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Posted August 7, 2013
UNTEACHABLE is so much more than just a book about love.
It's about being alive--clawing your way out of your destiny and making something more of yourself.
About learning who you are and what you are to other people and yourself. Trying to be more than just an object lesson in how not to love, how not to be.
About watching the world around you, and trying to do more than just watch through a blurry lens.
Raeder's prose is the real standout here--every sentence is so rich and evocative that I wanted to savor each word, but the plot compelled me to keep turning pages.
I loved how confident and yet vulnerable Maise was. She wasn't a heroine by any stretch, but a real person, desperate to be her best self even as her desires and fears got in the way. Evan was, in many ways, the same--trying to be more than the fate he'd resigned himself to. Ugh, and Siobhan! I totally want to hang out at Siobhan and Wesley's house and bake cookies all day.
Ultimately, what stuck with me long after I finished UNTEACHABLE was the messy, raw, beautiful, painful, honest mess that Maise and Evan made of their lives, and how earnestly and vividly they fought to put it back together. I can't wait for Raeder's next.
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Posted August 17, 2013
First, I'm writing this on my Nook, so please forgive any typos! :)
This isn't the sort of story I would normally read. The cover grabbed my attention when I first saw it, and then I read the blurb. I must say, it hits a little close to home as my aunt married her HS teacher. (They are quite happy, decades later.)
I really liked Maise and Evan and honestly, the whole cast was awesome. Everyone is a fully fledged character in their own right. No cardboard cutouts here! I also loved the side storyline between Wesley and his mom Shiobhan.
Even though the story is light in tone, it deals with some serious issues--those of addiction and poverty and where the intersection leaves the children. I think most anyone can relate to Maise and her struggle to make a better life for each other despite familial dysfunction.
Now! The romance between Maise and Evan is sizzling hot, passionate, all-encompassing... I saw echoes of my own feelings for my first true love. I love the tension between them, and I particularly like how the power imbalance is addressed. Most books I have read ignore age differences or else they are barely a blip in the plot. Here, it is a major source of delicious conflict for the both of them.
I must admit, this is my first New Adult read. As much as I've heard about the genre, it is often described as YA with sex... so very not the case with Unteachable! Raeder skillfully handles the difficulties that come from turning 18 and suddenly having to habe massive plans for your life. It's very well done, and the writing itself is gorgeous.
I almost didn't pick this up because I normally dislike contemporaries (unless magic or vampires or shapeshifters, etc, are involved). I'm glad I did!
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Posted August 16, 2013
I was hooked by the time I finished the first page. The characters are so well developed you feel like you know them. The character of Maise is written with such fresh humor and vulnerability, you can't help but love her. Then there's Evan, and I seriously just want to wrap him up and take care of him forever. Together the two have an electric story that unfolds beautifully. This is an amazing love story that readers should feel honored to experience.
I'll gladly start the petition for Leah Raeder to write book 2 so we can all spend more time with Maise & Evan!
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Posted August 12, 2013
Posted August 11, 2013
Posted February 21, 2014
Wow. This was a whole lot going on here. When I learned the general theme, I was worried it might get a little creepy. But you know I really enjoyed the book. First and foremost I felt that this story could be a real reality and probably is, just from Maise's home life. And my heart breaks when children are forced to be the adult in their own life, missing out on being a child. I felt bad for him when he realized the reality of the situation, because in a way, I felt he was set up for what he got. I think that in general circumstance I would not be pro Evan & Maise. But as I read on, page by page, I started to think these two people in this circumstances worked. I think if she had been 15, I would not have the same view. But when you are 18, you get to make any choices you would like, and with her being so close and due to the circumstances that unfold through out the book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 18, 2014
I was at first a little ambivalent about reading this story -- teacher and student. Once I got into the story, I was pleasant surprised by the maturity of the characters, the story line, and the obstacles that were overcome for the heroine and hero to obtain their HEA. I would hope that there will be a follow-up novella so that the reader can see further into these character's lives.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 6, 2014
Maise is eighteen years old and she's a mess. Her mother's a junkie and dealer and her dad is a dead beat dad. She's use to using older men. She seduces them, use them and discards them. What Maise doesn't see is that these men are using her as well. She's been having flings with older men since she was young but she doesn't see it as them using her.
She meets Evan at a summer fair and has a thing with him to realize later on that he's her teacher. They go around seeing each other and hiding their affair so no one gets hurt. Maise meets Wesley and becomes friends with him. She's his only friend. He goes around filming people without them knowing it.
I read a lot of reviews where people had a problem with Evan and Maise's relationship. But no one seem to have a problem with Maise's mom. Her mother's a junkie who has put her in harms way by bringing different men into the house since she was young. The person who is suppose to take care of her and protect her is never there for her. She even introduces Maise to a dealer. Maise doesn't know if her mom is pimping her to this man or if he'll put a hit on her because her mother owes him money.
I had more of a problem with her mother than with Evan. Maise and Evan aren't the same age but when they're together age doesn't matter. I enjoyed the journey Evan and Maise took me on. I didn't know what expect at the end. I couldn't believe Maise got into the things she did. Even if she did it by being very smart and thinking every step through.
She and Evan do get careless as they're feelings grow for each other. But it shows how the relationship starts to change and grow.
I say if you're going to read this book, do it with an open mind. Maise is eighteen and her age shows in her confusion and her actions at times. This book isn't about authority but about two people who are very similar even with their age difference and that's what draws them together. They are two souls who recognize each other because of what their families put them through.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone over eighteen.
Posted February 4, 2014
Unputdownable & Unforgettable
“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 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.
Posted January 24, 2014
You know those books that you have absolutely no idea whether they’re going to end happily or not? This was one of those books. When it’s a book about a relationship between a teacher and a student, it’s pretty hard to picture a happy ending to this.
The writing was perfect. It was hopeful, delusional, and shaped the characters perfectly. It was real. So freaking real that I felt connecting to the words immediately. The writing caught my attention from the beginning, and kept it until the very last line. (Which, by the way, had me shrieking, “That’s it?!” but also whispering, “That’s so perfect.”)
I loved Maise. She wasn’t like me in many ways, but I liked her. She was funny, cynical, naïve, and so very wise. She was grown up, but constantly learning. Wise and naïve. You’d think that would be a contradiction, but it isn’t. It works so well in her and I absolutely loved her for it.
Evan is interesting. I actually don’t really know what I think of him. He’s funny, charming, but also broken, like Maise. They helped each other, and that’s why it was such a great book. It wasn’t just about romance, it was a coming-of-age story. It was a story about real life and how it intervenes in a relationship.
There were many different characters; many different things going on in this book. But it was also just about Maise and Evan. Though Maise was my favorite character in this book, Siobhan was a close second. Maybe it was because of the instant connection between Maise and Siobhan, but they truly understood each other.
There’s some books that you can’t write coherent reviews for — you just have to read them and soak in the words. This review isn’t even close to half as good as the book is, and I really recommend it for people who enjoy romance and constantly-doubting-if-it’s-gonna-end-well endings.
Posted January 17, 2014
Posted January 4, 2014
Posted December 27, 2013
This book is a must read. I would like to book 2 of Maise and Evan. Does Evan and Maise get back togther in LA where she is attending college. Maise and Evan belong togher.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 5, 2013
Posted November 22, 2013
I heard great things about this book from some bloggers so I just had to buy it and read it for myself. I thought it started out a little slow, then all of a sudden BAM! Leah's writing style is so different from what I've read before. The way she can describe someone puking or crying, wow!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 20, 2013
Posted November 15, 2013
I had been hearing a lot of buzz about this book & my first thought after reading the blurb was that it was a more adult version of Colleen Hoover’s Slammed. But after reading it, it’s so much MORE! Maise is a high school student from Illinois with nothing to do but wait to go to college. She recently signed up for a film studies class in hopes of t helping her get into film school. She’s well aware of her daddy issues, so in true Maise fashion she meets a guy at a carnival, they talk for a few hours & then they have sex. They both feel their connection & even though Evan wants it to be more & her words say the same, she plans on NEVER seeing him again. What caught my attention was how well the book was written & edited. At only a few chapters in, I was in love & couldn’t put it down. I thought Maise was a great female lead. I had to keep reminding myself that she’s only eighteen because she seems so much older. Maise meets Wesley & they become fast friends. I enjoyed their relationship throughout the book. Their conversations Maise were smart assy & believable for kids their age. School begins & Maise is shocked when she finds out that her film studies teacher, Mr. Wilke is the man Evan that she hasn’t been able to stop thinking about. Maise doesn’t understand why Evan offers to resign, she is an adult & they didn’t do anything wrong. This book for me wasn’t predictable & that was a welcomed surprise. I enjoyed the bit of distance Evan put between them in the beginning. They didn’t just jump right back into bed after realizing she was his student. In between spending some time with Evan, Maise spends time getting to know Wesley & his mother. Maise is dragged into her mother’s drug debt & struggles with what to do. Even though they’ve been careful when together, they both get the feeling that certain people are sensing their connection. Secrets threaten to destroy their relationship. I really enjoyed this book & consider it a MUST READ! While I think this book makes a terrific standalone, I would definitely read a sequel. The ending leaves you wondering just what COULD be in store for Maise & Evan.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 14, 2013
Posted November 13, 2013
Unteachable is probably my favourite book ever.
I was interested because the forbidden teacher/student relationship intrigued me, just like it ignited Evan and Maise's relationship. Leah's writing style fuelled me to keep turning every page and I devoured this book faster than almost any other books I've read because I couldn't put it down. I dreaded it ending because this world would be no more. I couldn't wait for the ending because I needed.to.know. Maise, Evan, Wesley, Siobhan and so many more characters became real, physical things to me that I could describe perfectly. The passion, erotica and explicit nature of this book excited me wildly.
And the best thing about it all is I cried, not because the author wrote a sad scene *that* well but because I cried because it was so damn good I couldn't handle it and I'm about to cry now reliving all those feels.
Screw it, best book I've ever read. 5++++++++++ stars.
It's still not enough. This book was perfect.
Posted November 10, 2013
I don't usually write reviews, but this book was worth takng the time. This was a great story. So well writtren. I read it in one day!
Even if the teacher/student relationship is a turn off, this book is worth reading.
The characters are gloriously flawed and at the same time strong. Maise is such a great main charcter and i feel like she is someone i would want to be friends with.
The writting is compelling and engaging. I am going to definitely look up more books by this author.