Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hot for teacher

I'll admit, this got started as an internal rant about the lazy thinking of book jacket designers.  C'mon, a book about a teacher/student sexual relationship* and all you can think to do is put an apple on the cover?  I doubt anyone's brought an apple to their teacher in over a hundred years, and even then I'll bet it never happened that often.  Nowadays it's probably illegal.

But enough of this -- you want the books!**  I've only read the Burgess (thumbs up! both for the stark, hilarious and awful honesty of the story and for Istvan Banyai's gorgeous cover art), so I'm using the publishers' annotations.

Josh Mendel has a secret. Unfortunately, everyone knows what it is.

Five years ago, Josh’s life changed. Drastically. And everyone in his school, his town—seems like the world—thinks they understand. But they don’t—they can’t. And now, about to graduate from high school, Josh is still trying to sort through the pieces. First there’s Rachel, the girl he thought he’d lost years ago. She’s back, and she’s determined to be part of his life, whether he wants her there or not.Then there are college decisions to make, and the toughest baseball game of his life coming up, and a coach who won’t stop pushing Josh all the way to the brink. And then there’s Eve. Her return brings with it all the memories of Josh’s past. It’s time for Josh to face the truth about what happened.

If only he knew what the truth was . . .

A teacher is supposed to impart a love of learning and a thirst for knowledge. It’s a bit different with Ms. Lori Settles. All the kids are talking about how hot she is–and she is especially interested in Ryan Piccoli. When she starts giving Ryan extra attention, he’s feeling more than happy–at first. He’s used to being the class clown, but really he’s a loner. One day after school, the friendship with Lori Settles goes farther than he ever expected. She’s his teacher. She’s at least twice his age. Intimacy with a teacher is wrong, yet it feels so good in every way. Soon, Lori is making demands and Ryan begins to feel overwhelmed, but Ryan refuses to even admit anything is going on. Something immoral is going on and before too long the choices made will change lives forever.

What happens when a high school student and her teacher cross that line?

Teach Me by R. A. Nelson is a powerful debut novel that readers will not be able to put down. From the very first page, Nine speaks in a voice that is at once raw, honest, direct, and unusually eloquent. "There has been an earthquake in my life," she says, inviting you inside an experience that fascinates everyone-an affair between teacher and student-and giving a personal answer to the question: How does this happen?

R. A. Nelson's strong writing is paired with a story we all want to hear, resulting in a novel that will speak to every teenager. A novel about a love so intense that the person you're with becomes your world, and when you lose that person, you lose your world.

I mean-I like girls. I get on well with them. And I like sex. Not that I've had all that much experience of it-not with another person being in the room at the same time, anyway. I just can't somehow put the two together. I can be getting on really well with a girl but as soon as I get an inkling that there might be a chance of anything happening, I just freeze up. It's scary.

Everything you never wanted to know about sex and boys -- but probably should.

Dino, Jonathan, and Ben have got some problems, mostly with Jackie, Deborah, and Alison.
Dino's girlfriend Jackie, the most beautiful girl in school, drives him mad with lust, but won't go all the way and relieve Dino of his desperately unwanted virginity.

Jonathan likes Deborah. She's smart and funny and she makes him feel very sexy, but she's kind of plump and his mates won't let him hear the end of it.
Ben's been seduced by Alison, the pretty young drama teacher at school. And what seems like a dream come true is actually making him miserable.
Award-winning author Melvin Burgess has written a daringly honest and often hilarious account of contemporary teenage life, and the ups and downs that surround "doing it."

*Some may quibble over the word relationship in this context -- I definitely do not mean to imply that these relationships are normal, healthy ones or that the sex is consensual.

**Again skewing from this month's romance literature theme -- I did not set out to be the nemesis to old-school romance, guys!  It just sort of keeps happening...


  1. I've read "Teach Me" and guys, it's good. I also want to bring up the Pacey and his teacher storyline from the first season of Dawson's Creek (which you can get from the library!). It's ridiculous (in a good way).