Unteachable by Leah Raeder.

17978680268 pages

Published July 27th 2013 by Velvet Pony Press

Okay, so Maise has some serious only-attracted-to-older-men tendencies. She grew up without a dad and is aware of the Freudian theory in play there. But the reasons she only sleeps with older men go beyond her daddy issues – frankly, boys her age have no clue what they’re doing and are just really immature.

She is eighteen and just about to enter her senior year of high school when she meets Evan at a carnival. They end up in his car and have a connection that goes beyond sex. So afterwards, Maise kind of freaks out and has to get out of there and away from this man who seems to care.

But lo and behold – Evan is actually Mr. Wilke, Maise’s new film studies teacher at school! Despite the obvious road block in their way, Maise and Evan soon begin a torrid (technically legal, thank you) affair.

All the while, Maise develops a friendship with Wesley, another student in her film studies class. She’s not the type to have friends, but Wesley is different. There is also Maise’s mother, a drug dealer who has never really made much of an effort to protect her daughter from any of the scumbags that hang around as a result. Maise herself doesn’t do drugs – she’s too smart for that. She doesn’t want anything to jeopardise her future: she’s going to get into a good uni and out of this town. So where does the teacher that she’s falling for fit into her future?

“…You should love something while you have it, love it fully and without reservation, even if you know you’ll lose it someday. We lose everything. If you’re trying to avoid loss, there’s no point in taking another breath, or letting your heart beat one more time. It all ends.” His fingers curl around mine. “That’s all life is. Breathing in, breathing out. The space between two breaths.” 

My first thought when I started to read Unteachable is that it’s really beautifully written. The language and imagery is rich and heavy. Maise is so different from your average high schooler with superficial issues. I absolutely loved her right from the start. As for Evan: it’s weird, but I don’t have any really solid feelings about him. I mean, I think that he was right for the story, but I don’t count him as a really memorable and sexy fictional male lead. My opinion of him kept changing as I got further into the novel.

It’s definitely quite graphic. The sex scenes, for example – there are a lot of them! And there’s lots of f-bombs, too. Just a heads up.

I’m finding it hard to put my feelings about Unteachable into words. All I can say is that it’s a really good book – the writing is of a much higher quality than other novels of it’s price range (and even a lot of novels that cost a heap more!) and Maise is incredibly captivating – a character who is worthy of your time.

If you are into new adult stuff, then read it.

My rating: 4/5

Goodreads rating: 4.06/5


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