Thursday, February 6, 2014

***Sandy B's Review of 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.
My teacher.
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?

Sandy B's Review

“There's something so terrible about wanting something you've already had. You know exactly what you're missing. Your body knows precisely how to shape itself around the ache, the hollowness that wants to be filled.” – Which one of us doesn’t understand this feeling?  It is bittersweet to know the loss of that which once was and is no longer.  A lover’s kiss, a caress on the cheek from that man you’ve been wanting or even that sexy late night call when you’re not expecting it. 

“I turned my head, watching the slim, sinuous lines of my body joining to his, the rolling curve of my spine, my hair slithering and lashing like some strange spidery creature. He felt so thick inside me, so excessive. Pushing me to the limits of my skin. To the edge where my body met the world, where reality blurred with internal fiction, and I wasn’t sure who I was anymore aside from hollowness and fullness, ache and relief, repeating over and over.”– I adore this paragraph.  It is lyrical, it is raw, it is beautiful.

Maise O’Malley and Evan Wilke meet one magical night at a carnival.  She is young, reckless, an unstoppable force of nature.  One look at Evan Wilke and she knows that before the night is over she will “have” him in the biblical sense of the word.

Evan is drawn to her like a moth to a flame.  There is a sadness in his eyes.  The lights from the carnival called to him – much the same way this beautiful creature does.  He can see that she’s very young.  Most guys would just take the roll in hay and move on but not Evan.  He wants more than a quickie in the front seat of his car.

Do you think it’s possible for two people to unknowingly recognize the brokenness in each other?  I do.  These two have a sexual encounter in Evan’s car that night and we would think they never meet again.  At least that was Maise’s plan.  Well, then you’d be wrong.  Maise walks into her new class and to her dismay (and delight) realizes that her gorgeous new teacher is her one night stand.  Neither one has been able to stop thinking about the other.  Now how to get around the small problem that he is her teacher?  Even in this day and age the student/teacher romance is taboo.  However in the hands of Leah Raeder it becomes something oh so right! 

Maise is determined to LIVE.  She will not be taken down by the drug addict textbook tragedy that is her mother, Yvette.  Evan has skeletons in the closet which include an alcoholic mother whose irresponsibility cost her everything.  Throwing in the usual high school stuff like the best friend that is really in love with you and the requisite mean girl is like a cherry on the sundae – it just rounds everything all out.

Unteachable is, of course, sexy.  It is also VIVID in its intensity, smart, romantic, funny, heartbreaking and angsty.  The undercurrent always is this should not be but darn I must turn the page and see what happens next.  The illicit and forbidden excitement of kissing, touching & feeling each other in Evan’s classroom where they could get caught at any moment is just delicious.  Their need is palpable.  Truth is that this relationship, it becomes so much more than sex and secrets.  The love jumped off the page for me and hit me right between the eyes. You want these two people to end up together with a big fat happily ever after. 

Is Unteachable perfect?  No!  There were times when I wanted to smack one or the other. Times when I thought no way that would happen.  However, as I read the last word my thoughts were WOW that was satisfying. I almost wanted to light a cigarette.  :-)  Wish I could delete it from my memory so that I could experience it all over again like it was my first time.  That ladies and gentlemen, for me, is the mark of a great read. 

Leah Raeder I’m all over whatever you right next. 

About the Author
Writes pretentiously lyrical YA and adult fiction of various genres. Loves zombies, velociraptors, and other world-ending things.

Buy the Book
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

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