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Unteachable Paperback – 23 Oct 2014
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Praise for Unteachable:
"Lyrical, vivid, and poignant, Unteachable is one of best forbidden romances I've ever read." (Lauren Blakely New York Times bestselling author)
"Unteachable infuses the complicated dynamics of forbidden sexual tension and untamed passion, all while managing to break your heart. Easily one of my favorite reads." (Gail McHugh New York Times bestselling author)
"With lush, haunting prose, deft storytelling and scorching sensuality, Leah Raeder weaves a love story that obliterates convention. The best book I’ve read this year." (M. Pierce bestselling author of the Night Owl Trilogy)
"Leah Raeder's writing is skillful and stunning. Unteachable is one of the most beautifully powerful stories of forbidden love that I have ever read." (Mia Sheridan bestselling author of Archer's Voice)
“Unteachable is a lyrical masterpiece with a vivid storyline that grabbed me from the very first page. The flawless writing and raw characters are pure perfection, putting it in a class all by itself.” (Brooke Cumberland USA Today bestselling author of Spark)
"With an electrifying fusion of forbidden love and vivid writing, the characters glow in Technicolor. Brace yourselves to be catapulted to dizzying levels with evocative language, panty-blazing sex scenes, and emotions so intense they will linger long after the last page steals your heart." (Pam Godwin New York Times bestselling author of Beneath the Burn)
"A simply stunning portrayal of lies, courage and unrequited love. Raeder has a gift for taking taboo subjects and seducing us with them in the rawest, most beautiful way." (S.L. Jennings New York Times bestselling author of Taint)
"Unique and poetic. You can feel every forbidden touch and taste every delicious kiss between these characters, and like them, you hunger for more. Read it and become immersed in Raeder’s brilliant writing. You won’t regret it." (Mia Asher, author of Arsen)
Praise for Cam Girl:
“Raeder’s beautifully broken characters are so full of life that they leap off the page and demand that the reader pay attention to them…it’s a must read for anyone wanting a sexy deep dive into a tangled psyche and a difficult life.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
"Cam Girl is a beautiful exploration of gender and sexuality that begs readers to question how well we know those closest to us, including ourselves. Raeder's trademark sensual lyricism is in full effect here, but it's the fraught yet tender relationship between Vada and Ellis that will have you glued to the pages until the oh-so-perfect ending." (Dahlia Adler, author of UNDER THE LIGHTS)
About the Author
Aside from writing and reading, Leah Raeder enjoys video games, fine whiskey, and the art of self-deprecation. She lives in Chicago. Visit her at LeahRaeder.com.See all Product description
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For me, the best thing about this book was the writing style. I realise that the poetic, dream sequence-like writing is never going to appeal to everyone, but for this story it worked. It created the impression that the heroine, Maise, was permanently living in a dream, rose-coloured glasses and all.
The plot, girl has one-night-stand with man who turns out to be her teacher, isn’t the most original (Pretty Little Liars, anyone?) but Elliott Wake made it his own and gave it a creative twist. However, it was predictable and cliche at times. I could see the ending coming a mile away. The author could have taking his time a little bit more towards the ending of the book, which did feel slightly rushed and sloppy.
Both main characters were so imperfectly flawed which was very refreshing. I don’t think the author had the intention of making either character particularly likeable, but rather a reflection of how imperfect we all are. However, I couldn’t help but root for Maise O’Malley throughout the entire book.
I loved Maise’s character. She was pretentious, with a side of superiority complex, but also intelligent and caring. Evan is someone I would absolutely despise if I ever came across him in real life. And for this reason, he worked so well as ‘the teacher’ in this book. Some of the side characters were a bit bland, boring and unrealistic, but I’ve never read a book where I liked everyone.
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
This was really hard for me to rate because it was actually, like, a brilliant book. Just - really well written and engrossing and engaging and the overall quality of it should get it five stars alone.
But but but.
I just couldn't connect with the characters *sad face*.
I know this is an it's-me-not-you thing because obviously no one else had any problems connecting with Maise and Evan. But, the fact that I couldn't connect meant that their love scenes? Didn't do it for me. Their situation? I wasn't bothered. Their angst? Sorta annoyed me. And it is so frustrating for me to sit here and realise that this book is sort of incredible and I can't fully appreciate it because I couldn't drum up an affinity for the characters.
I'm going to try and be objective about this.
Unteachable deserves all the hype that it has received. Like, hella.
Firstly. The writing? Woah.
"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 believe Leah Raeder once described her own writing as "pretentiously lyrical" and that is a completely accurate description but it actually really works. There's only a certain type of fiction that can make pretentiously lyrical work; this is also true of certain types of writers. Maggie Stiefvater is one of these writers. Her books, the Raven Cycle, is an example of this certain type of fiction. Leah Raeder and Unteachable are another example. Even though the two sets of writing are pretentiously lyrical in completely different ways.
But yeah. What I'm trying to say is that Leah Raeder does with her writing what people like Tahereh Mafi epically fail at. So, the writing is incredible.
The plot is simple yet effective: Girl meets boy. Girl sleeps with boy. Girl leaves boy. Girl pines for boy. Boy turns out to be her teacher. They get it on. Repeatedly. Things start to go to s**t. Formulaic and simple. Also, very effective. I think the fact that the story is so realistic helps us engage with it.
How many of us, at eighteen, had a thing for one of our teachers? How many of us, at eighteen were sexually aware enough that given half the chance we probably would have gone along with it. I remember "that" teacher for me: He was the P.E teacher. He was young, he was beautiful, he was funny and he gave a s**t about us and given half the chance I would have jumped his bones.
This is something that is happening all over the world. But instead of making this about the teacher abusing his position of authority, Raeder makes this a story about two genuinely messed up people trying desperately to pull some happiness into their lives; trying to claw out a hand-hold for themselves in the world. I never once felt like the relationship between Maise and Evan was unequal because they were both equally infatuated with each other.
In fact, Raeder gives us quite a few gritty topics in this book and then gives us a completely different way of looking at all of them: Maise's drug ruined home. Wesley's single parent home. Hiyam's privileged life. Nothing about this book is "typical."
This book deserves five stars. Because I'm emotionally stunted, I wanted to give it three. I settled on giving it four.
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