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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Book Geek - Marvellous
Unteachable is a lyrical, intoxicating novel that creates an atmosphere of such feverish intensity you feel a little high, a little out of control, just by reading it. I fell into this story and got lost amongst the lights of the carnival, the smell of beer and sweat, and the MC's apprehension. I felt the pull of this story from the very beginning when Maise takes a ride...
Published 18 months ago by Emily May

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5
I don't know how I felt about this book in all honesty.
The whole teacher student thing made me think of Gabriel's inferno maybe that's why it's hard for me.
But I LOVED Macie she was just great LOVED the Start how she was just so out there.
The book was good.
I hope there's a book about Wesley he needs a happy ever after maybe do in college?
Published 15 months ago by Sherise louise


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Book Geek - Marvellous, 22 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Unteachable (Kindle Edition)
Unteachable is a lyrical, intoxicating novel that creates an atmosphere of such feverish intensity you feel a little high, a little out of control, just by reading it. I fell into this story and got lost amongst the lights of the carnival, the smell of beer and sweat, and the MC's apprehension. I felt the pull of this story from the very beginning when Maise takes a ride on that fateful rollercoaster at the carnival and her life starts to change forever. Because this book is a romance and the romantic aspect is the foundation of the story, but it's also about something else. I suppose it is really a coming-of-age tale. Of being a young woman balanced between childhood and the scary world of adults. It asks what it means to grow up. And if any of us ever really do.

Maise O'Malley is the star of this show and I loved her instantly. I didn't expect her to be so funny. She's wickedly sarcastic, she's shamelessly rebellious, she's not afraid of being more than a little crude at times. But, of course, she's so much more than all of that too. She feels more real that any of the NA protagonists I've met with recently, there's something genuine about the way she boxes her troubles up and locks them away behind doors with sexy, devil-may-care smiles. I feel like there's something known about pain here. All these NA novels I've read about girls with issues, girls running from dark pasts, girls who were abused... and none of them seem to capture that darkness, that melancholy of being screwed up for a very long time. There's something sadder about the way Maise brushes it off with a shrug and a joke about Freud, it affected me more than the melodrama of other novels. I don't know the author's story, but she certainly writes with a convincing flair that suggests some level of firsthand experience with the thoughts and emotions swirling away behind Maise's closed doors. I love it when an author writes something, a thought or a feeling, that you never realised was exactly how you felt at a certain time or in a certain situation until it was laid out before you in a book. Inexplicable sensations are suddenly explained and it's hard not to smile or laugh or cry along with the characters.

Raeder's writing was, for me, perfect. Atmospheric, pretty without quite hitting the purple end of the scale, just beautiful. Like this:

"I biked up to the water tower on the hill overlooking the prairie. Climbed the rust-eaten struts up to a crow's nest some stoners had hammered together out of Mississippi driftwood. It wasn't as hot tonight, and a restless wind raked through the grass, smelling of loam and barley. From here the carnival lights looked like fireflies swirling madly in place, trapped under an invisible jar. Just like me."

I especially love the use of past tense in this book, the way Maise tells the story from a present the reader is far away from reaching. She keeps talking about how "I didn't know back then" and "I wonder what would have been different had I made another choice that day" and I actually loved it. The hindsight makes the whole thing seem somehow tragically inevitable. It works. You know certain things are coming and, rather than dampen the tension, it heightens it an incredible amount. I was sat there with a pounding heart, knowing what was coming, and sometimes wanting to hide behind my hands and not watch what I knew would happen. This, combined with the film metaphors woven throughout, made for a stunning, exciting novel.

And the sex scenes were really hot. Just sayin'.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your average, ho-hum girl falls in love with teacher book. It's so much more than that., 3 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Unteachable (Kindle Edition)
So, let me just warn you, I'm not much of a reviewer, but I had to big up this book. I read quite a few books, particularly indie ones. Some are great, some are terribly sappy. Unteachable was beautifully written; it was gritty, raw and poetic. I wasn't really interested in another student/teacher romance, but I'm so glad I took a chance on this story. I highly recommend this book- read the sample, then one-click it. You won't regret it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't regret this one, 3 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Unteachable (Kindle Edition)
Fantastic story, so beautifully written. I was totally immersed in the story and the characters felt so real, you felt every high, every low right along with them.

I don't often leave a review, but Leah Raeder is a cut above the rest. I highly recommend this book - you won't be disappointed
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unconventional love story; not a comfortable read but a thoughtful one, 7 Aug. 2013
By 
S. Richards - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Unteachable (Kindle Edition)
This book fit my mood: introspective, slightly melancholy, and a touch bittersweet. I was engaged from page one, but I have to admit that this book's main trope is near and dear to my heart. I love an older man hero, and I especially love when that is combined with teacher/professor and the taboo of his student love interest. I know not everyone is down with that, and I actually prefer it if the hero is a professor and not a high school teacher, but when the element of forbidden love is front and center in a story, I'm going to gravitate to that story. It's just a kink of mine; the forbidden love, the secrecy, the illicit nature of the romance, the ambiguity of right and wrong, and the contrast of age and experience, I love all that.

This story is told in first-person from Maise's point of view. She's eighteen and about to start her senior year. There is sex in this story, and for me, it was subtle and forbidden eroticism, titillating for that very reason, but more than this erotic thrill of forbidden romance, the true pull of this story is Maise as a character. You may read this for the forbidden love, but Maise is the backbone of this story. It's really about her life, her pain, her loneliness, and her need to be loved. Her home life is dysfunctional, to say the least. The things she sees, the things she's put up with, and the things she's done are haunting.

And when Maise meets Evan, this man almost fifteen years older, golden and beautiful, sweet and kind, she free falls into an experience that changes her life. Yes, the nature of the relationship can be disturbing, and I did find myself dissecting Evan and his motivation. I got Maise's motivation, her daddy issues, her tendency to use and discard older men, but I found myself wondering about Evan and what he was getting from Maise in this relationship. Of course, her youth and innocence, strangely contrasted with experience and cynicism, attract him. Maise is sexy and eye-catching, beautiful and bold, but what really pulls him to her? Is it only sex and how she makes him feel?

And then I realized that, like with any relationship, we seek out someone who will complete some part of ourselves, a part that is broken or missing; a fragment looking to be whole. And while you may read this book and wonder who is taking advantage, if anyone at all, or even everyone in Maise's life, it is undeniable that she and Evan share something deeper than a taboo. What is right and wrong? Not one thing or person is all bad or all good. So where do you find that balance? How do you judge? I decided not to judge it, deciding instead to believe in Maise and watch as she grasped at love and let it fill her heart, wherever that might take her. Judge Evan all you want, but Maise... Maise is pure and heartbreaking. And while I thought the ending came together a little easily, I also thought it was romantic and hopeful. And it left me with a lot to think about.

UNTEACHABLE is a provocative read, very nicely written, and I thought the author's use of language was at times poetic, smooth and elegant. She uses some strikingly descriptive imagery, and it read more like literary erotica to me-- intelligent and sexy, disturbing but considerate in what it portrays. An unconventional romance, and definitely taboo in nature, this is a forbidden love that may be disturbing to some readers. But at the heart of this story is a brave girl, strong but needy, soon to learn a lesson about life and love, a lesson that only she can teach herself. Not a comfortable read but a thoughtful and beautiful one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful story, 1 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Unteachable (Kindle Edition)
To give a book 5 stars means it has to do something to me. Something that is different from other books that I have read in this genre.

It began "When your eighteen there's Not much to do in a Southern Illinois summer but eat fried pickles, drink tallboys you stole from you Mom, and ride the tilt-a whirl till you hurl. Which is exactly what I was doing the night I met Him. You can call it love, or you can call it freefall. They're pretty much the same thing!.

So I was sold.

The plot has been done before - a story of a teacher/pupil forbidden relationship, but what has Leah Raeder written that is so different? The prose, it was simply beautiful. It stood out and each sentence was smooth and evocative.

Maise is the captain of her own fate. Her childhood was not normal and boys of her own age bored her. To Maise they were like over sensitive car alarms. Her experience with boys was limited, her first time she didn't know it had happened, second time lasted seconds. That was it - until she met Him.

They met at the carnival, he kissed her in the back of his car, and then they had sex, slow languorous sex. All inhibitions lost. That night Maise knew him as Evan.

Then she ran.

Her first day of school she saw Him first - Evan became Mr Wilke - her class teacher.

So what made me give this book 5 stars. Well for me it was refreshing to read a book that I felt was like real literature. This was not a pretentious lyrical young adult story. It was much more. The prose was hypnotic and there was nothing mundane or boring about Leah Raeder's writing style.

Neither was it just a story about a teacher and pupil who fall in love. The author makes the reader feel how good it is to be alive, to learn to be the person you are and don't look at the world through rose tinted glasses.

I loved her characters. Maise was confident, witty and intelligent and sometimes you had to kick back and realize she was eighteen.

Evan was 32 - 14 years older than Maise and I loved that. Both had childhood issues and both thrown into adulthood by their dysfunctional families.

In the movies they would have their happy ending - they lose, they learn ,they love and they move on. But this is their life and there is no script. So what happens in the end to Maise and Evan?

Read it and see where their script takes them. I cannot recommend it enough.

Note that I have had to alter the quote taken from the book as Amazon apparently did not like the use of the F word despite it being in the book that they are selling!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forbidden romance at its best. Couldn't put this down!, 30 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Unteachable (Kindle Edition)
I love forbidden romance stories, and this one didn't disappoint.

When Evan and Maise meet they're just two strangers at the carnival, and they're very much attracted to each other. They have hot and steamy sex in Evan's car and then Maise walks away, sure that she'll never see him again.

So when she walks into her film class at the start of school imagine her surprise when the E. Wilke on her class schedule turns out to be Evan. Cue panic and heart-pounding tension!

It was just one huge car-crash after that, one that you know won't end well, but you can't look away from it. I was sucked into the book, and even though what they were doing was morally wrong, it wasn't illegal, and I loved the effect the relationship had on Maise.

The story is narrated by Maise, and she describes an unpleasant childhood. She didn't have much of a childhood at all. Her mother is a drug addict, selling herself for money, leaving Maise to fend for herself. She learnt at a young age that men are only after one thing, so she decided to play the game and treat men indifferently, she used them and didn't get involved emotionally.

Evan was different though, from the moment she met him she felt something. When she discovered he was her teacher, the taboo nature spurred her on, the sneaking around made it more exciting. It was more than that though, and they do have a relationship that is more than just sex. He encourages her to aim high and follow her dreams and their relationship is her haven in her otherwise bleak life.

I couldn't put the book down, I was just waiting for the moment the proverbial would hit the fan, and when it does it is spectacular. I didn't see it coming at all.

The fall out was devastating for Maise, but she is resilient and resourceful, and revenge is sweet! I loved how things came together, and the end had me in tears
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning!, 5 Aug. 2013
By 
Janey (Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Unteachable (Kindle Edition)
5 rollercoasting stars..

Unteachable has got to be the most captivating book I have read in a long time.

Maise O'Malley visits a funfair one night, and makes a decision to enter the Deathsnake rollercoaster's front car. She is jolted out of her petrified stupor by someone else entering the car...a guy..a hot guy!

"You're pretty brave. Must be a veteran, sitting up front." he said.
"It's my first time" I replied.
"Mine too" he smiled

Maise felt something she had never felt before, a connection. Their flirtations continued as they worked their way around the fair. This guy was different, but at the end of the night she left him..before he left her. Evan Wilke.

"Thanks for the abandonment issues, Dad. F*** you very much"

Maise struggles to enrol for a Film studies class that she desperately wants to attend. After great persistence, she enters the class to find her teacher is known to her. Evan Wilke.

This isn't you usual teacher/student tale. It is just so much more, justified purely by the beautiful writing of the author. The story pulled me into every situation, every emotion, every effing page.

Maise was strong, unloved, a natural, raw beauty, who's thoughts and functions belied her 18 years. Probably due to the train wreck of her existence. But what a fantastic character, and Irish too!

I absorbed this book internally, highlighting like a maniac, re reading pages just to enjoy how the prose organically flowed..beautiful!

I will be recommending this book with gusto...thank you Leah for a most excellent escape!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant., 11 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Unteachable (Kindle Edition)
This book is a great read. Almost as good as "A Different Blue". If you like this you should definitely give that book a try. The main characters in this book are very likeable. I kept hoping for a happy ending for all of them. I really enjoyed this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a well written book, 8 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Unteachable (Kindle Edition)
I bought this book on holiday based on a friend's recommendation and was NOT disappointed. The descriptive language and metaphors used really build the most spectacular images in the mind of the places that the characters find themselves in. For example, I felt that I could close my eyes and be walking along the fun fair with Evan and Maise.

The relationships in the book, and I don't mean only those between the main protagonists, were very touching and there was such a lot of emotion and grit written into the back story for each character. I loved Maise and her strength. Such a vivid character she made me smile and laugh out loud in places.

I won't spoil the story by going into detail but all I will say is that I cried, I laughed and I felt like I was on the roller-coaster with the characters! I can recommend this book very highly indeed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Insanely raw, perfectly sensual, 20 Mar. 2014
By 
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This review is from: Unteachable (Paperback)
Unteachable is such a hard book to review because, on the one hand, teacher / student relationships creep me the hell out and I don't find them the least bit sexy. But on the other hand, this is one intoxicating book that I couldn't tear myself away from.

This is a romance (and a steamy one at that), but it's also a coming-of-age story. It's about Maise finding out who she is, learning what's best for her and taking her first steps into an adult world. It's about her fighting to grow up, but also struggling to stay young. And it's about the ups and downs that come with staying true to your heart.

Maise is bitter, cynical and unabashedly blunt. She says exactly what's on her mind, swears like a sailor and is completely charged by sex. She's a loose canon on the path to self-destruction and what starts out as one more attempt to throw herself over the proverbial railing turns into something far more.

Maise has a lot of pain. Her father left and her mother is a drug addict who's not beyond pimping out her own daughter and stealing all of her money, which leaves Maise without any kind of role model in her life, or any sense of self-respect.

There are a lot of NA novels that feature messed-up heroines, but Unteachable really captures Maise's raw struggle and the growing darkness inside of her. This isn't a teen rebelling for the sake of rebelling, this is someone with real issues who's trying everything she can to escape, in any way she can.

There's a haunting wistfulness to Raeder's writing; a beautiful sense of serenity that echoes from her descriptions, coupled with gritty and crude characters that make for uniquely organic, melancholic prose.

This book is narrated in the past tense, which allows Maise to interject in her own story with ambiguous hindsight. This really helps create an almost addictive sense of anxiety, by both foreboding what's to come, but also leaving us with hope that things might just work out.

The romance itself left me mixed. As I mentioned, I really don't get the teacher / student thing and find it more creepy than anything. But I did like how this novel didn't try to justify it by making Evan only twenty-four, or something ridiculous, which a lot of novels that cover this subject seem to do. Instead, Unteachable thrives on how wrong the relationship is and explores the idea that the forbidden aspect is what keeps Maise and Evan going back to each other.

They don't try and ignore that he is her teacher, but instead love the thrill of mentioning it and testing their boundaries. Leah Raeder knows how to write steamy scenes, and for the most part the intense passion she was able to portray left me willing to gloss over the creepiness of the situation. It even made me forget how boring Evan was. And yes, I did find him boring. And also a little shady.

He wasn't a love interest I swooned over, but I don't think I was supposed to. I was, however, swooning over his scenes with Maise, and found myself rooting for them. In my opinion, it wasn't Evan we were supposed to be invested in, but his relationship with Maise. And that worked for me.

The one gripe I did have was that the intensely steamy parts took up a little too much of the book. There were a lot of very descriptive sex scenes that went on for pages and they ended up becoming a little repetitive. But if my only real issue is that there were too many hot moments, then this book has done pretty well.

Unteachable pushes your boundaries, making you re-evaluate how you define right and wrong. It hits you over and over with its desperately gritty storyline and characters that are intensely raw and well-captured. The story is charged with passion, emotion and gut-wrenching sadness, and the ending will leave you with a small, knowing smirk, that makes the whole journey worthwhile.

Favourite quote: "Part of falling in love with someone is actually falling in love with yourself. Realising that you're gorgeous, you're fearless and unpredictable, you're a firecracker spitting light and entrancing a hundred faces as they stare up at you with starry eyes."

Overall rating: 4/5 little birdies

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