Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Love and Other Subjects Review

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For every woman who wonders if she chose the right career

Carolyn Jenkins strives for two things–to be the greatest teacher ever and to find true love. She’s as skilled at both as an infant trying to eat with a fork. Carolyn’s suburban upbringing and genuine compassion for people who don’t fit effortlessly into society are no match for weapon-wielding, struggling students, drug-using colleagues, and a wicked principal.

Meanwhile, her budding relationship with a mystery man is thwarted by his gaggle of eccentric sisters. Carolyn depends on her friends to get her through the hard times, but with poverty-stricken children at her feet and a wealthy man at her side, she must define who she is.

The reality of life after college can be daunting, the road to full-fledged adulthood long and unscripted. Can Carolyn take control and craft the existence she always wanted?


I just love this book!  While it does have romance, it is the first year of teaching that really drew me in.  Most teachers go into the profession wanting to make a big difference.  It is not as easy as it looks, and there is definitely not enough pay.  The first year is the hardest no matter where you are, but to be in a struggling school like Carolyn is even harder.  Kathleen Shoop brings this struggle to life, not to mention showing that teaching takes over one's life.  Most teachers spend hours and hours outside of school working and studying.

I identified with Carolyn on so many levels.  The first semester I taught I was just thrown to the wolves.  Thankfully, I did have friends that helped me out.  I came in as a permanent sub around Christmastime.  I had a college degree, but not in education.  I hadn't even planned on teaching.  It was a learning experience for all of us, me and my students.  I loved my students, and I'm still in contact with many of them.  I don't think you ever forget those students from your first year.  I had close to 200 students that year.  I taught high school.

I spent so many hours trying to reach my students and to get them excited about learning, just like Carolyn.  I had some that couldn't read or comprehend very well, while I had others that should have been in honors.  Like Carolyn, I had a principal (really asst. principal) who promised to help and that we would work together.  What a crock.  He was never ugly like Carolyn's principal, but he was pretty useless.

This book does a wonderful job of showing some of the struggles, and b.s. teachers have to deal with.  Like when Carolyn is talking about how her principal insists teachers write objectives for lessons on their boards.  She had it totally right when she said, "There are so many things wrong with that, I didn't know where to start.  One, my kids didn't give a shit what the objective of a lesson is."  I remember when our school system implemented this, too.  It is a waste of time and board space.  As long as the teacher knows the objective of the lesson that should be good enough.  Kids could care less.

I would love for all new teachers to read this book.  It will show them first that not every situation will have you teaching at a school like where you were a student teacher (usually a better situation).  It, also, shows that you should never give up on yourself or your students.  It may take some extra work, but you can make a difference.

It would be nice if parents and others in the community would read this, too.  While not every situation may not be this bad, the job is not as easy as others make it out to be.  There are so many things involved in teaching that people have no clue about.  More and more of a teacher's focus is taken away from teaching and forced to be put on paperwork and testing.  I would love for anyone that makes decisions about teaching be mandated to teach in a struggling school (not the best with the best students0 for at least 2 weeks every year (preferably longer), and have to do everything that the regular teacher does.  They should have to write lesson plans with separate ones with accommodations for students with IEP's and IAP's, paperwork, discipline, etc.  They might have a better idea of what's going on.

I give this book 5 stars.  Like I said, I think everyone should read this.  I loved the romance, but I love the teaching even more.  I think many teachers will identify with this book.  Buy this book for yourself, your friends, your family -- everyone.  Then make sure you thank a teacher because you can read, and for everything they do.  Many teachers are barely paid enough to be over the poverty mark.  This should change.

Buy the book from.......



Barnes and Noble

About the Author

A Language Arts Coach with a Ph.D. in Reading Education, Kathleen lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

Kathleen has also written Love and Other Subjects, award winning After the Fog and her debut novel, The Last Letter, garnered multiple awards in 2011.  The author's stories have also appeared in several of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.


THREE Lucky Winners will each receive a $15 Amazon Giftcard,
courtesy of author of Home Again, Kathleen Shoop
Ending on Thursday 6th February at 11.59pm EST
Open Worldwide

Enter  Below & Good Luck !!
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1 comment:

  1. I love reading reviews when the book is so closely linked with the reader, so glad you enjoyed it xx