especially when you find out he has secrets of his own.

I loved Leah's writing. It pulled you in, even if you didn't quite agree with what the characters were doing. Maise, in particular. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of psychological things you could say about her behavior, but really, she's just a screwed up kid.

I felt bad for her. There was nothing good about this girl's life, and the choices she makes will have some shaking their heads, but then again, she is only 18.

I often felt that though Maise and Evan had a bit in common, like their love of films and both coming from very dysfunctional families, that their relationship was really rooted in sex. I love you seemed to get tossed in there, because when you are spending that much time "doing it" you should have some emotional attachment. My thought's on their attachment? Someone has daddy issues.

This book is out to push boundaries and take you out of your comfort zone. It took me out of mine, because even though both characters would be legal in any other circumstances, Evan being her teacher made things wrong, and the fact he hooked up with another young girl before makes him a perv in my book. I simply couldn't like him. And I couldn't grasp Maise's actions once she found out about his past either.

The writing was solid and it was a definite page turner, but it creeped me out too much to be a winner.

Rating: 3 flowers


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