Love Lessons is one of the Jacqueline Wilson books that has stuck in my memory, and so when Bethan bought me it for Christmas (an actual, hard copy book!) I knew I had to make it the next one I read.
So basically, we follow Prue who has been homeschooled for the past few years by her, frankly abusive, father. She has a little sister Grace and they own a book shop. Dad ends up in hospital after having a stroke and the girls have to go to school where Grace makes friends and Prue makes trouble. Prue also falls in love with her art teacher who is weirdly into her too.
When I read this some 12 years ago, here were my thoughts:
- That’s so romantic
- I hope Prue and Rax can run away together
- I wish this would happy to me (I fancied a teacher at school, but let’s face it, who didn’t?!)
- Rax’ wife is kinda naggy towards him but nice to Prue which is awkward
- Her dad is a dick
Reading it now:
- I’m pretty sure a lot of this is illegal. Like sex offenders register illegal.
- Their “love” comes out of no where. I don’t get it.
- How are you letting a 14 year old student babysit your two small children?!
- Poor Rax’ wife, I defy identify with her the most.
- Her dad is an abusive dick.
It’s weird. They “fall in love” through the course of just a few car journeys and we never really know much about what is said during them that makes this happen. I get that Rax is supposed to be dreamy but from an adult’s point of view it’s not okay at all that he is kissing this 14 year old child and telling her he loves her. He doesn’t come across as particularly creepy, although perhaps that is just because the story is told from Prue’s love-struck point of view.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book, but I did find it hard to look past the problematic messages that were being shared.