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Teach Me [Hardcover]

R A Nelson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2005
"Teach Me" invites readers inside an experience that fascinates everyone--an affair between a teacher and student--and gives an up-close-and-personal answer to the question: How does this happen? The hardcover edition of "Teach Me" was a Booksense Fall 2006 Kid's Pick, a TeenReads.com Best Book of 2005, and a selection for the 2006 NYPL Books for the Teen Age.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill (1 Sep 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595140840
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595140845
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,415,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


Nelson's vivid, hypnotic prose never falters . . . (Horn Book)Standout debut novel . . .(VOYA) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

R.A. Nelson lives in Madison, Alabama. "Teach Me" was awarded the Dona Vaughn SCBWI Work-in-Progress grant. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars So gripping! 4 Sep 2011
By Cerys93
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I loved this book, I was reading it until 2am and I found it really really hard to put down, I needed sleep but I would have gladly read through the night!

The wording and the emotions that were written into the story make it so gripping, and you find yourself entering the main character, Nine's world and you feel her emotions too.

Nine is a young woman who was drawn into a relationship with her teacher, but when he dumps her so bluntly and so out of the blue, she becomes determined to find out why he left her whilst trying to deal with the new emotions that come from the fact that she is completely heartbroken.

A really amazing novel, and even after I finished it, I found myself thinking about it for days, I just loved it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Adored Teach Me 29 Jun 2011
By LoBot
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Most of all, I really loved the main character - Carolina "Nine" Livingstone - she was not at all clichéd in describing her feelings, instead her unique take on things made the book interesting for me, eg. her references to space and weather in eloquently put ways.

In terms of the storyline, I think it was not the run of the mill love-at-first-sight realtionship, but built up the emotion between the teacher and student over the book. One example of the couple's unique charm is things like their love of Emily Dickinson poetry and the fact Nine is taller than Mr Mann. I think the story becomes heavily weighted on only telling the story of Nine and Mr Mann but this is well told, so it makes up for it.

Overall, I recommend this to teens or hopeless romantics, since the close scenes between the teacher and student are told with a lot of gut feeling, or people who like emotionally charged stories, as this one certainly has plenty of grit in places.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good for my project, bad for my brain. 6 Jan 2006
I purchased this book as I am currently working on a project at college concerning the role of the teacher in literature. Whilst it has helped me with my project in that it charts a sexual pupil-teacher relationship and allows reasonable lexical analysis of this, I dislike it intensely as a novel.
I am afraid to say that it uses what I would deem 'impact writing' that I seem to find in so many modern American novels - i.e. one word sentences, 'dramatic' chapter openings, etc. I do not personally enjoy this style of writing. The lexis throughout is rather uninspired and contains little description of anything. The plot becomes rather interesting towards the end, with the protagonist becoming more obsessed and frenzied. But I could not truly appreciate this due to the writing style.
It is not 'poetic' enough for me - it has a straightforward writing style and a no-nonsense attitude. If you enjoy a simple novel then this is for you. If not, go read some classics like 'Women In Love'.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  51 reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest and sometimes grotesque picture of controversial relationships between teachers and students 21 Oct 2005
By Teen Reads - Published on Amazon.com
R. A. Nelson's debut novel has certainly caused quite a stir since its publication in September. With its salaciously taboo subject matter (a doomed love affair between teacher and student) and an unrelenting pace that keeps readers gripped until the very last word, TEACH ME approaches the line of what defines groundbreaking, controversial YA fiction --- and barrels right through it. With plenty of passion, intensity and reckless behavior throughout, this tornado of a book illuminates a number of haunting life questions and shocking answers that will gnaw away at readers' consciences long after the final page has been turned.

Seventeen-year-old Carolina "Nine" Livingston is what most adults would call "a good kid." She excels in school, doesn't drink or do drugs, and gets along with her parents. She has one friend (Schuyler Green, a boy) whom she's known since grade school, and spends much of her time thinking about the universe and reading poetry. For most of her life, she has lived a fairly normal existence until the day she locks eyes with Mr. Mann, her English teacher --- the split second when everything changes forever.

From that moment on, Nine and Mr. Mann are inseparable. From the classroom to the bedroom, the two exchange more than their fair share of witty banter and clandestine touches (including Nine's virginity, when she is safely eighteen), until Mr. Mann's decision to end the affair with an abrupt "Everything has to stop." Naturally, Nine is heartbroken --- especially when she finds out that he is getting married to a girl she's never heard of before.

It is at this point that the novel gets interesting, albeit twisted. Aside from the shocking ending that verges on the unbelievable, TEACH ME's premise is not that far-fetched and poses a number of questions that are relevant to teens today. It presents an honest and somewhat grotesque picture of what is possible between a grown man and a young girl (however implausible to some more conservative readers), and illuminates what could happen when that connection gets out of hand.

Nelson's first novel is a mouthful to digest, and one that certainly should be taken seriously both as a crossover work of fiction and as a commentary on what's possible in the world today.

--- Reviewed by Alexis Burling
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Teach Me 28 Dec 2005
By Sarah Freebern - Published on Amazon.com
This is a YA novel that uses language beautifully, but has some issues in terms of plot. The writing is poetic and often hits the nail right on the head in terms of capturing emotions or moments. The relationship between Nine and her teacher is discussed in a very real, honest way, and I liked that Nine's emotions were the main focus of that aspect of the story. It's not afraid to be sexy, but the book is also much more interesting for placing the focus on Nine's bliss and destruction rather than on the nature of her relationship with her teacher (meaning it's not so much an Issue Book as it is a story about this girl's experience). There's some problems with that focus, too. The story is occasionally too melodramatic, and some of the plot points (especially those related to Nine's reactions to events in the story) are really unbelievable or portrayed as less bizarre than they are. That made empathizing with Nine difficult at times, and removed me from the story entirely at others.

Despite its flaws, I enjoyed this book and read it very quickly. I think it's worth reading, as long as you're willing to suspend disbelief now and then at times when you normally shouldn't have to.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Teach Me 9 Oct 2005
By Ronald A. Stribling - Published on Amazon.com
This book is truely amazing. The love they share is utterly breath taking. I reccommend it very much! In the beginning it's a little slow. The middle and ending parts kept me guessing each word I read. It's such a powerful book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool 13 April 2007
By Michelle H. - Published on Amazon.com
This is one of my favorite books, because it lifted me out of the rut of the ordinary teen novel. This was a book I found in a bin for 4 bucks. I was bored and I thought that it would be just another book to take my time to read. The truth is it pulls you into the story. All of the characters are interesting very few were cliche and all of them were rounded.

Some may find the plot "inappropriate" but if you are a mature enough reader, it should be OK, it doesn't urge the reader to jump on the first teacher they see. In fact the story is so smooth and linguistic it makes you forge the age difference of Nine and her teacher.

The only down point is that at a certain point of the novel, Nine's character changes and he plot gets a bit unbelievable at the the end, but Nelson handles it well enough and the reader isn't taken out of the fictional dream. It urges you to read on.

I felt the end was kind of so so compared to the rest. But I don't feel the end is worth forgetting the book,

Overall great book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best student/teacher book I've read so far! 28 April 2010
By Katie Dahlberg - Published on Amazon.com
I've read so many novels about student/teacher relationships, so I was a little skeptical about this one, but I just after the first chapter, I knew it was going to be different.

The entire story is told through Carolina`s, or Nine as she's nicknamed, point of view. She's probably one of the most unique and different characters I've ever read. Her thoughts aren't ever really focused on one thing. She's what you call a scatter-brain, but it works very well. Her story is full of completely off-topic ramblings, but it only makes her character much more entertaining to read.

It was one of those stories where I got so wrapped up that I'd actually start to feel. For example, when Mr. Mann, Nine's dreamy new poetry teacher, breaks up with her out of the blue, my chest literally throbbed for Nine. Another reason Nine was so different to read about- she didn't sit down and take it. After awhile, Nine's love and heartbreak for Mr. Mann turned into a full obsession. He hadn't given her an excuse for breaking her heart, and she won't stop until she gets one.

This isn't the story of a student/teacher relationship and how it came to be. This is a story about the aftermath of such. Though I felt some negativity towards both of the main characters, Nine and Mr. Mann, the book left me in a content with them, and their relationship.

It's not recent, but I definitely recommend it. I can guarantee you that it's the most diverse student/teacher story you'll ever read about, and it'll probably become your favorite as well!
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