I have read a lot of popular YA and NA lately. Some of the highly rated books in those genres certainly do earn their stars but in some cases, I have failed to understand the appeal of certain characters ( Travis Maddox, really??!! )
After reading Slammed by Colleen Hoover, which I loved by the way, I looked up more teacher/student stories. Besides the thrill of an obvious taboo subject, it felt like those books have less whining and more mature characters because one of the leads actually is an adult.
That is how I found Unteachable.
I stayed up really late to finish it and this is something I don't usually do. My sleep is sacred and nighttime reading is in the past.
This book left all the other NA/YA, I've read lately, in the dust. I loved the lyrical and flowing writing. I read the book like watching a movie. All the details, descriptions and feelings I literally saw and felt with characters.
“...You should love something while you have it, love it fully and without reservation, even if you know you'll lose it someday. We lose everything. If you're trying to avoid loss, there's no point in taking another breath, or letting your heart beat one more time. It all ends. That's all life is. Breathing in, breathing out. The space between two breaths.”
“You can call it love, or you can call it freefall. They're pretty much the same thing.”
About the characters. I love Maise. Life has not been kind to her and at 18 she is more mature and independent than other girls. She can handle almost everything but falling in love with the wrong man. (Well, unfortunately, Evan will not reach anywhere near my top ten heroes, for sure.)
My heart broke with Maise many times during the story and also in the end, or in the end I can picture yet to come after reading the last page.
The ending was my only issue with this book. OK, I had a teeny-weeny problem with Maise's drug dealing also, but anyway, I wish the book had ended differently. Still, a beautiful story with real, raw emotions.
Well done, Ms. Raeder, very well done for a debut novel!