I have to say I’m in love with Ella Frank’s writing. I’ve never read any of her other works before, but now I’m probably going to have to check them out. Reading Veiled Innocence was like putting together a puzzle in my mind, it was very fascinating. It alternates from past to present events, therefore readers only get bits and pieces of the story at a time. The book starts in the present, so you know where Addison has ended up, but you have no idea how she got there, and you just can’t help but read on to find out. At the same time, the point of view changes between Addison and Mr. McKendrick, so readers get an idea of what goes on in their minds. I couldn’t put the book down because I couldn’t wait to see how everything unfolded.
I should probably mention that this book belongs to the student-teacher romance genre. I love reading forbidden romance novels, and although I don’t necessarily gravitate towards student-teacher romance, it seems to be a pretty popular genre and I’ve read several of them already. I know it’s probably not a good thing for me to admit that I enjoy student-teacher romance novels, considering that I’m a teacher myself. Believe me when I say that my love for the genre does NOT translate to real life. I know it’s wrong and definitely unethical. I have never gotten a desire to be romantically involved with a student, nor do I think it’s okay for other teachers to do so. I understand that sometimes a teacher will form a special bond with their students and might end up dating one of them. As a teacher, I think this is only acceptable if (a) the student has passed the class/has graduated, and (b) you are not breaking any laws (example : dating a minor). If for any reason the teacher and (former) student feels like they have to hide the relationship, then that probably means that they know that they’re doing something wrong and should probably stop. I believe that true love is beautiful and it should be celebrated and not hidden. But, this doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy forbidden romance novels 😀
(Technically you could say that I’ve been in a student-teacher relationship before. My boyfriend and I were batch-mates during college, but I graduated before he did. I started teaching immediately after that, so for a while, I guess you could say that we were a student-teacher couple. We were both Applied Physics majors, and after I graduated I taught in the same department he was studying in. But I don’t think this counts since everyone knew that we were already a couple before I started teaching. Besides, he was never MY student since he was already finishing up his thesis at the time, and I was a new instructor so I only handled general service courses.)
Back to my review.
Reading the book, you know that everything’s going to end badly, especially since the author showed you from the start where Addison ended up. From the beginning, you already know that the relationship is doomed, but it was fascinating to see how the events unfolded. I kept hoping that things would end differently as I read the book, but at the same time I knew that I was powerless and there was nothing I could do to stop the inevitable.
I’m a bit conflicted on how I feel about Addison. I may not have agreed with all of her decisions but I got to say I admire her for knowing what she wants and going after it. Her moral compass probably has to be straightened out a bit, but she’s a teen that went through something traumatic. I’m not saying that this gives her an excuse to do something unethical, but it partly explains her actions. She can be very obsessive and has no respect for boundaries, sometimes being borderline stalker-ish, but events in her past obviously messed her up and as a result she has a few mental issues. She’s probably not going to be my first choice as a friend or a shopping buddy, but I do recognize that she’s a strong woman. Besides, she was definitely an interesting character to read about. Some of her actions in the book shocked me. I was thrilled with some of them, but there were also times when I wanted to just shake her and tell her to get some self control. She definitely made this story very interesting.
Ella Frank is amazing. She has a knack for telling a story, and it was refreshing to see something different in the student-teacher romance genre. I’ve read a couple of student-teacher romance books, and after a while they start to blend together because a lot of the authors stick to the same routine (boy and girl meets somewhere and falls in love, only to discover a few days later that one of them is a student and the other is a teacher), but this book was different. Addison and Mr. McKendrick knew from the start that they couldn’t be together, and yet they got caught up in the seduction and things got a little out of control.
I would give this book 4.9 out of 5 stars. I deducted 0.1 stars because although the story wrapped up nicely, it left me with a few unanswered questions. But aside from that, I really enjoyed this book. If you like forbidden romance as much as I do you might want to give this one a try.
Younger readers be warned – this book contains A LOT of mature content. It can get very explicit, so proceed with caution.
To end this entry, here are three quotes I like from the book:
“Boys think girls are like books. If the cover doesn’t catch their eye, they won’t bother to read what’s inside.”
“I looked at her- she looked at me.
My ending, staring right at me from the very beginning.”
“I’m not allowed to have what I want. I can’t have the prince…because I am the unimaginable. I’m the catalyst in the destruction of my own happy ending. If only someone had warned the prince.