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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read!
'Love Lessons' is a thrilling book, and definately one which Wilson fans should read. The story is about a 14 year old girl named Prue who falls in love with her art teacher Mr Raxberry, or Rax. This book portrays the taboo relationship between teacher and pupil, and as a long- awaited book, it does not fail to disappoint!
Published on 10 Oct 2005 by Laura Hunter-Thomas

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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Morally inept.
I read this book when I was in my early teens and loved it. Re-reading it now at 18 I got a really big shock. Much more wise about the world (although still not very) than I was back then, I can see that this is one messed up book with worrying morals considering the age group it's directed at. It basically sends the message that there is nothing wrong with an older...
Published on 30 Mar 2012 by Nicola


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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Morally inept., 30 Mar 2012
This review is from: Love Lessons (Paperback)
I read this book when I was in my early teens and loved it. Re-reading it now at 18 I got a really big shock. Much more wise about the world (although still not very) than I was back then, I can see that this is one messed up book with worrying morals considering the age group it's directed at. It basically sends the message that there is nothing wrong with an older teacher reciprocating feelings a FOURTEEN year old student has for him. And not just any old student, but a vulnerable one who has led a sheltered life and had little social interaction and certainly no 'street smarts'. I definitely wouldn't let anyone younger than myself read this.

Futhermore, I found the main character, Prue, to be utterly unlikeable. She's a self-centered, arrogant little priss who thinks nothing of making fun of a boys (who obviously likes her) dyslexia. I know she isn't meant to be massively likeable but it got the point where it was just irritating and I was facepalming on a regular basis.

I can honestly say though that there were likeable characters like Grace and Toby, and I can never find fault with Jacqueline Wilsons writing in itself. As always, she's a good writer, but unfortunately the contents of this book left much to be desired.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bizarre!, 17 Aug 2009
By 
Z. OConnor "tantezoe" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Love Lessons (Hardcover)
As an avid adult reader, I was curious to try a Jacqueline Wilson book and sat down one wet Saturday to read Love Lessons. A good book is a good book, regardless of your age. But this was a real disappointment and when I finished the last page I actually uttered out loud to myself "What a strange and dodgy story!"

On the one hand, there are some excellent passages - Prue's awkwardness and isolation at her new school is described in vivid and raw detail and the way that her family dealt with the her father's sudden illness and its conseqences was very poignant and engaging. I really felt for the characters and their dilemmas.

I knew the book would deal with a friendship between student and teacher, but I was horrified that it was actually a reciprocal relationship - and that she was merely 14 years old!! That really threw me. Don't get me wrong, I love an old forbidden romance, but there are boundaries in terms of morals and taste, and the relevant chapters left me quite uncomfortable. More often than not, I skimmed over them a bit nonplussed.

While we all had a crush on a teacher at some point, and convinced ourselves that they might just reciprocate, I think in most cases we grew up to realise that we were very lucky they didn't. Any adult that is sexually drawn to a child of 14 is not crush material. What was Jacqueline Wilson - and her publisher - thinking?! There is no condemnation in the book of his behaviour - and there really isn't any reason given for this 20-somthing year old man with a wife and two kids to suddenly risk his family and job in the pursuit of an underage girl. Furthermore, when the school principal suspects a relationship, she suggests the girl leaves the school so that he can keep his job. Bizarre! A story like this is normally featured in the pages of Take a Break or the Daily Mail, and most readers would just dismiss the teacher as a sleazebag in need of a stint in prison and rehabilitation.

Jacqueline Wilson would have been far better off developing the story and fleshing it out further. Either Prue should have had her attentions spurned - a painful and embarassing turn of events for any teenage girl - or if he had reciprocated, it should have been clear in the novel that this was inappropriate. What a naieve 14 year old would want from such a relationship would be a lot more innocent than the intentions of a 20-something predator!

Off the top of my head, one of the best (funniest and bittersweetest) books I ever read about growing up and falling for an older guy is Elizabeth Berg's Joy School. I would be more inclined to put that in the hands of a teenager than this overwrought fantasy.
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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A disconcerting mixture of fantasy and reality, 30 Jun 2008
By 
LE Dewick - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Love Lessons (Paperback)
Love Lessons is another foray into the hormone-rushing world of the teenage girl and this time, Jackie really means business! Tackling a subject she herself has admitted to being 'difficult', Wilson has given herself a double-bubble helping of trouble by veering away from 'typical teens' like the delightful Ellie, Magda and Nadine; instead presenting us with Prudence, a girl with an unfortunate name, home life and wardrobe. Prudence is about as far away from the norm as you can get. We have, of course, been presented with children from dysfunctional families before (The Diamond Girls and The Illustrated Mum are prime examples of this) but by today's standards Prudence and her chubby sister Grace really are outsiders. Not only are they home-schooled by their bossy, domineering and old fashioned father, Bernard, they also live in virtual poverty - enduring an unpleasantly puritan life free of mod-cons, treats,and contact with the outside world. They are not free, however, of -horror of horrors - vile homemade outfits fashioned from fabric offcuts. This is perhaps the most extraordinary family set up we have been presented with so far, and when you know this is combined with the 'taboo' subject of a teacher-student relationship you know you'll be in for an interesting read.
And interesting Love Lessons is. It is a mixture of searing reality on one hand, and almost ludicrously naive fantasy on the other. First, the good stuff. The real stuff. The sense of shame, embarrassment and loneliness on Prudence' part is tangible throughout the book, and she is a very entertaining character. Considering her position socially and emotionally, she is a surprisingly outspoken and fiesty heroine, refusing to be put down by the predjudice she is subject to once she finally gets a true taste of the outside world. Wilson has a marvellous way of conveying commonplace emotions and thoughts through less commonplace situations and Love Lessons is a wonderful example of this. If the book had stayed at this level - focussing on Prudence and Graces' struggles adapting to a new environment and way of life I would deem the book to be excellent. It is excellent where the subject matter remains believable. It is where it veers off into the realms of fantasy that it really plummets in my estimations, and as this 'realm' is, unfortunately, the main focus of the book, this drop in standards in inevitable.
Looking at a teacher/pupil relationship is always going to be tricky but I honestly thought Jackie would have presented it better than this. The relationship between Pru and Rax is frightening. For the people who are going to be madly clicking the 'no' button (you know what I mean!) as they read this review, please. Be sensible. How on earth can you justify a reciprocal relationship between a man who is, realistically, in his mid to late twenties and a 14 year old girl? And not just any 14 year old girl but one who is in a vulnerable situation, and, of course, dressed in the attire of a seven year old? The underlying possibilities of this 'relationship' are so potentially sinister I am surprised more people have not picked up on it. Jackie could have handled the story in 2 ways to make it more realistic and less harmful. One option could have had Rax utterly horrified by Pru's underage advances and therefore spurn her. The consequences of this would have been painful and embarrassing, but a real 'lesson' for all those teenage girls crushing on their teachers. The second option could have been Rax returning Pru's advances with the real and extremely unpleasant motive emphasised, then little Pru hopefully running for the hills, taking her frilly offcuts, stripy tights and pigtails with her. Again, people who are going to accuse me of being cynical, please, GROW UP. In the real world, there is only one type of twenty-something man who would want to become involved with a 14 year old, and we all know the type I mean. And yet this relationship, and Rax himself, are never vilified at any point in the book. While the romance is never actively encouraged either, the way in which it is written is hardly a deterrent to the hoards of young females who eat up these books. Pru and Rax declare their love for one another,squabble over their affair in school and share tender, 'school sweetheart' style kisses that are so seemingly innocent they make the snogs in Dawson's Creek look like pornography! Let's again be honest with ourselves - twenty something men are physically mature, sexual beings with desires and needs. The smooching between Pru and her older man is misleading to the point of being dangerous. The fact that Rax was not dismissed or at least subject to a thorough investigation also annoyed me - especially when you consider the efforts the authorities now put in to ensure that dodgy customers are not given easy access into schools.
On the plus side this book makes raw emotions incredibly tangible and accessible, and the bookish but outspoken Pru is a truly intriguing heroine. These are the elements that warrant my 3 stars. One the negative side the message is alarmingly naive and positively dripping in sentimental fantasy - utterly unlike Wilson usually, in fact. Hopefully young ladies today will be savvy enough to know that this book presents a highly romantised example of a forbidden relationship, and not be tempted to do the same.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for young readers, 8 Mar 2011
This review is from: Love Lessons (Paperback)
My 11 year old daughter bought this a while ago and has finally got round to reading it. Having listened to her read the first chapter and then reading the summary on the back cover I became very uncomfortable with the content.
I have therefore read through the book quickly and am now at a point of wishing she had not bought it and hoping she will put it away till she is older. What most perturbs me is the relationship between the main character and a teacher. What is most disturbing is that the actions of the Headteacher are just not in line with current practice in schools and Wilson clearly has no idea of what really happens in these situations.
Whilst fiction is just fantasy the modern writer surely has some responsibilities given her target audience.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful +inapropriate, 20 Mar 2012
This review is from: Love Lessons (Kindle Edition)
i found this book very disturbing.i am not a fan of JW anyway but i absolutely HATED it! it tells a story of a 14 year-old girl falling in love with her art teacher.this would be okay if the teacher{who is married with 2 kids}didn't return those feelings!

I have to say that although it is aimed for 10 +up it is definatly too old for 10 years old-i am 10 myself.DONT READ THIS BOOK!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm still not that sure, 10 Feb 2012
This review is from: Love Lessons (Kindle Edition)
When I was younger I used to love reading Wilson's work and recently I sorted through my things and found the books that I loved the most by her; this, Diamond Girls and The Illustrated Mum. All these books were about troubled homes and things but the whole school concept was too much to handle. I got that book when I was around 13 and it felt wrong reading it, and at that age I used to read books for adults. Even reading it recently I felt strange about it, and now I'm 18. Maybe it's because I just can't relate with the main story or I didn't connect with Prue I'm not so sure. I loved the writing in it though, that's what drew me into finishing it every time, I also loved how the characters were written, especially her mum and Grace.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Inappropriate and unrealistic, 9 Aug 2011
This review is from: Love Lessons (Kindle Edition)
This book was very inappropriate. It concentrated mainly on Prue, a fourteen year old, and her relationship with her MUCH older art teacher, Mr Raxberry. It was silly and unrealistic that someone as old as he should "lie in bed every night and think about how we" (him and Prue) "could be together" Especially as he was married with two children. Plus, this may encourage teenagers with a crush on a much older person to feel the feeling was reciprocal.
However, some of the book was interesting, like Prue's feelings when her dad has a stroke, and her constant struggles at school. Her character, however, is not very likeable all the time. She is horribly mean to poor Toby in McDonald's, though he just has learning difficulties. Also she is cruel to Grace and her new friends, Iggy and Figgy, and shamelessly works to steal Mr Raxberry from his wife, Marianne and his two children.
All in all, I would only recommend this book if you are a much older reader and able to understand this.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Surprising... but not in a good way., 19 Jun 2009
This review is from: Love Lessons (Hardcover)
First and foremost, I do think it's good that Wilson touched on a delicate subject. Girls will be able to relate to it in the sense that we've all experienced having a crush on a teenager and whatnot. What I found incredibly surprising is that Wilson decided it would be appropriate to have the 14 year old main character's crush, a significantly older teacher, return the feelings! I skimmed this book through boredom before my younger sister (10 years old) read the book and, to be quite honest, I'm not sure I feel at all comfortable in the knowledge that young girls can read this sort of material. A much older guy kissing a 14 year old girl, telling her he loves her and wants to run away with her?!

Completely inappropriate, if you ask me.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read!, 10 Oct 2005
This review is from: Love Lessons (Hardcover)
'Love Lessons' is a thrilling book, and definately one which Wilson fans should read. The story is about a 14 year old girl named Prue who falls in love with her art teacher Mr Raxberry, or Rax. This book portrays the taboo relationship between teacher and pupil, and as a long- awaited book, it does not fail to disappoint!
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Parents BEWARE, 24 Jan 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Love Lessons (Hardcover)
Usual Jackie Wilson style story but with a disturbing twist. Relationship develops between main character and her teacher. Goes beyond a one sided crush from the young girl's point of view but without the adult being punished in anyway for what is really his paedophiliac behaviour. I feel that young teen readers need support to understand that the relationship portrayed is unacceptable as they book does not do this.
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Love Lessons
Love Lessons by Jacqueline Wilson (Paperback - 1 Jun 2006)
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