Where You Are by J.H. Trumble
Robert Westfall's life is falling apart-everywhere but in math class.
That's the one place where problems always have a solution. But in the
world beyond high school, his father is terminally ill, his mother is
squabbling with his interfering aunts, his boyfriend is unsupportive,
and the career path that's been planned for him feels less appealing
by the day.
Robert's math teacher, Andrew McNelis, watches his best student
floundering, concerned but wary of crossing the line between
professional and personal. Gradually, Andrew becomes Robert's friend,
then his confidante. As the year progresses, their relationship-in
school and out of it-deepens and changes. And as hard as he tries to
resist, Andrew knows that he and Robert are edging into territory that
holds incalculable risks for both of them.
J.H. Trumble, author of the acclaimed Don't Let Me Go, explores a
controversial subject with extraordinary sensitivity and grace,
creating a deeply human and honest story of love, longing, and
Publishes in US:
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So, before reading this, I was wary. Because in my mind, the student and teacher should be just that. There should be no lines crossed, under any circumstances. But in this one, 24 year old Andrew is the teacher, and 18 year old Robert are the teacher and student, and J.H. changed my mind. Because I was in their heads, and because there was more than just attraction. In trying to be there for his student, Andrew, Mr. McNelis listens to Robert, helps him with his school work and they develop a trust.
Lines are crossed a little at a time, and they fall for one another, and somehow I find myself rooting for them even though I know that it is against the law, and they both knew it was wrong, it was so hard not to wish that their love could work out. I think that I forgot why it was wrong until something was thrown in their face because of the depth of their love and how well it is described. At the bottom of it all is Andrew wanting to be there for Robert in his time of sorrow, guilt, and confusion. And Robert finding solace and love at the same time and both fighting hard to keep the rare treasure that they found.
Besides the forbidden romance that made my heart pound, there was also some great character depth. They both had things they were dealing with. Robert's dad was slowly dying from brain cancer, and he was struggling with feelings of loss and also that they were never all that close. He yearns for that relationship and wishes that it was there. He feels like a bad person that he just wishes his dad would pass instead of what they are going through and the pain he's in.
Andrew is dealing with an ex-wife and a daughter, and he made some bad decisions that compounded the already unique but strained relationship with Maya his ex wife. They are best friends, but Maya has always wanted that love relationship with him, and that puts stress on the relationship.
I also loved that I was put back in this world, since I read Just Between Us first, I already knew a bit about Robert, and knew so much about Luke and Curtis and the band dynamics, and that was so neat to be a part of that again.
This is emotional, powerful and makes you think. I had to see how far each would go for love, and if Andrew could risk or give up the career he loves and is good at for a chance at true love.
The ending was powerful and not completely happily ever after, because you know if a story like this is to be realistic that everything can't work out perfectly. But I think that Ms. Trumble handled that well and made it believable but still created something that I wanted to read.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you think that student teacher relationships are okay under ANY circumstances?