by Leah Raeder
Published by Velvet Pony Press Release date : July 27th 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Realistic Fiction
Source: Purchased | Format: eBook
Purchase at: Amazon (Affiliate Link) • The Book Depository
This novel contains graphic 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 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.
I first noticed Unteachable on my blogger bestie’s wish list and decided to purchase it for the both of us. Call me morbid, twisted or whatever, but I like these kinds of stories. The forbidden kind. The kind that make you think. The kind that has that moral compass flipping back and forth between right and wrong. The stories you love but almost feel weird admitting it. Oh yeah, that kind.
I have always been a believer that you can’t help who you love. You just do. Yes, I feel like there are situations where it isn’t… OK, per se. There are lines. And there are times where these lines should never, ever be crossed. But let’s be real here, they do. And more often than not, those lines are pretty blurry, depending on the situation. This situation in particular can be taken either way. You can sit there and believe that Maise was innocent and taken advantage of. Or you can see it like I do; a mature girl having a relationship with an older man who just so happens to be her teacher too.
I have read my fair share of forbidden type romances. But Unteachable is by far, one of the best I have read to date. There are several reasons why; but the main reason? The characters. Maise, in particular. Honestly, I was kind of jealous of her. LOL She is beautiful and knows it. She isn’t arrogant but confident. I wish, even now, I had that type of confidence. She is also smart, raw, honest and so strong for someone her age. I often forgot that she was 18 because she didn’t seem like it. At all. Of course, this doesn’t mean she isn’t flawless. She has issues. Yet, I felt like she has legit reasons for said issues. Her upbringing and the horrible things she was put through as a child; then more as she got older. The things her mother used her for. Which brings us to the core of her issues. Older men. It’s more than that though. She is scared. Scared of loving and being loved. Scared of being like her mother. Scared of being alone. And although she is tough, she is naive too. She is beautifully flawed.
As the story progresses; we see the relationship between Maise and Evan (Mr. Wilke) grow. While it was purely physical in the beginning– with the added taboo of their situation– it quickly became more than that. They fall in love. They challenge each other and they GET each other. There IS more to their relationship than just the…. wrongness of it. There are more issues at hand. It’s just.. gah, it’s really hard to explain! I really enjoyed their interactions and watching as their flaws and insecurities were laid out there. It was just so REAL, realistic and be to honest, hot.
Evan, while sweet, nerdy and harboring an innocence himself; was a hard character to read at times. I couldn’t help the back and forth thoughts about his real intentions. If he was a creep or if he really was in love with Maise (does this make him a creep for falling in love with Maise?!). In the back of my head, I knew Evan. It’s just.. you can’t help but question it, ya know? Especially when his past started to come to light. See, we know why Maise likes older men; it’s clear as day. Evan is portrayed as a repeat offender. Was it just coincidence? Was it Fate? Is there something not right there? Is it because of HIS childhood too? I don’t even know. That’s strong writing for you, right there.
The writing is what made this book. Not everyone can take such a taboo and morally questioning subject and make it work. The situation is so realistic, though. Her prose is beautiful and lyrical and whether or not you agree or disagree with the situation at hand, you will still be wholly engrossed and captivated by the writing. I loved how the book was over the course of a year. We weren’t rushed into anything, or forced to believe anything. But she really makes you think. Things developed slowly and at those breaks in time, she summarized everything nicely and I never felt like I missed anything.
My Peeve- I wanted more back story on Evan. We get into some gritty details about Maise and her past but not a whole lot on Evan. Also, while I LOVED the ending, I wish there was an epilogue to see how things turned out months or years later.
Overall- I loved it. Leah is a remarkable writer, flawlessly crafting a love story that is beautiful as it is taboo. I highly recommend this one.
Tonyalee is an avid reader, gym junkie, coffee addicted workaholic and blogger. Be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram for random shenanigans.