** 3 out of 5 Stars **
**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD**
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.
This book had nothing but 5 star reviews and I thought from the blurb it was going to be amazing so I picked it up. I think I was disappointed. Let me say first that it's very repetitive. I felt like I was reading the same thing over and over until I hit 70% and then it picked up and took off. I like both characters. I liked the writing style. I'm not really big on the whole student/teacher thing, especially when the teacher is a lot older and that may be why I'm on the fence. Then again, throughout the book something seemed off to me. The entire book just left me feeling weird.
Maise is an 18 year old senior in high school. She had green eyes and dark hair. She is sarcastic, witty, and has a thing for movies. She is planning on film school after graduation. She drinks like a fish, has a thing for much older men and has some serious daddy issues. She's very naive. She sees the world from an 18 year old's point of view. She has a rough home life. He father isn't in the picture and her mother is a drug dealer who doesn't care about anyone but herself.
Evan is 32 and a teacher at the high school Maise attends. He's good looking, tone, blue gray eyes, 5'10 and sexy. He's been through a lot in his life. He just moved to town. He meets Maise and falls for her instantly. He's coasting through life.
They meet on a perfect summer night at a carnival. They end up on the same roller coaster sitting side by side. There is an instant connection. Throughout the rest of the night they get to know each other or what they want the other to see and they never exchange names. They end up having sex in his car and when he tells her he wants to get to know her maybe even start seeing each other she panics and runs.
This is my reaction to life sometimes...You just have to laugh when life throws a curve ball so big that it's literally the end of the world.
Fast forward 2 weeks later and she begins her Senior year of high school. Walking into her film class she spots Evan instantly. He's standing in front of the classroom looking every bit a teacher. She's shocked and so is he. He pulls her into the class telling her she can change classes or he can resign. He still wants to see her again. At the next class meeting he asks her to stay behind and she kisses him and he takes her home from school to be followed by an extreme make out session in the car.
He picks her up at an abandoned gas station close to school and they end up in a motel room. The sex scenes are steamy and there are many of them. They can't keep their hands off each other and even though it's wrong they don't want to stop. They begin seeing each other. They begin a forbidden relationship with secret touches in the halls, stolen meetings, school days ending in motel rooms, secret glances and falling in love. They make out in dark classrooms with the door locked behind them.
She meets a guy who becomes her best friend. His name is Wesley. He's a nice guy but he develops a thing for Maise and ends up kissing her at a party once they've both had to much to drink. Evan has to pick her up from the same party after she's had to much to drink. They aren't careful about their affair at all. The problem is neither of them really care. They take their relationship across state lines, spending the weekends in a friend's apartment in a city where they don't know anyone. There they can just be with each other. They can go out in public and be the couple in love that they are. At some point they both admit that part of the thrill is the age difference and the thrill of the student/teacher relationship. Neither of them know what will happen once he's no longer her teacher.
Their first weekend out of town is delayed when her mother arranges a meeting with a wealthy man. The guy is creepy. Her mom owes a lot of money and has stolen her college fund. The man wants something from her but not at that moment. She's collateral damage for her mother's bad decisions. After the meeting she goes to Evan and tells him everything. This is going to be an issue later on. The rest of the book goes on like this. They end up getting caught by another female student while pretty much going at it in his classroom. Wesley's mother realizes what's going on but doesn't say anything. He's a teacher but she's also 18 so other than loosing his job there isn't a lot that can be done. They continue messing around at school, she sneaks to his apartment when they can't wait for the weekend. They are both miserable, the effects of the secret wearing on them both. He tells her he's in love with her but she can't say it back. He gives her a Claddagh ring that she wear on her right hand facing inward meaning she's in love. He gives it to her because he never wants her to forget that he thinks of her even when he can't show it.
I'm not going to do the whole roller coaster--slash--falling in love metaphor. I didn't fall in love with you up there.
I guess I'm trying to say, what I couldn't say that night. You can call it love, or you can call it free fall They're pretty much the same thing. And I love you.
At about 70% this book takes off. She does her film project in his class. It's intense and comes across as a love letter. She begins with the roller coaster and end with telling him she loves him without revealing who he is to the whole class. If her's wasn't crazy enough. Wesley's video is about the same thing only it's about her. He's been filming her and stalking her. The entire video is about a student/teacher relationship but it never shows their faces. She's livid. He's filmed all of their stolen moments, moments he should have never seen. The girl who caught them makes a comment and she fights back and then go after Wesley. Evan tells her to leave his classroom and then she confronts Wesley after class. They are no longer friends. The girl from class is going to blackmail her with this new information, drugs for her silence and also not telling everyone that he slept with her too.
When she meets Evan to talk he seems relieved. He didn't like what keeping their secret was doing to them. He's leaving the school and now they can be together. He wants her to move in. She ends up staying the night with him but then leaves the next morning quietly ending it and not coming back. After a week of texting, calling and emails he finally shows up at her door where she officially breaks up with him.
HUGE BOMB ABOUT TO DROP...
She finally gives up and goes after him only to find out that his name isn't Evan it's Eric. When she confronts him he looks horrible. You can tell he's not handled the break up well. He tells her the truth. His name is Eric. He had a relationship with another student at another school and it didn't end well. He ended up getting the girl pregnant but she lost the baby. He tells her they should take some time apart and she gets angry. She sees herself as just another young student he can sleep with. She doesn't see it from his point of view. I was angry at first but as time went I understood that he never meant to fall in love with her but it has nothing to do with her being a student. He wants a future with her. She leaves. When classes resume after Christmas break his classroom is dark and the door locked. When she shows up at his apartment it's vacant and he's just gone.
Months pass and life slowly returns to normal. She's miserable but making it. She and Wesley slowly become friends again. She has removed the ring he gave her but keeps in her pocket at all times. He's never far from her mind either. She eventually gives up and ends up sitting on the hood of his car at his new school waiting for him. He's surprised to see her. They end up at his apartment. She leaves without anything happening but he wants her to come back for the weekend. They pick their relationship up where they left it. She tells him she's going to LA for school and asks him to come with her. He doesn't tell her no but he doesn't say yes either. So they are together but there is nothing set in stone for the future.
Graduation comes and goes, loose ends are tied up and her plane leaves in a week. She spends her final days with Evan. Two days before her plane leaves she demands an answer. This causes a fight and she walks out. When he finds her she tells him if he's not on that plane with her it's over. When he doesn't respond she leaves for good. She's tired of waiting on him and she reschedules her flight for that night and boards the plane. Someone sits next to her but she doesn't look at him. Right as the plane is about to take off the guy next to her speaks and when she turns around it's Evan. Fade to black...that's where the book ends. There's no epilogue, there's no nothing...
3 Stars is the best I could do. The end of the book was 5 stars for me but up to the 70% mark I was bored and I skimmed...a lot. It was about 1 star in my opinion. I hated the ending. I wanted more. I wanted to know what happened in LA. I felt like the book was finally coming to head and then it just stopped without warning. I hate it when that happens and for me it takes away from the book and because of that it looses stars. If you're looking for a book about a student/teacher romance then this book may appeal to you. It has great reviews and you may enjoy it. It just wasn't for me.
My Evan / Maise
"What are you doing?"
"Being in love."
"I'm not over you. I dream about you every night. I watch that f***king video over and over just to hear your voice. Does that make you happy? Is that proof I cared?"