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.
‘Unteachable’ by Leah Raeder is not your common teacher-student romance. What makes this book so different from the others?
One of the elements that differentiate this story is the heroine, Maise O’Malley .
She's not some 18-year-old, naïve, whiny female character(thankgod!). Maise, is someone who had a tough upbringing, her mother is a drug-addict and her father abandoned her, that's one of the reasons that leads her to sleep with older men, like she so eloquently explains:
Thanks, Dad, for leaving a huge void in my life that Freud says has to be filled with d*ck
I love her, she’s pretty straightforward about her choices, she’s one of the most interesting characters I’ve read lately: complex, funny, sarcastic and defiant. To some, she might come across as arrogant, but as we get to ‘know’ her, we understand that attitude as a defense mechanism. Her internal monologues are priceless, they fit her personality perfectly and the humour is smart - a breath of fresh air.
Great character development and that applies to the secondary characters in this story - like Wesley, a fellow movie buff that becomes her friend, despite her initial stand-off attitude.
So, when we first meet Maise, she’s at a carnival in her Lolita/seductress persona and that’s where she meets Evan aka Mr.Wilke
There are moments, when you're getting to know someone, when you realize something deep and buried in you is deep and buried in them, too. It feels like meeting a stranger you've known your whole life.
They are undeniably attracted to each other so things escalate pretty quickly, but Maise is caught off guard with the immediate connection she feels with Evan, that goes beyond her control:
Something was spiralling wildly inside of me, more and more out of control. My usual surgical approach to sex wouldn’t work here. He kept confusing it with these tender, adoring gestures. Just fuck me, I wanted to say. But I didn’t want him to just fuck me. I wanted this to keep going on forever, never running out of clothes or new places to be touched.
I think the only similarity this story has with the other teacher-student romances is exactly that moment when Maise starts her senior year and (surprise, surprise) Evan is her new ‘Film Studies’ teacher: Mr. fucking Wilke
One of the things I liked about this story was the way the author developed the relationship between Evan and Maise, it’s not overly dramatic, but it is intense both emotionally and physically and for all the naughty readers out there (myself included) it’s insanely HOT
It’s not a hypocritical approach and they aren’t constantly trying to justify the situation with fake morals or trying to embellish their relationship with the idea of undying love. Actually, at some point they acknowledge the thrill of the forbidden/taboo and its influence on their relationship, that was refreshing.
‘Unteachable’ is a page turner, the plot is really engaging, and while I was reading it I felt dared by the author. I became anxious at some points creating theories about what would happen next (failing miserably BTW) and in the end I was pleasantly surprised, on that note, in my opinion, the ending was perfect.
That said, the writing is AMAZING , I’m really, really looking forward to read more from this talented author. Finally, I think this book has the most honest approach I've ever read of the teacher-student romance.
'Unteachable’ is unique, funny, unconventional, intense, HOT, bold, realistic - the ultimate ‘anti-cliché’ student-teacher romance and one of the best "New Adult" books I've ever read.
So, of course I recommend it, but don’t expect rainbows or butterflies. Read it with an open mind, tell your preconceived notions to take a hike and expect the unexpected.
That's all life is. Breathing in, breathing out. The space between two breaths.