Unteachable by Leah Raeder

 

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So I was looking for something new to read and saw a lot of recommendations for this and thought I’d give it a go. And God was I happy that I did. Didn’t expect to like it as much as I ended up doing.

The story line revolves around an 18 year old girl, Maise O’Malley, who has seen a lot in her life which caused her to mature quicker than most girls her age. She doesn’t feel like she belongs with her age group and is only interested in older men. In her words: ‘I’m kind of screwed up from growing up without a father, and I like it when they try to daddy me.’ Then she meets Evan one day at a carnival on a roller coaster, they hook up and everything changes. Only later does she realise that he’s actually her teacher. How awkward. From the moment they meet everything just clicks but it’s not like one of them cheesy romance books, I think that’s what drew me in further about this. The way the writer has described every feeling, every experience is unbelievable, and even though you may have no idea about romance in general, you experience everything in full just by reading this.

That also made me think that the writer must have experienced something like this herself because only then can you describe something in such amazing detail. You have to know with your own experience to be able to describe scenes so perfectly like that.

It’s beautiful really, the character see’s the world in a different light ever since she meets Evan, almost as if she’s been blind her whole life and then one day she sees the world and all its beauty for what it really is. I almost give up on new adult romance books sometimes but this is such a breath of fresh air and so different to the usual. The thing that makes it stand out from other similar books is definitely the way it’s written. There isn’t a necessarily crazy plot line but the book draws you in anyway. Sigh. There’s beauty in every paragraph, every sentence. It’s a book full of colour, explosions, beauty and intoxication. It’s a lyrical high.

Another thing I absolutely love is that Maise isn’t your typical book heroine. She’s not awkward or shy or doesn’t acknowledge her strengths. She actually does that pretty well, she knows she’s good looking and she’s not afraid to use her confidence. It’s also sort of sad, because you know she’s put up this attitude of ‘I don’t give a damn’ due to her past. But at least she doesn’t feel sorry for herself and she’s real about it. And she’s so not afraid of taking what she knows she has a right to. Even with the 14 year age gap between her and Evan, they realise they are so much more alike, two halves to a whole, both child at heart. And really, age is nothing but a number, especially when they’re so good for each other. This book is in no way encouraging forbidden relations because one; she is legal and two they met before he was her teacher.

Something else I admired was the feeling of knowing that something big is going to happen with the way the writing is used in past tense. You know what’s coming and you get ready to brace yourself for it. Brilliant technique. You’ll know what I mean once you get your hands on this one.

I will finish with a few beautiful quotes from this book.

I sat on a curb in a pool of whiskey-coloured light, skipping gravel and shards of broken glass across asphalt. The storm front had finally broken, tatters of cloud pulling apart like cotton candy and sprinkling the sky with the bright sugar grains of stars.

The guy and I reached for each other’s hands spontaneously and simultaneously. And I felt something I’ve never felt before. You can call it love, or you can call it freefall. They’re pretty much the same thing.

The brain is an incredible multitasker. At the same time that it’s piercing itself with superheated needles of anguish, it’s ruthlessly making plans, contingencies, plotting out a future, giving zero fucks whether it’ll ever see it. On the day I die, it’ll be calculating what to have for dinner as it bombards itself with pain signals from my amputated legs or my clocked-out heart.

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