An illicit student/teacher relationship that flirts with the line between good and bad. At what point does an interested suitor cross that line and turn from lover to predator.
Cadence Miller is a good girl. A year ago she was on top of the world. She was considered a responsible, dependable young lady. She went to church, participated in the right activities, made the right friends and never, ever did anything bad.
She made one wrong decision that earned her a ten month stay in juvenile detention and her image was forever altered from good girl to very bad girl. On the first day of school she’s exiled, taunted, ridiculed and shunned by all of her former friends. To make matters worse the cute guy she saw while doing community service turns out to be her 28-year-old calculus teacher, Mark Connelly.
What follows is the innocent crush of a very lonely, emotionally bereft girl whose parents and only friends have deserted her. In response to her pitiful behavior, Mr. Connelly brings her gifts to cheer her up in spite of her repeated attempts to dissuade him.
I was perfectly content to harbor a secret crush on my teacher – one I knew would go absolutely nowhere. It was one thing to fantasize about an inappropriate relationship. It was quite another thing to actually pursue it. And he was pursuing me.
She becomes confused by his behavior. Is he just a teacher trying to be nice when the others have ignored her? Or do his feelings run more hot than friendly?
By the time he makes the first move, Cadence is a whirlwind of emotions. Her parents are more strict than ever, not letting her go anywhere or do anything without strict supervision or approval. She’s more lonely than ever. So when Mr. Connelly initiates a physical connection, she’s a bit afraid and a little more than thrilled.
She befriends a spitfire named Avery whose parents are just as controlling as Cadence’s. They strike up a deal to have pretend sleepovers and community service engagements in order to allow them time to see their respective lovers.
Their relationship progresses,though the constant threat of discovery is always present.
Okay, so I spent a lot of time after concluding this book sifting through my various responses. Initially, I wasway into it. I love student/teacher relationships. Who doesn’t? The angst, the fear, it all makes everything so much more intense and interesting to read.
At the beginning of the novel, I loved Cadence and sympathized for her. She was really, and this is funny considering she’s a teenager, misunderstood. She made a mistake, paid the price, and is still being ostracized for it, even by her parents.
I’m torn between falling for Cadence and Mark’s relationship and being completely weirded out by Mark’s interest. Unlike other student/teacher relationships where the student seemed more mature and worldly, Cadence was repeatedly described as being childlike and small and Mark as predatory and knowledgeable. The emphasis on her naivete and sexual inexperience negatively colored their physical relationship for me.
At first I thought it was cute how awkward and inexperienced she was. I mean some of the stuff she said made me laugh out loud. As I got to thinking about it, and after reading some other reviews with varying perspectives, I realized what was bothering me about this book.
Cadence, unlike other heroines in student/teacher relationships, is depicted as too childlike for her relationship with Mark to seem healthy. She goes from one unhealthy controlling relationship with her parents to a similar one with him only theirs is masked with the guise of love.
I simply didn’t enjoy this one as much as I initially thought I would. I’d encourage you to read it, if only to form your own opinions. There seems to be a vast divide as to how Mark and Cadence are perceived. I was simply too conflicted and confused by their relationship to rate higher on this one.
Also, it ends on a cliffhanger for the series, though not necessarily for the romantic aspect, which I was not expecting and only served to piss me off. These things need to come with warnings.