Unteachable by Leah Raeder
An edgy, sexy USA TODAY bestseller about falling for the one person you can’t have.
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.
Leah has given me an experience with Maise and Evan that I guarantee will provide me with a different perspective with each of my re-reads. Possibly the lasting emotion being different as well. Based on our personal morals, opinions and knowledge we’ve acquired from life events, we view and take different aspects from novels differently. Focusing on a student/teacher relationship could be morally conflicting for some or even the age difference. I saw and felt the beauty forming and igniting beyond these labels and numbers. Leah’s words had me withholding breaths countless times and panting with anticipation or frustration numerous others. Leah made it possible for me to live and breathe Maise’s words. Her depth and descriptions was its own living being. I wanted to inhale her words and bring them to life within myself, they are that powerful. The roller coaster, free falling, the film projects, sitting on the tower platform, Wesley, twisting her ring, the fear of being caught…I became addicted. The depth of emotion in Maise and Wesley’s film projects was gritty and raw, real. I want Wesley as my BFF. The pain Maise and Evan have experienced within their family of origins brings forth a shared emotion of feeling broken. I absolutely loved this novel and it’s important enough to repeat that I can’t wait to read Unteachable again and experience a different journey. This would make a beautiful movie, just saying. This is real, and it happened. You must read this novel and find your next book crush!! Rating: 5 catchable shooting stars
Unteachable was unlike most teacher/student romances that kind of make me squeamish thinking of an illegal relationship between a much older adult taking advantage of a blindly in love, much younger student. The student/teacher story in Unteachable, although morally questionable was not illegal. Unteachable was refreshing, original, raw, gritty, and believable and had me so caught up in the story and writing which hasn’t happened in a long time.
The characters were so smart and well developed. Maise is a bit screwed up, street smart, artistic thinking, and 18 year old high school senior, with a tormented past and un-exemplary mother. She’s been known to like older guys and random hookups. She meets the younger than her usual picks, Evan one night at a carnival and has a smoking hot hookup and then bails, expecting to never cross paths with this random stranger again. Until the first day of her senior year, that is. Evan has a past that he is hiding too and although “forbidden” they can’t help pursuing their relationship. Both acknowledge that a small part of the attraction is the forbidden and risky, but there is something much more between them.
Wesley is the de-facto best friend although Maise clearly tells him when they meet she’s not looking for friends. Wesley is priceless. Their connection is deep and endearing. Wesley sees what Maise thinks she is so good at hiding from everyone.
Leah Raeder’s writing is incredibly talented, cleaver, witty, and engaging. The voice of the characters was perfect. Truly unparalleled! The imagery of this story was almost physical and came alive on the pages.
Although Unteachable was a story about the taboo romance, it was so much more about cracked souls, finding and connecting and putting the pieces of their lives together. I recommend having an open mind for this skillful and marvelously written story about broken people. Give this a try and find your next book crush!! 5.0 Stars!!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Leah Raeder is a writer and unabashed nerd. Aside from reading her brains out, she enjoys graphic design, video games, fine whiskey, and the art of self-deprecation. She lives with her very own manic pixie dream boy in Chicago.