Unteachable by Leah Raeder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Leah Raeder has just made the list of my top 10 authors with a single book. Unteachable is a cleverly written, surprisingly intellectual and definitely not your typical student and teacher seduction romance novel. If I could I would give it more than just a meager 5 stars. The story is about Maize meeting a stranger at the fun fair before school starts. They meet and there is an instant attraction, between the two strangers. That night they act on it, the seduction begins, but Maize being who she is, runs away after. Next day school starts and guess who is teaching film class?.
The story plot develops interestingly with the rest of the “cast” – Maize’s best friend Wesley, also fondly known as Weslopedia, the other girls in her class vying for the attention of the new hot teacher, but there is also her home life, or lack thereof that makes Maize seem years older than her 18 years. As the story unfolds it keeps you at the edge of your seat right up to the last page.
Are they able to see each other while she finishes high school, or will he wait for her? if they can’t wait will they be able to keep it a secret? Will Maize get caught up with her mothers drug and drinking drama, or will she be an exception and get out of the deep trench her mother digs follow her dreams?
Turning my attention to the new teacher Evan. Does he have secrets too, or is this attraction to a girl nearly 15 years younger than him, an accidental infatuation or the latest of many?
Leah weaves an enchanting story with the clever use of “film script” analogies and acting innuendoes throughout the book making it an incredible read, a literary fiction more than just another romance. What was great about the book is at no point, not even two pages from the end could I guess the final outcome.
The story is well thought out, intriguing, funny and sad at the same time. I loved Maize’s naïveté even though an old soul resides in her, the youthfulness and beauty she has inspires others to do things, some good, but also some with dark intentions. I will be waiting for more books from Leah outside the YA of course, I think we are going to see some spectacularly good writing, a very fresh approach and some damn fine talent just about screaming to be discovered.
With Unteachable she just achieved that goal. Well done!