Saturday, 2 June 2012

But She is My Student by Kiki Archer

Newly qualified teacher, Miss Katherine Spicer got quite a shock on her first day of teaching in her new school. Sitting hidden in the corner is Freya Elton. Freya is the woman Kat met at a gay bar over the weekend. Freya is the woman Kat kissed heatedly. Freya is the woman that just disappeared. Now here she is, as large as life sitting in Kat’s class. Freya is Kat’s student. Will Kat’s career be over before it’s even begun?

Freya Elton is a student in her final year at school. Freya is confused about her sexuality. However, she’s not confused about her feelings for Kat. Just that one evening and the kisses they both shared has been playing on Freya’s mind ever since.

In spite of how Kat feels, she knows she must push Freya away. Forget the kisses they shared that are seared into her brain. Although both Kat and Freya know they can’t take things any further, it doesn’t dampen their feelings for each other. But Kat can’t and won’t allow anything to interfere with her career. If only Kat would give Freya a small sign that she is interested, Freya would wait for ever. But Kat shows complete indifference. Will Freya win Kat over?

I came across this book quite by chance. I decided to buy the book on impulse. I’m delighted that I did.

This book is really well written, the storyline is both serious and humorous. Kiki Archer has taken a subject that could be potentially explosive. The teacher/student scenario. Kiki has handled this topic in a really excellent way. Although at the beginning I was rooting for Kat and Freya to be together, I had hoped that that the teacher/student code of conduct would not be breached, leaving the story compromised. I needn’t have worried though. The story that follows has the characters acting within the boundaries of the teacher/student code. The age gap between Kat and Freya isn’t great and if one or the other had been in a different job, a relationship between the two would not have created any problems. I’ve added this before anyone thinks this is a story involving minors.

The interaction between the two main characters was superb. I had to keep turning the pages to find out what happens to them. They are backed up with a great cast of supporting characters. Kat’s friends, Lucy and her boyfriend Ben, Jess and her boyfriend Gary. Even Bea and the two nasty school teachers, Miss Pity and Miss Mews all added to progressing the story along in a nicely paced manner.

There was just one thing I didn’t like about this book. The hetero sex scene between Lucy and Ben. Yes, we all know it happens, but this is a lesbian book. I felt that it was uncalled for and could have been alluded to. Fortunately there wasn’t too much of it.

I got a huge surprise when Bea’s secrets were revealed. It was a brilliant twist, I didn’t see it coming.

The ending was a little sudden, I would have loved to have read a bit more of what happens next. But as there is a sequel being written, I guess I’ll have to wait.

All in all, this is a wonderful debut book with some equally wonderful characters, written by an exciting new author. Definitely a re-read, definitely an author to watch out for.

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