Fans of John Green's Looking for Alaska as well as Lauren Oliver and Sarah Dessen will embrace this provocative debut novel, an exploration of taboo love set against the backdrop of a suburban high school.
Charlie, a senior, isn't looking forward to her last year of high school. Another year of living in the shadow of her best friend, Lila. Another year of hiding behind the covers of her favorite novels. Another year of navigating her tense relationship with her perfectionist mom.
But everything changes when she meets her new English teacher. Mr. Drummond is smart. Irreverent. Funny. Hot. Everyone loves him. And Charlie thinks he's the only one who gets her.
She also thinks she might not be the only one with a crush.
In this stunning debut, Jessica Alcott explores relationships-and their boundaries-in a way that is both searingly honest and sympathetic.
Guys, this is kind of hard to review. This book is taboo, the blurb tells you that. I think my expectations were a little NA, sort of. I didn't expect any sexy times but I thought the book would push the envelope a bit--and it did, but it also didn't.
Okay, let's see. Charlie, is in her senior year. She's kind of an introvert. She's young and unsure of herself. This plays heavily in her crush on her English teacher, Mr. Drummond. He's sickeningly smart, and funny. He is attractive, and I'm assuming fairly young. He's relatable and everything Charlie, never knew she wanted.
Mr. Drummond, aka "Hot Teacher," definitely had appeal. He was smart and funny. He had this crazy sense of humor that made him both seem like a jerk and a nice guy at the same time. It wasn't hard to see why anyone would like him--and they did. The girls pined over him something terrible. He was the talk of every classroom, from both the girls and the guys.
It was at tricky story. On the one hand it's this story about a teenaged girl who's crushing on her English teacher. That doesn't seem so outside of the realm of reality but--it's like I should feel wrong about it. She's young and impressionable, and I can't condone crushes on teachers. But, I get it. I got it. He was totally crush-worthy. I pretty much called that early on in the book. I was gushing over how much I liked him with Tika from Fangirl Confessions. We both were.
But then I got worried. I won't say much but the author had this story perfectly timed, and perfectly written. She played everything right. It definitely read realistically. That's what worked. This story really was real. It felt like how it would play out in real life. At least how I would imagine it, if the teachers were like Mr. Drummond and students were like Charlie.
This book is not sweet, it won't make you smile, and swoon. It will probably make you shake your head, and sigh a couple of times. But, it's not a cutesy romance about a girl falling for her teacher. It's a realistic story that explores friendships. I just realized I didn't talk about the best friend, but *sigh*, Lila I don't want to go there. She wasn't my favorite character. I didn't hate her but, my liking her is debatable.
This book explores friendships, relationships both parental and romantic. But, more importantly it's a realistic portrayal of an insecure girl, in a vulnerable place. If you don't mind a taboo story, that is more real than sexy, I'd recommend this. Be prepared for a slow building climax, but's expect a pretty decent read, that just slightly pushes the envelope, like a little bit.