Unteachable by Leah Raeder
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.
That blurb really doesn’t do this book justice. But that’s totally ok. I have to admit that I read the blurb and some early reviews last week when the book came out. Guess what happened? I decided to read something else. Big mistake. Big. Huge. (Thank you Pretty Woman for that one). I kept seeing it turn up on blogs I read and really liked and then one of my Goodreads friends read it and gave it extremely high praise. So, here I am.
At 11% I was done for. I was highlighting already and trying to catch my breath because of writing like this:
So yeah. I had a family to feed and kids to bathe and I felt like I had entered some kind fugue state but a good kind. I wondered if what I felt was like being in “subspace” and yet the world around me kept moving. I just sat in the chair in my little bubble and kept reading.
The subject is taboo and forbidden… an 18 yr old girl (Maise) meets a 33 year old teacher(Evan) at a carnival before school starts. They get involved. My feelings about the subject? If one of my girls were to take part in this kind of relationship, I’d have a problem. But the rich and textured writing style of Ms. Raeder really made me not give a damn.
Maise was a badass chick. I read some criticism of her early on that I just didn’t agree with once I got into the book. The criticism was that Maise was cocky and full of herself, she knew she was beautiful. Well yeah… she did. For me, it was a great relief. One of my hangups with NA is the younger girls are full of insecurities and hangups. Maise had her own issues and they totally stemmed from her not having a father in her life. But you know what? She totally owned that shit and she wielded it as a weapon. She knew how to use her beauty to manipulate men. But those manipulations really didn’t work with Evan.
Both parties were in this relationship with their eyes wide open and I appreciated that. Both wondered if they cared for each other because of true and genuine feelings or was it because it was wrong and forbidden?
I gobbled this book up. And when I was done last night, I felt deflated. I went out with friend to dinner and had a margarita. I needed it! This book turned me inside out.
And as I’m writing this review, I’m listening to The Civil Wars . “Poison and Wine”
Seriously, this song could be the soundtrack for this book.
“You only know what I want you to
I know everything you don’t want me to
Your mouth is poison, your mouth is wine
You think your dreams are the same as mine
Oh, I don’t love you, but I always will
Oh, I don’t love you, but I always will
I don’t love you but I always will
I always will”
Wow. So yeah. Give this book a chance. Yes, the subject matter can be uncomfortable at times. But the writing is not to be missed. I do wish the end was fleshed out a bit more. But, I always like to know what happens after “The End” anyway. Maybe an epilogue is in the future? Maybe? Please?
On a housekeeping note… I’m tweaking the look of the blog and cutting my teeth on graphics. So, the look will be changing and I’ll make better graphics than the last three… I thought they would look differently than do. But hey- live and learn!!!