This is my first book by this author and it's a good one. It's a nice slow burn as Cole and Zander reunite and get to know each other again after their disastrous first attempt at love as teens. Cole's now a teacher and Zander's a firefighter with a daughter in Cole's class. While there's plenty of focus on their past and current relationship, this doesn't ignore the rest of their lives and I liked having that balance here. I might have found it a little hard to believe they'd still be hung up on each other after 17 years apart, but there was enough time given to them getting reacquainted that it didn't bother me too much.
I loved Savannah, and Cole's plethora of pets. Savannah was a realistic five-year old - not sweetly perfect but not out of control disruptive either. She had a lot of issues and I like they were taken seriously, and I really liked seeing Zander overcome his own issues to help her deal with hers.
Aside from the inability to capitalize "Marines" ever, and one very wrong wording choice, there weren't too many editing issues, better than most stories out there today.
I think that Moonlight Reader and I posted this as a potential read during Halloween Book Bingo. Wow, I had forgotten what a mess this book was. I honestly went into this blind since I didn't recall a thing at all about this book. I know I had it though as a kid since I had most of Cusick's books when I was growing up. Maybe even at that age I knew a bad book when I read one and pushed it out of my head.
"Teacher's Pet" follows Kate and her teacher who go to a writer's retreat. Don't ask questions about this retreat though since her teacher is into romance and Kate is into horror. They both go off and go sit in on other seminars and Kate gets some one on one with Gideon Dewe.
Now here is the thing, most of Cusick's books follows a checklist, but it's like she upped the ante in this one. Besides having a teen girl who falls for the first guy she sees, she somehow has crushes on and kisses every dude she meets in this book (there are three, Gideon, Pearce, and unfortunately named dude named Denzil) and somehow all three fall in love with Kate and her beauty. Sorry, you can't see it, but I just snickered like I was five when I typed that.
I don't even get why Kate likes horror, it seems superficial at best the way Cusick describes it. She doesn't even go into her favorite authors. And Kate's writing is so terrific that she is singled out in class which makes someone jealous enough to kill (she's the teacher's pet).
This book had so many twists and turns I refuse to follow them all. And this was a bit more gruesome than her other works (people find body parts lying around) but it still seemed like a haha type murderous place instead of straight up Camp Crystal Lake.
The writing wasn't very good in this one and the characters we meet are shallow. Once again you imagine there are only really 6 people in this book (Kate, Gideon, Pearce, Denzil, Kate's teacher, and also a young girl named Tawney who will cause you to go, well bless your heart a lot while reading about the things she's saying) and you imagine that other people exist, but not really since Kate never speaks to any of them.
I laughed out loud while reading this ending around 1 am. The evil-doer is found out, I called BS on that whole thing, Kate kisses one dude, and then the other, both dudes still in love with her and promise to fight for her love (why???) and she hops on a train with her teacher. Um, you all were just murdered and there was a fire, why the heck are the cops allowing them to leave just like that just an hour or so after the events are revealed. I have watched enough of The First 48 to know they just couldn't go home like that. Also where are Kate's parents? You think she call them instead of having her heart beat fast cause she's looking at one of her beau's profile.
Ah well, too bad there wasn't an ending like this:
This is a very interesting book and would be a great read on the first day of school. Reading this book with the students can break the ice and show them that even teachers can't do everything. For instance did you know that teacher's can't buy their own apples? Or slide down the tubes on the playground? I did not know either! After the book has been read, I would have the students write down or draw something they do not think they can do well and put the response in a box. I would then draw the responses out of the box and share them with the class. There would be no embarrassment or shame as no one's name is written on the paper and it helps other students know they are not alone in things they can not do.
Reading Level: Kindergarten to 2nd Grade
Lexile Level: 340L
So this is book would be good to read to grades 2nd-4th. It starts off with room 207's teacher being out, so they have to have a substitute, Miss Viola Swamp who is not like their teacher at all. She is strict, moody, and she wears all black. When she comes in the room, the kids can tell that she means business, she gives them tons of homework and no story hour. As days passed, the students started to miss Miss Nelson. The students tried to find her, even going to the police, but it was no use, Miss Nelson was no where to be found. But then one day, instead of hearing Miss Swamp's voice, they heard the sweet teacher they remember coming into the room, Miss Nelson. When she came in she was surprised that not only that they missed her, but they were well behaved.
I would use this book to show that everyone should be respected the same way and reinforced manner and the respect to teachers and elders.