The Jumble Your Genres Reading Challenge was New Adult for December so we decided to take this opportunity to check out the much-hyped Unteachable by Leah Raeder.
AH and Christal’s Review
AH: In a way, I was kind of scared to read this book. I don’t know, forbidden relationships just aren’t my thing. It just seems wrong to me. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by this book – in fact, Unteachable has earned a place in our favorites of 2014 list.
Christal: I felt the same way. Even though a lot of people raved about this book, I expected to be turned off by the student-teacher dynamic. Suprisingly, it worked for me and it worked very well.
AH: One of the reasons why I enjoyed this book so much was Maise. Maise is very mature and she is the responsible one in her household. I loved her voice – Maise struggles with a lot of things: an absentee and completely irresponsible mother, the trouble her mother gets into, a blackmailing classmate, and a boy who is in love with her.
Christal: Agreed, Maise is the one who sold the story. Even though she carried herself very maturely and “wiser than her years,” she was still a teenaged girl. At the same time though, she owned that. She didn’t make excuses for her feelings or her need to find herself. She didn’t try to act like she knew what love was. She just allowed herself to feel and be in the moment.
AH: Maise’s relationship with Evan didn’t really bother me because she did meet him before he was her teacher and she was of age. I think that had she had been only 16, I probably would have thrown the book across the room. So you have a situation where the relationship was legal but clearly not ethical.
Christal: Yes, the fact that their first hook up occurred before their were teacher and student did the relationship a lot of favors. Instead of it feeling icky that a teacher was hot for a student, it made it seem more like Evan was into this crazy girl he met one night… and, oh by the way, she’s still in high school. Word to the legal age issue as well; I doubt I would have even picked this book up if Maise hadn’t been 18.
AH: Whoa, what a whirlwind romance. And the sexy scenes – wow.
Christal: Leah Raeder definitely knows how to write a sex scene. /fans self She also hit the high points of their relationship emotionally as well — all the little things they did together that made them a couple.
AH: I loved Wesley and his family. I was kind of rooting for him to get together with Maise. It just would have made more sense to me. I know, the book would not have been the same.
Christal: I liked Wesley too, except for how he tried to show Maise her relationship was unhealthy. I felt like he thought his heart was in the right place, but I think he was at least somewhat clouded by jealousy — not just because he had feelings for Maise, but also because she didn’t tell him much about the relationship. I feel that they worked better as friends, but I was glad his mom was there for Maise when no one else could understand what she was going through.
Christal: The only thing I thought was missing in the story was a little more development of Evan’s character. I feel like we didn’t explore his back story enough to be sure that Maise is different and not just a “type.” Going by his actions at the end of the book, I don’t think that is the case but I would have liked it spelled out just a little more.
AH: Agreed. I would have liked to have learned more about Evan. Since the story was told from Maise’s point of view, we just got to see Evan through her eyes.
AH: Fantastic book. Highly recommended for lovers of intelligent New Adult and angsty books with lots of hot and steamy scenes. What did you think?
Christal:This is definitely one of the better New Adult novels that I have read and I highly recommend it as well! I’m looking forward to Leah Raeder’s new books in 2015.
Thank you to Atria and NetGalley for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Jumble Your Genres Reading Challenge Schedule:
January – Young Adult
February – Contemporary
March – Urban Fantasy
April – Middle Grade
May – Dystopian
June – High Fantasy
July – Adult
August – Paranormal
September – Romance
October – Sci-Fi
November – Historical Fiction
December – New Adult
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