Tuesday, April 9, 2024

[Review] — "THE TEACHER" is a Twisted Page-Turner

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I have come across the name Fredia McFadden in bookstores time and time again, and I was curious about her books. So, I decided to read her new thriller, THE TEACHER, which Poisoned Pen Press recently published. I had no idea what genre McFadden wrote in before starting the book. After reading the short prologue, I thought it was written for young adults because I believed the prologue protagonist was a teenager. Chapter one begins with an adult point of view through the eyes of Eve, then we meet troubled teenager Addie, and later in the novel, readers see through the eyes of Eve's husband, Nate. The entire novel flips back and forth between these three characters, which is something I usually detest, but this storytelling method works well here. 

What is THE TEACHER about? Well, it has a plot that seems to be ripped from the headlines. A student, Addie, becomes obsessed with her married poetry teacher, Nate. Initially, it's just a crush, but soon her teacher develops feelings for her, and they start an affair. Nate's wife, Eve, knew their marriage was on the rocks, but never did she expect something like this to happen. And Eve herself is no saint; she has her own dark secret. 

I dislike all the characters in THE TEACHER. Addie isn't exactly innocent. There's an "incident" that happened to her father, and she is a stalker! Nate is a creep who preys on vulnerable teenagers. Eve is just as bad, and I can't go into details without giving away the twist. 

Speaking of twists, there are plenty of them in THE TEACHER. The first twist is right there in the prologue. Even though it's never stated who the point of view is, I initially thought it was Addie. Well, you have to read it yourself to figure out who the identity is. There's one twist toward the latter half that I should've seen coming but didn't. And then there's an ending twist that I didn't see coming at all. 

McFadden's style of writing, at least in this book, is simplistic. It's easily readable, and that's not a terrible thing because her books will appeal to a wider range of readers. The chapters are relatively short and end at just the right time, so you automatically want to read the next chapter to see what happens next. 

Overall, THE TEACHER was a twisted page-turner for me, not because I connected to the characters, but because I wanted to find out whose secret was literarily "buried." The twist at the end had me. ╌★★★★✰

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