Monday, August 12, 2013

Unteachable by Leah Raeder

Unteachable by Leah Raeder
Release Date: July 26, 2013
Publisher:  Velvet Pony Press

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.  My teacher.  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.  -

To me, this novel was very special.  It deals with the taboo subject of a student-teacher relationship that society says is completely wrong, regardless of circumstances.  But can there be times that circumstances truly do make this type of relationship acceptable?  Can the student's life experiences have prepared them, matured them, and made them able to take part in this type of relationship in a healthy way?  These are the issues explored in this story, and the author handled this tough topic beautifully.

I found this story to be amazing.  It was raw and real, and I loved the simple honesty of it.  The characters were wonderful, especially Maise.  She has to be one of my favorite heroines to date.  She is so tough, as she has lived through tragedies and has basically raised herself.  She takes care of herself and is basically the adult in her family.  She never got to be a kid.  I love how she let her tragedies shape her into such a strong woman, and how she works through. 

She's such a self-aware heroine... she knows she has abandonment issues, she knows that she runs from true connection.  Watching her work through these things, and watching how Mr. Wilke's love draws her out of her fears, was such an amazing thing to watch.  I had to love him too.  This is such a good guy, you just couldn't help but like him too. 

Luckily, this was a stand-alone novel, so the reader gets to have resolution immediately, rather than it being stretched across several books.  This was refreshing.  The writing in this story was real and poignant, and I found myself utterly engrossed until the very end.  I won't say how it ends, but I will say that I was deeply satisfied after the last page.  This was a really great find.  Loved it.


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