Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Unteachable Review

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.

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.

There are a few books that stay with you for different reasons.  One of those reasons could be just how it was written or how you felt when you read it.  Others, are from life experience.  This was the case with me and Unteachable.  

When I read this a few things popped into my head.  The first was I can relate to having really screwed up parents.  Not drug selling parents, but screwed up regardless.  And two, I know first hand, what it feels like to fall in love with someone who is not acceptable under any circumstances.  I too fell for a teacher when I was 18.  He wasn't in his thirties, but it didn't make it any more acceptable.  And although I didn't follow the same dark path Maise did, I could relate and empathize.

Maise is beautiful.  She is confident and quite honestly, wise beyond her years.  In fact I sort of felt a little unintelligent when she spoke.  She has grace and poise and is direct and honest.  I appreciated all of that in her, I also appreciated her innocence in the love department.  I felt like while I read this novel, Maise was growing up page by page.  Not only getting to know herself, which is vital, but coming to an understanding that even when people aren't what you hope they would be, they are still worth loving and forgiving.

Evan will no doubt be considered the bad guy here.  He is older and supposed to be wiser than Maise.  But the truth is, when it comes to love, all bets are off.  You can't fault what the heart wants, so they say.  He has a history that is rather sordid and given what comes out, I can understand Maise's hesitancy when it comes to trying to understand what he really feels.  Evan, like Maise, is feeling something for the first time that scares him and lights him up.

This novel was something I took a chance on.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to travel down this path.  Emotionally it took a toll, but honestly I needed to feel it.  The story is about redemption on so many different levels.  It is about finding yourself and living your life despite what others expect of you.  It is about being open to love no matter how scary it becomes.

There is so much to this story that I will let you, the readers, enjoy the experience without me ruining it all for you.  But suffice it to say, I absolutely could not put this book down.  I want to leave you with the most precious image, in my mind, in this book.  The Claddagh Ring.

The Heart is for Love
The Hands are for Friendship
The Crown is for Loyalty

One of my favorite reads this year.  I happily give it 5 lipsticks....


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