review: ‘Unteachable’ by Leah Raeder

5 stars

Be prepared for a fast paced, fucked up and tantalisingly delicious ride. This book was twisted, in the best way.

I just need to put out there that my favourite book of last year – Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma – was about an incestuous relationship between two teenage siblings, and this one is about an equally taboo relationship between a teacher and a student. What does this say about me? Honestly, I’m not sure I wanna know. But what I do know, is that everyone should read this novel regardless.

Leah’s style of writing was so unique, so lyrical, unlike anything I have ever read before. I genuinely felt like I was in Maise’s head the whole time, living moments through her eyes and mind, as vividly if I was experiencing them myself. To be able to write as raw as this, that’s some kind of special.

In enjoying this novel as much as I have, this doesn’t mean I am in any way condoning relationships of this kind in everyday life. This is after all a novel, and I am fully aware of that. But I feel that the way this novel approached this relationship, the way it was written was broached so authentically, so full of passion and so shockingly aware of the boundaries it was breaking, had me hooked early on.

Maise could be a bit full of herself at times. So you’re a total babe – we get it. I’m not sure I needed to hear it so often. You look great without makeup, you’re naturally pretty, ‘not like other girls’, less of this please. In saying this, she was tough, unapologetic and knew she was a bit of a bitch, but owned it, and I liked that about her. Mr. Evan Wilke is ridiculously hot. Young at heart, a bit moody, and at times, a tortured soul, and that’s enticing. There is an aura of mystery surrounding him throughout, and this just added more depth to the whole secretive, wrongness of the whole affair, and I liked that.

I wasn’t sure about how I felt towards Evan at the end of the novel. A huge part of his past is revealed to us as readers, and to Maise, and still now I’m not sure about how my attitude towards him has changed because of this revelation. I’m still questioning his relationship with Maise because of this fact. But let’s just say I was satisfied with the ending.

There’s quite a few explicit sex scenes in this novel. In fact they make up a good chunk of it. It didn’t seem to matter much to me though, as it didn’t take away from the side plots and other stuff going on, and put simply – they were pretty great. As mentioned earlier, Leah has such a lyrical way with words, and these well written scenes aided her in creating the smoky, intoxicating, hazy atmosphere of the moments that Maise and Evan create together.

I enjoyed this so much I’ll probably read it again in the future, it’s just too good to pass up a second time around. There’s the fair bit of angst, it’s got interesting sub plots, but mainly this novel is just hella sophisticated and sexy. Read it.

Thanks for reading!

sign off heartJess


4 thoughts on “review: ‘Unteachable’ by Leah Raeder

  1. Haha! I don’t know what it says about me either that I wasn’t bothered by Maise’s relationship with Mr. Wilke and that the taboo is why I wanted to read the book. I enjoyed it too.


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