Book review... Me & Mr J by Rachel McIntyre...
Me & Mr J is a young adult book about Lara a sixteen year old who is bullied at school, has family problems and embarks on a relationship with her teacher.
Written in the style of a diary it is a very quick and easy read. Although obviously the subject matter of a student/teacher relationship is taboo the part I found the most disturbing was the bullying. The bullying Lara was subjected to was pretty horrific, and made for grim reading. I did feel perhaps at times Lara's reaction was sometimes a little inconstant (sometimes she took it, petrified to do anything, other times she answered or even fought back.)
The relationship she has with Mr J her English teacher was written sympathetically. Truth be told Mr J seemed like a nice guy- there was no grooming, or taking advantage or creepiness although obviously the relationship was still morally wrong.
I think Lara was a sympathetic protagonist, and although some people think she seemed to immature for her age I didn't really have a problem with that (although it was a while since I was sixteen so I'm no expert!)
Overall, I found it an enjoyable read, but don't think I'm the target reader and perhaps if I'd read this when I was younger I'd have enjoyed it more. I found the ending a little annoying- I felt like there was no satisfying conclusion to the bullying and also felt the writer played it too safe and ended up coming off preachy in a cringeworthy way. All the trauma was glossed over and it ended up abruptly finishing on a "moral of the story" that had me eye rolling. This is why I tend to avoid young adult.
I gave this a 3/5 on Goodreads.
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