What It’s About:
Remington Stringer has never been like most girls. She’s outspoken, brazen and wants nothing more than to escape the Nevadan hell hole that she calls home.
On the brink of eighteen, with a deceased mother and a well-meaning, yet absent father, she is forced to fend for herself. The only person she’s ever had to depend on is her borderline obsessive stepbrother, Ryan. But, what used to be her anchor is quickly becoming a loose cannon.
When Remi gets the opportunity to attend the best private school in the state during her senior year of high school, she jumps at the chance. Then she meets Mr. James. Ornery, aloof, and totally irresistible.
Most girls would swoon in secrecy.
Most girls would doodle his name with hearts in their notebook.
But Remi Stringer has never been like most girls.
Misbehaved by Charleigh Rose is a taboo romance between an underage high school girl and one of her teachers. I loved the narrators’ performances on the audiobook. Mark Kamish and Ramona Master were both excellent. They really made the story come alive.
Equally impressive is the author’s writing. I appreciated that there were just enough descriptions to make the characters interesting without excessive focus on minutia that can drag a story under. The dialogue seemed natural for her characters. The use of dual points of view worked well for the story layout given the premise and age difference of the characters. Without both perspectives, the story wouldn’t work.
While I appreciated the narrators’ talents and the author’s writing skill, I did not enjoy the story premise. A student/teacher romance in college can be fun, but for me, there is nothing sexy about a relationship between a 17-year-old girl and a grown man who is not only her teacher, but an attorney. Kudos to Ms. Rose for having her character, Pierce James, acknowledge the multiple ways his attention to his new student, Remington Stringer, is inappropriate. And yet, he allows himself to succumb to his student’s advances knowing it will destroy his reputation and teaching career.
Remington, who comes from an unstable, impoverished family, has found her way to a posh private school. That vulnerability should make her likable and empathetic. I wanted to root for the downtrodden girl who was trying to better herself through education; however, I found her behavior too trampy and brazen. Instead of being a focused student (as she is stated to have been in the past), she acts the siren flaunting her sexuality and forwardly flirting with her teacher. She has no regard for how her behavior will impact his career or her aspirations to go to college. From the minute she sets her eyes on Mr. James, she is no longer a young innocent but a wanton and manipulative temptress; consequently, I couldn’t find a reason to care about the character.
The addition of a gay love story between secondary characters was interesting as a contemporary twist to the teacher/student romance premise. The side story allowed the author to portray Remi and her gay friend as rebel outsiders in an outwardly conservative school. It also allowed the author to paint Remington as a good-person-at-heart when she alone champions her friend.
The story is conveniently wrapped up with an improbable twist that allows for a HEA for everyone. Overall, good quality writing and excellent narration, but the story line did nothing for me.
Narration: 5 stars
Writing quality: 4 stars
Story premise: 2 stars
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