by Nancy Ohlin
I read this book while it was one of the free reads on Riveted, but it had been on my radar for a while before that... and I'm kind of glad I hadn't invested in a hard copy of the book, because it was kind of disappointing.Summary: In this sexy and intriguing novel, an intense—and passionate—bond between a high school senior and her music teacher becomes a public scandal that threatens the reputation of both.
Bea has a secret.
Actually, she has more than one. There’s her dream for the future that she can’t tell anyone—not her father and not even her best friend, Plum.
And now there’s Dane Rossi. Dane is hot, he shares Bea’s love of piano, and he believes in her.
He’s also Bea’s teacher.
When their passion for music crosses into passion for each other, Bea finds herself falling completely for Dane. She’s never felt so wanted, so understood, so known to her core. But the risk of discovery carries unexpected surprises that could shake Bea entirely. Bea must piece together what is and isn’t true about Dane, herself, and the most intense relationship she’s ever experienced.
It wasn't a bad book necessarily, I just found the writing style a bit dry (although it improved nearer the end) and had some other issues with it.
I didn't particularly like the main character -- she was really dull and her thought process was like watching paint dry half the time. And the music stuff was just... Well, I've read books with main characters who are musicians before and adored them, but this one -- no. Whenever the subject got to music, it was more like reading a textbook, there was no spark or passion to it, only bland facts -- there were only one or two music scenes that made me feel any sort of connection to the character.
And the teacher/student relationship, I wasn't into the way it was handled in this at all. I've read books that romanticize teacher/student relationships and I've read a couple that highlight what is wrong about those types of relationships (like Me & Mr J)...but this one, it was almost like it couldn't make up its mind what it wanted to be but it didn't do very well at either writing it as a romance or as a story to show the moral implications of teacher/student relationships.
I didn't like that parts of it made it seem like her age was the only issue, not the skewed power dynamics or the fact that they were at completely different stages in their life (with a title like "Consent" I had hoped it would go into more depth about the complexities of that, rather than just scratching the surface with the legal age of consent thing).
The way it ended, it was maybe realistic in a way? But it was really unsatisfying. It didn't feel like it tackled the subject matter well at all -- it didn't treat it seriously enough, or show the emotional impact (which was frustrating, because there were a few bits near the end where I thought it was heading down that road but it didn't) and all of the piano stuff overshadowed everything else (which wouldn't have been too bad if that aspect of it was done exceptionally well but it wasn't).
Basically, the book just wasn't my cup of tea really -- even if I ignore the issues I had with the way the subject matter was handled, I just found the story to be really bland overall. I'd rate it 2 stars out of 5 (and I hate writing negative reviews, but I have seen plenty of positive ones for this too so it really is just down to personal preference).