Series: Too Good #1
Published by: Penny Press on August 27, 2013
Cadence Miller is a good girl. She just happens to make one terrible mistake her junior year in high school which costs her ten months in juvenile detention. Now a senior, she’s lost everything: her best friend, the trust of her parents, driving privileges, Internet access. It’s a lonely existence.
But there is one bright spot: Mark Connelly, her very cute, very off-limits 28-year-old calculus teacher. She falls hard for him—a ridiculous schoolgirl crush headed nowhere. She can’t help it. He’s the only good thing at Crestview High. She doesn’t expect him to reciprocate her feelings. How inappropriate, right? But he does. And he shows her.
And that’s when her life goes from bad to good.
I knew that Good was going to be an iffy, controversial book. It’s about a student-teacher relationship, and that’s a tough thing to pull off successfully. In order for me to go along with it, I’d have to totally and completely get involved and invested in the relationship; they’d have to convince me that it’s something truly worth having. That’s certainly possible, but unfortunately I don’t think I was totally convinced in this case.
I understand how some people could fall for the relationship in Good, I just wasn’t able to click with it. I never really fell for Mark. It’s not so much that I thought their relationship was wrong (although there were a few moments that were iffy), it’s just that I never personally fell for him. I wasn’t attracted to him as a reader, and that kind of messed with my whole enjoyment of the book, since the entire thing is built on the romance.
And on top of that, towards the end of the book there is a lot of arguing. Cadence becomes a ridiculously needy, jealous girlfriend. This made me have more problems with the relationship, because it actually made Cadence appear more like an immature, whiny 18-year-old, rather than a more mature one. Cadence would accuse Mark of liking another woman if he so much as looked at one.
“Do you like her?”
Mr. Connelly looked at me flatly. “Don’t be ridiculous.”
“Well, you seem to like her ass,” I said.
“I watched you look at her ass when she walked out of here.”
Jealousy. Such an unattractive quality. I was bleeding it, and I knew i looked ugly.
At least she knew how ridiculous she was being… And there were several instances of this. It slowly drove me a bit crazy!
Good was one of the most awkward books I’ve ever read. Think like Losing It by Cora Carmack—tons of weird, embarrassing, and/or awkward moments.. but intensified. The reason was because Cadence is really, really naïve (mostly sexually). That prompted many… weird scenes. Some of them were hilariously awkward, to the point where I was giggling and sharing them all with my boyfriend so we could have a laugh together. But some were just plain strange.
“Okay. I’m going to take off your underwear and then probably just look at you for a little while because I’ve never seen a dick in real life. As you know. [..] And I’m not going to try to act like I know what I’m doing, all right? I don’t know how to touch it. I have a rudimentary understanding of what it does and how it works, but I’m sure I have a lot more to learn. [..] And I don’t know how I feel about putting my mouth on it quite yet, but that’s mostly because I don’t know how to blow a guy, so I’m just going to see how I feel after I take your underwear off.”
“And I don’t want you to scare me with it. Like, forcing my face on it or rubbing me all over my body with it. I don’t think that’s gonna do it for me.
Mark massaged his forehead. “I won’t rub my dick all over you, Cadence.”
I took a deep breath. “Okay. Are you ready?”
“Umm… I’m gonna be honest with you right now.”
“This conversation we just had? Yeah… not really sexually stimulating. So, um, now I’m kind of flaccid.”
Probably one of the most hilarious, awkward, and weird scenes I’ve EVER read. I’m not even sure what to make of it…
I reached out my hand, letting it hover over his penis. It twitched.
“Oh my God, Mark! It moved!”
Additionally, there are a lot of religious undertones in Good. I’m just not a big fan of reading about religion and although this wasn’t the most annoying thing about the book, it was still there. There were tons of comments about “Living in sin” and stuff like that. But it was actually the inconsistencies that bugged me. Check out this quote from after she finds out Mark is not a Christian (but Cadence is):
I thought I should leave. Everything I learned in youth group taught me never to date a nonbeliever. It was a top rule as a Christian. I didn’t remember a rule against having an affair with a teacher, but the non-Christian thing was a definite no-no.
What isn’t apparent in this quote is that Cadence is perfectly fine with having sex with Mark. Premarital sex. And yet, she suddenly considers leaving him because he’s not a Christian? She’ll have premarital sex with a Christian, but not with a non-Christian? That just makes zero sense to me…
Now all that being said, there were some parts of the book that I enjoyed. I thought Avery was an awesome character. I actually wish she was in the book more often, because she pretty much rocked! She’s the kind of girl with no filter; she just says whatever is on her mind, no matter how vulgar or weird it is.
Ultimately, I think Good can be a good book if the romance pulls you in and convinces you that it’s awesome. Unfortunately I just never liked Mark that much. I didn’t hate him, I just felt like he was a little… off. I never particularly liked him. Later on, we get to know another guy (in high school) named Jacob, and I actually liked him a lot more!
Although Good had a couple weird and awkward moments, I don’t necessarily think it was a bad book, it just didn’t quite work for me!