Synopsis: "I met him at a carnival, of all corny places. The summer I turned eighteen, in that chaos of neon lights and cheap thrills, I met a man so sweet, so beautiful, he seemed to come from another world. We had one night: intense, scary, real. Then I ran, like I always do. Because I didn’t want to be abandoned again.
But I couldn’t run far enough.
I knew him as Evan that night. When I walked into his classroom, he became Mr. Wilke.
I don’t know if what we’re doing is wrong. The rules say one thing; my heart says screw the rules. I can’t let him lose his job. And I can’t lose him.
In the movies, this would have a happy ending. I grow up. I love, I lose, I learn. And I move on. But this is life, and there’s no script. You make it up as you go along.
And you don’t pray for a happy ending. You pray for it to never end."
"And that made my heart ache, too-the thought of how much happiness lay scattered across the universe, unrealized, in fragments, waiting for the right twist of fate to bring it together."
I was super excited to be reading this book. For several reasons actually! First off, I loooove forbidden romances, so a teacher-student story was right up my alley. Second, I have only heard great things about this book. So clearly, it had to be a great book.
But it wasn't. At least not for me.
Don't get me wrong, the book was good, but there were just too many issues for me that I could call it a great book.
We meet Maise, the heroine of this book, who seems to know what she wants in life and doesn't take to it lightly. She's very outspoken, provocative even and lets us know pretty quickly how shitty her life has been so far (with a drug-addicted mom that's also dealing, I completely understand). Growing up with no father, she quickly felt herself drawn to older man and tells us how she has already been with several older men because the younger guys her age just don't do it for her.
That was the first thing that kind of bothered me. I'm not against age differences in a relationship, but the way she described it, it felt highly weird to me, like she wanted to be a grown woman sleeping with older men, while she's still a teenager. 18 to be exact. I have to give her the fact that she does sound more mature than other people her age, but the overall tone of her voice, the way it was written for me, was just a little too much. Yes, she's provocative and describes openly what she wants, again usually things that don't bother me, but if my mind is drifting off to a young girl that's walking around with barely anything on, throwing herself at older man, that just doesn't work for me, I'm sorry.
Throw Evan Wilke in the picture. An older guy that Maise meets at the local fair. She instantly puts him with all the other older guys that she's been with, shutting off her emotions and living the shell life she's grown so accustomed to during her interactions with older men. It becomes apparent soon that something about him is different for her. Not that she would ever admit that out loud. She's too proud and too stubborn to let her guard down. When she then finds out he's her new teacher, things get all the more awkward.
And awkward they did get for me as well. I already mentioned the age difference in this book. Maise is 18, Evan is 32/33. Everybody has their own opinion on if that's good or not, but I think when you write a book about that topic, alot of it is about how you convey those two as people and how you bring the relationship to life. And that was the part that didn't work for me. I didn't feel anything emotionally and couldn't connect with the characters at all. I mean, what's it say when I liked the mom of Maise's best friend most out of all those characters?
I also was confused as to how Maise addressed Evan throughout the book. She did call him Mr. Wilke a lot, which again, didn't do it for me. Her, as a teenager still, calling him Mr. Wilke, in all kinds of situations felt highly uncomfortable. My mind made up that image of a 40-50 year-old teacher right then and there. I could not picture Mr. Wilke as a early thirties person. Maise does start calling him Evan eventually, and with Evan I CAN imagine that hot early thirties teacher, but not with Mr. Wilke.
On a side note, that whole mob theme in between just didn't make any sense to me...it felt too much.
What I really liked about the book though was the ending, like the last 30 pages. It all of the sudden had heartbreak, love and friendship in it and you started to feel. Too bad it was too late for me to really get to enjoy those feelings.
And there was one quote in the book that really made me think of myself:
"It made me think how when I walk around with headphones on, my whole life becomes this music video."
So overall I liked the book, but there were too many things that didn't sit right with me, so!
That's it for now!
Goodbye, book lovers :)