Carolina is a science-oriented senior in high school, living in Alabama who takes a poetry class for her liberal studies requirement. With her best friend Schuyler, they could probably name the species of every animal living in North America, and all the particles in the molecules making them up. Yet it all seems trivial when love looms into the picture: an unfamiliar feeling that cannot be graphed or charted, and even worse, has to remain a secret.I’ve read so many novels about student/teacher relationships, so I was a little skeptical about this one, but I just after the first chapter, I knew it was going to be different.
Carolina is not your average girl, but one who finds herself observing those around her rather than actually interacting with them. Yet it all ends the moment Mr. Mann stepped into the room. Who could suspect that what lies ahead of her is a year of forbidden love, a rising passion and a betrayal of the worst sort?
The entire story is told through Carolina‘s, or Nine as she’s nicknamed, point of view. She’s probably one of the most unique and different characters I’ve ever read. Her thoughts aren’t ever really focused on one thing. She’s what you call a scatter-brain, but it works very well. Her story is full of completely off-topic ramblings, but it only makes her character much more entertaining to read.
It was one of those stories where I got so wrapped up that I’d actually start to feel. For example, when Mr. Mann, Nine’s dreamy new poetry teacher, breaks up with her out of the blue, my chest literally throbbed for Nine. Another reason Nine was so different to read about- she didn’t sit down and take it. After awhile, Nine’s love and heartbreak for Mr. Mann turned into a full obsession. He hadn’t given her an excuse for breaking her heart, and she won’t stop until she gets one.
This isn’t the story of a student/teacher relationship and how it came to be. This is a story about the aftermath of such. Though I felt some negativity towards both of the main characters, Nine and Mr. Mann, the book left me in a content with them, and their relationship.
It’s not recent, and you’d probably have to do some online shopping or library browsing for it- but I definitely recommend it. I can guarantee you that it’s the most diverse student/teacher story you’ll ever read about, and it’ll probably become your favorite as well!