Unteachable by Leah Raeder
~ Synopsis ~
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.
~ My Thoughts ~
I expected the classic student falls for the teacher. The teacher falls for the student. Insert hot steamy sex and hopefully a HEA.
What I read was an emotionally charged story of two people trying to find their way. Both Maise and Evan have unique and intriguing back stories. What the author provides upon the pages of this book surprised me. He took a theme that should be taboo and intertwined a heartfelt, sorrowful, loving and passionate story.
“I see the lights every night. It seems like the whole world has figured out how to be happy, but no one’s letting me in on the secret.”
Every character in this story is written so well that their very essence consumes you. Some you love, some you hate, some you fear and some have you wondering what their ulterior motive is.
“Things I didn’t expect to do my senior year:
Become a drug dealer.
Become my mother.
Find and lose the love of my life.”
While the story does focus on a love story between a teacher and a student it provides so much more. The qualities that create all of the characters provide mystery, intrigue, hate, hope to the story. Internally I fought for what I wanted to happen to each character. I never anticipated having a story within a story but that’s what I received. A student teacher romance with a twist. An all-consuming story of their lives, their determination and their fight to escape a brutal, hurtful past.
“Grow up. This is real. The world is ugly and nasty and fucked up, and so are we.”
The creativity of the author was wonderful. Providing little tells throughout the story. At times I wondered why he inserted certain lines and as I read his intent became clear. It was like he wanted to make you think but did not allow you much time to dwell as you wanted to keep reading.
“Here’s a history of the world: Girl meets boy. Girl fucks boy. Girl gets scared and skips out on boy. Boy builds civilization to lure girl back.”
I enjoyed this book. It was not what I expected at all. Fully defined characters, intrigue, mystery and suspense. Passion written beautifully allowing the reader to expand on the words the author provides.
“You can call it love, or you can call it freefall. They’re pretty much the same thing.”