Me And Mr J by Rachel McIntyre

Many, many people here at TBBP have read this book, and when I heard it was about a teacher-student relationship, I was sceptical. This is an incredibly taboo subject and whilst taboo subjects are definitely something I like about books, I genuinely didn’t know if I’d be able to handle this book. How much more wrong can someone get?

Lara is in Year 11, and predicted A*s in all her GCSEs. She’s a bit of a geek, freaky tall and ginger. You can imagine the bullying she faces, especially since the bully’s mother is the only client of Lara’s mum’s cleaning business. Then, her English teacher goes on maternity leave and out comes of nowhere: Mr Ben Jagger. Really tall, really young, really attractive. Lara is hopelessly in love with him. But when you’re in love with a teacher, it could go incredibly wrong…

I said that this was a taboo subject, and one that no-one has yet spoken about. It’s a touchy subject and whilst the book itself is an easy read, it’s a tough read if you’re not prepared for what’s to come.

However, Rachel has written this in such a delicate and fine way that the touchiness has been lost, and the issue is tackled head-first, but in a way that shows it from a really personal side. That’s not to be taken as me telling you Rachel has had this sort of relationship, but somehow Rachel manages to tell this story in a delicate first-person sense.

Lara’s story will hit home with many readers. I found myself despairing at the tales of her abuse, and I felt sorry for her as well. The emotions this book brought out in me were completely unlike anything I’ve ever had before. It was pretty surreal.

I really enjoyed reading this, don’t get me wrong there, this was the first book I’ve read in a while where I spent an entire day at school wondering what happened next in the final few pages. I had that greedy sense that was once described by someone as being where you want to know what happens but you don’t want it to end.

However, much in the same way as I noticed with Geek Girl, the viewpoint didn’t feel like it would’ve come from the person who was being described. The fast paced excited attitude of Lara leads me to doubt that she actually is 16. However, I gradually came to enjoy this attitude and it eventually absorbed me as part of the book, in the same way Holly Smale did with Geek Girl!

I really can’t anything other than that I really, really liked this book and you all need to go read it now.

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