Me & Mr J
Author: Rachel McIntyre
Release Date: 2015
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Source: Copy for Review
Lara's life is far from perfect, but being an upbeat kind of person she saves her venting for her diary. It's the only place she can really let out her true feelings about the family dramas and hideous bullying she has to face every day.
And then a shining light comes out of the darkness - the new, young and male teacher, Mr Jagger.
The one person who takes Lara seriously and notices her potential. The one person who is kind to her. The one person who she falls madly and hopelessly in love with.
The one person who cannot love her back...can he?
This was one of those books that left me so torn I wanted to re-read it instantly. Rachel McIntyre's Me & Mr J centres on Lara - a poor, intelligent, social outcast who falls head-over-heels for the new English. The very young, very attractive, very male English teacher. Going into this book I was under the impression that the student-teacher relationship would be the sole plot line of the story, but I felt that the horrendous bullying Lara endures was just, if not more, important to Me & Mr J.
It was heart-wrenching to read what Lara's school life was like every day. The harassment - both verbal and physical - was without a doubt the hardest parts of the book to read. I just wanted to hug her and give her hot chocolate. It was frustrating that Lara didn't speak up about the bullying but I felt that the writing was very accurate to real-life and I really admired the way McIntyre dealt with the subject throughout this book.
The whole relationship between Mr Jagger and Lara was quite confusing really. I found it to be written extremely well but it was a constant should I be rooting for these guys or not? predicament. I still don't really know where I sit with the whole thing - especially without giving away MAJOR spoilers! Because we saw the story through Lara's eyes it was almost impossible to not at least like Mr J a teensy bit - if not love him completely - but the morality of their situation was in the back of my head the entire time. Rachel McIntyre - I am still not sure what to think!
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It was well-written and the characters all felt like actual people, rather than two-dimensional figures. I would definitely recommend this book, but be aware that it could be a hard read for anyone who has gone through bullying. McIntyre's writing was amazing and I admired the way she had chosen to write about such a controversial topic. Me & Mr J is definitely worth a read.