This novel contains explicit sexual content and strong language. It is intended for mature readers.
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.
I don’t know if what we’re doing is wrong. The law says one thing; my heart says screw the law. 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.
Rating 4 out of 5
I know that cover is a little…bright and flashy. But think of carnivals, film studies, photography and lighting and then go read Unteachable. It will all come together. I’ve got to be raw since this is Raw books and I was provided a copy of Unteachable in exchange for my honest review. I’m not a huge fan of student teacher romances. Professor Gabriel is the only teacher that I have let into my heart. But Unteachable is so much more than a student teacher romance and Mr. Evan Wilke was not what I expected. I was enthralled reading this book. It’s about a young woman setting the course for the rest of her life and accepting life for what it is. The romance just happens to occur during a pivotal point in her young adult life, with a man 15 years her senior.
The heroine, Maise O’Malley, has had a hard knock life with a druggie slut for a mother and a deadbeat dad. She’s cynical and a little morose some of the time, but wise and insightful other times. The book is solely from her point of view and I really enjoyed it after so many other books give us more than one. The author, Leah Raeder, writes beautiful prose for Maise’s thoughts. It flows with fantastic imagery and the emotions jump out at you. As a reader, you get to watch her thought processes mature, her moods and actions level out and in the end you really get a sense of the adult that Maise could become.
Her best friend, Wesley, and his lovely mother were well written characters. They both just took Maise for who she was and didn’t expect change or full disclosure. They gave her the love that her druggie mother never had and I think it was important that Maise have that during the whole secret affair. She needed that reminder of something normal and mundane. Their bond was fascinating to experience.
The steam factor in this book is a little off the charts. Ms. Raeder can seriously heat up a page. Maise and Mr. Wilke have a lot of passion for each other. Throw in the need for restraint and discretion and their unions were scorching! And it wasn’t all about sex between Maise and Mr. Wilke. They had a lot of points of interest in common and the characters actually talked to each other. So nice to have lead characters that communicate!
Please take my word for it. Unteachable is so much more than a student teacher relationship. There’s drug overlords, blackmail, homecoming, rehab, and college applications. And in the middle of it all is a young woman who crosses the threshold into adulthood and takes control of her path in life. Don’t let the cover sway you. It’s worth it just to read the poetic prose that Leah Raeder delivers. Maise had a very full senior year and I am happy to have been along for the ride!
“You can call it love, or you can call it freefall. They’re pretty much the same thing.”
“There are moments, when 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.”
“You read things in romance novels like he made me melt, knowing that is physically impossible. Girls are not pats of butter. Yet my body was doing a fine imitation of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Girl, dissolving against the side of the house.”
“God, if I could only go back to that night and tell myself to stay. Tell her, There’s something so beautiful waiting for you. Don’t run from it. Run toward it.”
“And that made my heart ache, too-the thought of how much happiness lay scattered across the universe, unrealized, in fragments, waiting for the right twist of fate to bring it together.”
“What if this is all we have? This closeness, this space between breaths, holding each other like air in our lungs, the oxygen metabolizing into our blood in a thrilling, ephemeral rush? How could it ever, ever be enough?”
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