Love and Other Subjects is the story of three roommates Nina, Laura, and Carolyn, who are in their first year of teaching. Sometimes best of friends, sometimes mortal enemies. They live with Carolyn's boyfriend Alex as well.
Laura, the little homemaker of the group is frustrated with Carolyn. Carolyn doesn't clean, cook, or much of anything but work, drink, and get frustrated with her life.
The story starts out with a very bad fight in Carolyn's classroom. Anyone who's been a teacher or worked in a classroom knows how difficult it can be to manage the students and teach the first year. After a very difficult day, Carolyn decides to go to a bar-not an untypical choice in today's world. While she is there she meets someone who will remain throughout the story.
The first year teaching is exactly as described in this book.
- Teachers have a difficult time deciding that they should be a teacher only and not a friend to the students.
- It is hard to demand respect and discipline.
- Once respect is earned, kids will stick up for their teacher and act differently when others are in the room.
The scary scene in the first chapter was realistic.
Friendships were real. There was anger between friends, but in the end, friendship won.
The relationship between Carolyn and her dad was one that every girl dreams of having with her father.
Carolyn did develop rapport with her students.
Descriptions of material, architecture, and other things in the book were rich with texture and structure. I could picture the surroundings, and I liked what I saw.
Too much unneccesary cussing.
Excessive drinking throughout the book.
Drug use in the book. Ironically, Carolyn judged someone for using, yet she smoked weed herself without abandon.
Cheating on a relationship.
The cover doesn't have anything to do with the story.
- Everything for Carolyn just ended happily ever after, and there were loose ends.
- Laura who claimed to be pure had a secret that was revealed. I would like to believe she was just pure.
- The principal leaves a loose end with his words, "It isn't what you think. You have no idea," that was never solved.
The moral aspect of the book is what I disliked the most. However, Kathleen Shoop has an easy to read writing style. I found myself disliking the characters I was suppose to dislike, and liking the ones I was suppose to like. I wanted to visit the grounds she described. I laughed in the right spots. I wanted to touch the plush velvet. It takes skill to accomplish these things in a book. I really could relate to the story of Carolyn the teacher. I experienced several of the things she experienced my first year teaching. Would I recommend the book? Yes, with the pre-emptor that there is sex, drugs, violence, and cursing throughout the book.
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