I read a paperback version of Unteachable as a part of my Exploring Erotica project.
Genre: Adult & contemporary fiction, Erotica
Publisher: Atria Books
Originally published: July 27th, 2013
Pages: 320 (paperback)
Audiobook length: 9 Hours 49 Minutes
Blurb by the publisher:
Maise O’Malley just turned eighteen, but she’s felt like a grown-up her entire life. The summer before senior year, she has plans: get into a great film school, convince her mom to go into rehab, and absolutely do not, under any circumstances, screw up her own future.
But life has a way of throwing her plans into free-fall.
When Maise meets Evan at a carnival one night, their chemistry is immediate, intense, and short-lived. Which is exactly how she likes it: no strings. But afterward, she can’t get Evan out of her head. He’s taught her that a hookup can be something more. It can be an unexpected connection with someone who truly understands her. Someone who sees beyond her bravado to the scared but strong girl inside.
That someone turns out to be her new film class teacher, Mr. Evan Wilke.
Maise and Evan resolve to keep their hands off each other, but the attraction is too much to bear. Together, they’re real and genuine; apart, they’re just actors playing their parts for everyone else. And their masks are slipping. People start to notice. Rumors fly. When the truth comes to light in a shocking way, they may learn they were just playing parts for each other, too.
Smart, sexy, and provocative, Unteachable is about what happens when a love story goes off-script
I’ve been on the search for good adult fiction and erotica through my Exploring Erotica Project that’s been going on for a few years now. Around my birthday last year, I ordered a big bunch of erotica novels that were recommended to me in the comment section of one of the first Exploring Erotica videos I posted on YouTube. That is how I came across Unteachable and I was immediately intrigued by the story and the good reviews.
One of the first things I noticed that made me instantly like Maise as the main character was how strong and funny she was. Having read quite a few erotica novels by now, I feel like it’s a way too common thing to put young and inexperienced characters in these stories as sort of damsels in distress, and honestly, I’m not a fan.
When it comes to stories of love and sex, I much more enjoy experienced and strong characters that stand up for themselves. Maise, although she comes from a problematic upbringing, she is a very strong and passionate character. She’s very aware of her femininity, sexuality, and the power that comes with both.
I was worried that I would see the overly dominant and submissive character tropes when I saw that the story was about the relationship between a teacher and a student, but it didn’t have that.
Both characters are quite young(18 and 32), and the age difference between them doesn’t make the relationship between the characters uncomfortable and weird.
It’s more the story of an inconvenient setting of two young people that find themselves attracted to each other and trying to find out how to rightly maneuver their way through the jungle of love, lust, and judgment.
Something that adds to the depth of the characters is the fact they do carry each of their own demons into the relationship they start and that complicate things, as those pesky past demons tend to do. This makes it into a more realistic story.
Talking about realistic; the sex is very well written and fairly graphic, and there’s quite a lot of it, so this one is not for those readers who’re looking for “clean romances”. I really appreciated the erotica parts of this story. I thought it was well balanced with the rest of the story.
Unteachable is also a sort of coming of age story as well. It has the elements of worry and uncertainty about making big life choices, which is something we all can relate to on some level.
I think that this book also does a really good job of portraiting that slightly unhealthy obsession that sometimes happens when falling in love.
These characters and their relationship was interesting to observe as it grew and changed.
The secrecy and potential drama that comes with this forbidden relationship also make this story into a pageturner that’s hard to put down.
Unteachable is a breath of fresh air in a genre that really needs exactly that, and more awesome storytellers like Elliot Wake (formerly known as Leah Raeder).
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