Teach Me by R.A. Nelson
Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: March 22, 2007
Summary: Teach Me invites readers inside an experience that fascinates everyone—an affair between a teacher and student—and gives an up-close-and-personal answer to the question: How does this happen?
My Review: Dangerous and unexpected, Teach Me, presented a well-written situation of a wrongful relationship between a teacher and his student. We've all had crushes once in a while on someone we shouldn't be day dreaming of. But, when it reaches the next level, that's when risky consequences are unveiled. This is the case with Carolina (also known as Nine), when she finds herself drawn to Mr. Mann, her inexplicably, intelligent English teacher. As a teacher, his style was intriguing enough to bring Nine to an open stance with poetry.
But, a secret lover? Eh. I never really understood why she was so fond of him. Yes, he was hard to read and of course the chase and thrill could be quite exciting. However, his bland personality didn't really prove why she decided to play this illicit game. Besides my personal feelings towards Mr. Mann, when he abruptly ends the relationship with her, I actually felt sorry for her. And then she goes and acts like an obsessed girl who could commit anything just to be with him. Instead of just moving on and thinking logically, her behavior made her into an ugly person that lost all of my sympathy.
The novel takes a turn where it was hard for me to connect with the characters. The only sane person probably would be Nine's best friend, who I found to be a quirky goofball that would be perfect for her. Her fanatical behavior caused me to shake my head a lot of the times, but I was also glued to my seat wanting to know what she was going to do next. Love can sometimes make us do crazy things so I knew something major was going to happen. All in all, I enjoyed reading non-stop from beginning to end. Even through the flaws, R.A.'s writing ability contributed an interesting read about a controversial affair, which sadly goes on in reality as well. I look forward to picking up more works by him.
R.A. Nelson is the author of the novels Teach Me, Breathe My Name, Days of Little Texas, and Throat. He was chosen as a Horn Book Newcomer and his novels have been nominated to the YALSA Best Books for Young Adults list, as well as recognized by the Parents’ Choice Awards, the New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age list, Booksense Kid Picks, the Miami Herald Best Books of the Year, teenreads.com Best Books of the year, and the Michigan Library Thumbs Up! list. Nelson’s novels are also published in Hungary and Germany where Breathe My Name is published by Ravensburger under the title Shine. Nelson lives with his family in North Alabama and works at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. He is the recipient of NASA's Silver Snoopy Award in recognition of "outstanding support provided to the Space Shuttle program." His novel Teach Me has been optioned by Protagonist Films for a feature film.
For more info on R.A., visit his sites: