BOOK REVIEW – Unteachable by Leah RaederUnteachable by Leah Raeder
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What a hot and steamy read!

When I first started this book, I didn’t know what to expect. The forbidden love scenario has been so overplayed lately that it’s becoming difficult to decipher one title from the next-but Unteachable had something that made it glow fluorescent among all these other dim works: Passion and raw, gritty writing. There are many times when an author will take a risk and write with an unusual style, thus either making the story stand out or fall flat on it’s face. In Unteachable, it immediately draws your attention on the first page, piquing your curiosity, encouraging you to read more…even if you don’t know how you feel about it. Soon you’re waist deep in the story and so far gone without even realizing it. You don’t know where all the time has gone, but you just don’t care. That’s the mark of a good author.

Mr. Wilke says I’m both cynical and wordly for my age. I choose to take them both as compliments.

Maise is a straight shooter. She says what she feels and isn’t ashamed to do so. Brought up in the most unfortunate of circumstances, Maise has always had to fend for herself and was forced to grow up at an early age. Who wouldn’t be cynical when one older man after the other made passes at you after screwing around with drugs and your mother-in no particular order. Life hasn’t been fair, so why should she?

I’m not going to do the whole rollercoaster/falling in love metaphor. I didn’t fall in love with him up there. Maybe I fell in love with the idea of love, but I’m a teenage girl. This morning I fell in love with raspberry jam and a puppy in a tiny raincoat. I’m not exactly Earth’s top authority on the subject.

When the opportunity for a real chance at something…special presents itself, Maise panics and runs the other way. Little does she know that she is running from fate, a moment where two people who are irreparably broken find each other in an attempt to face their fears. Funny, they are both running from their fears, but by meeting each other and participating in a secret love affair, they are staring their fears right in the face. They just don’t know it yet.

Somewhere in the universe, two hearts reached out and connected.

I loved Evan. Mr. Wilke. Whatever you want to call him. He was so sweet, kind, vulnerable, and caring. He’s not perfect-far from it, but he has embraced his imperfections and molded himself into a beautiful, nerdy man worthy of love. The entire book he treats Maise with nothing but respect, and I loved him for it. Everything he said was worth highlighting. Even his naughty whispered nothings in her ear lol.

All of this came from one night. If I hadn’t gone to the carnival, you would’ve looked at me like any other student when I walked into your class. And that made my heart ache, too-the thought of how much happiness lay scattered across the universe, unrealized, in fragments, waiting for the right twist of fate to bring it together.

I think what I enjoyed most about this book was the deep meaning hidden throughout. Sure, there was grit rubbed into each and every page, but between the grime, there was almost always something beautiful hidden between the lines. I stopped to think on this last quote, because I feel that way every day-what if I hadn’t done this? Would I even be here right now? What would I be doing? So, to say I enjoyed the dialogue would be an understatement.

Without further ado, I will explain my rating. I couldn’t plausibly give this book a 5, because in reality, while I enjoyed this story immensely, I did get a little depressed for a good portion in the middle. I felt heavy from the outside circumstances suffocating Maise and Evan’s little world, and I felt like I wanted to run to the fridge and grab a tub of chocolate chip cookie dough and stuff my feelings into a hole until the ache went away. There was a lot of good in the story: like Evan’s sweetness, Maise’s brutality in this harsh world, Wesley in general-he was a friend that Maise needed desperately. There was also a lot of bad: her mother, the betrayal that was sure to come from someone, the heaviness of a hidden love affair…secrets can swallow you whole. But none of the dreariness in this story should deter someone from reading it-it’s the negativity in the story that pushes for something beautiful to unfold, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with rising from the ashes.

So, overall, such a fun, unexpected read. I would recommend it to everyone around me. Suit up for rude and crude-but the absolute best kind.

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