Sunday, November 2, 2014

Review: Unteachable by Leah Raeder

 Title: Unteachable
Author: Leah Raeder
Source: Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review


Maise O’Malley just turned eighteen, but she’s felt like a grown-up her entire life. The summer before senior year, she has plans: get into a great film school, convince her mom to go into rehab, and absolutely do not, under any circumstances, screw up her own future.

But life has a way of throwing her plans into free-fall.

When Maise meets Evan at a carnival one night, their chemistry is immediate, intense, and short-lived. Which is exactly how she likes it: no strings. But afterward, she can’t get Evan out of her head. He’s taught her that a hookup can be something more. It can be an unexpected connection with someone who truly understands her. Someone who sees beyond her bravado to the scared but strong girl inside.

That someone turns out to be her new film class teacher, Mr. Evan Wilke.

Maise and Evan resolve to keep their hands off each other, but the attraction is too much to bear. Together, they’re real and genuine; apart, they’re just actors playing their parts for everyone else. And their masks are slipping. People start to notice. Rumors fly. When the truth comes to light in a shocking way, they may learn they were just playing parts for each other, too.

Smart, sexy, and provocative, Unteachable is about what happens when a love story goes off-script.


Unteachable is a contemporary romance by author Leah Raeder. I'm not really sure if this qualifies as New Adult or what, the main character is 18 – but she is still in high school. Due to the subject matter though, I wouldn't gear it towards young adults. In this book, Maise meets a man named Evan at a carnival during the summer before her senior year. She lies about her age, and they sleep together. At the time, she doesn't know that he will be her high school teacher.

Maise sleeps around a lot, especially with older men. She doesn't like to have relationships, she sleeps with them and leaves. After having sex with Evan though, she can't get him out of her mind. He was different than all the other guys. When Maise starts her senior year, she is very surprised to see Evan in her classroom. Despite the student/teacher relationship, they can't keep their hands off of each other. The forbidden aspects turns these two on even more.

At the time of writing this review, I am unsure what rating to give this book. I have mixed emotions. The writing was really good – poetic even. But it was almost too much...too descriptive. I know that lot of people love this type of writing though.

I expected to love this book because of all the rave reviews, and because I like to read forbidden stories. However, I think I would have liked it much more if there would have been a build up to the relationship. There was sex at the very beginning, and then again soon after meeting again in the classroom. They didn't try very hard to stay away from each other when they found out he was her teacher. So, then it became a little boring because all that stuff was done and out of the way early on. There was nothing to build up to.

Evan seemed like a weak person to me. He didn't seem strong and manly like I prefer male characters to be. He was sensitive...and weird. None of the story was told from his point of view, so there is so much we don't know about him. I was half expecting for some big, creepy secrets to start coming out – like, that he was hiding bodies or something. There was just something unsettling about him (besides the fact that he was attracted to teenagers). If falling for a teenager was a one time thing, because it was about the person and not about the age, it might have been different. But Maise wasn't the first student, and I just felt that he had a young-girl-fetish which made it seem creepier. I felt that he liked Maise because of her age, not in spite of her age.

Maise wasn't much better. Yeah, she had a troubled childhood but I was tired of her using not having a dad as an excuse to be a slut. People act like she is really mature for her age, but I found the opposite to be true. She just wasn't very likable. I did admire her for not doing drugs and turning out like her mom, because she grew up with drugs all around her. I think her friend Wesley was probably the most interesting person in this book. I think the author should give Wesley a few years to grow up, and then write a story about him.

The ending was odd to me – very abrupt. Though, I think maybe the ending went well with the type of writing style that was used. I wanted to know more though. I'm not the type of person that likes to imagine what happens. I just don't have a good imagination. I think I needed an epilogue to tie things up for me. Things were just left too open – life was just really getting started for Maise when this book ended.

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