Brutal and poetic.
This book is like reading the point of view of someone whom many would think of as their Manic Pixie Dream Girl. She is beautiful, mysterious and fearless.
She is also attracted to men much older than she is (think twice her age), so it's like reading [b:Lolita|7604|Lolita|Vladimir Nabokov|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1377795869s/7604.jpg|1268631] from the young girl's perspective (if she was an 18-year-old).
Maise reflects back on the tale of the night she met, seduced and felt a very real pull towards a man who turned out to be her teacher, and their passionate, tumultuous affair in the months afterward, while she was his student.
This book isn't just about a forbidden romance. It's about finding a true friendship. It's about straddling that divide between feeling young and naive and thinking the world knows more than you do, and feeling old and worldly and thinking the people your age are silly and juvenile. It's about discovering a love and a passion for something, and creating something to share with others.
Reading this book is like going on a rollercoaster rush of feeling, with writing that is both sharp and honest and beautifully evocative.
I don't love this book because I think this is the perfect relationship. It's actually rather screwed-up in many ways. Maise has problems that can never really be neatly wrapped in bows and Evan gave off lots of creepy vibes throughout the book especially when his previous relationship with a seventeen-year-old was revealed. I love this book because I love Maise's fierceness and her slow-building willingness to freefall. I love it because the characters all come alive, flaws and all. I love it because I felt that visceral stab of pain at that
moment when Wesley's film was revealed. I love it because after reading Ash Wednesday's review
I saw the beauty in an ending left up for interpretation, when I originally though it was straight-forward HEA (though personally being skeptical about their long-term resilience). I love it because I loved the feeling of always being in the moment and I wanted to quote half the paragraphs in the book.
So don't read this for the perfect story. Read this for Maise's story and get swept up just like I did.