When handsome 17-year-old Matt Poe moves to a rural town in Iowa, he is the new kid in school. An outsider who can’t fit in, his only friend is his beautiful and sympathetic teacher, Linda Hayden. The older woman is the first to take an interest in him, helping him adjust to the community and keep his grades up. Matt can’t help falling hard for Linda and what begins with a kiss becomes a torrid, secret affair. But his teacher is a lot more than he bargained for and the kid’s wildest dream becomes his worst nightmare. The only people who can save Matt are his two classmates, Grace McCormack and Rusty Shaw. But the three of them are in way over their heads against an evil adult trying to make sure they stay after class permanently.
I recieved this First Reads Goodreads Giveaway book for an honest review.
When I first found out about this book, I was confused. I wasn’t sure if this was supposed to be a sexual fantasy book or a horror. I’m glad to tell you it is more horror than anything else.
The book is reminiscent of the old horror movies (Friday the 13th, Halloween, etc.) in the writing. The setting is a small town in the heartland of America, Iowa. The kids are dressed in clothes that hearken back to the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, but the time this is set is modern. There are smart phones, Xbox’s, stuff like that. It gave the book a weird anachronistic feel. I wasn’t sure if the author didn’t know that Iowa kids wear the same stuff as California kids or if he did that for a reason.
Sure, you’re going to see more jeans in Iowa, but I haven’t seen teenage girls wearing jean shirts there. I should know, I just got back from Iowa in September. Not a single jean shirt or printed shirt that screamed Farrah Fawcett’s time in Charlie’s Angels.
Fashion aside, the book wasn’t bad. It escalated rather quickly and the writing pulls you in. You don’t really get a complete feel of who the characters are, but for that space of time the book is set in, you learn enough. The book was literally like a movie. Which makes sense because Eric Red has written some horror films.
Don’t Stand So Close was a good between book from the other stuff I’ve been reading. It wasn’t “oh my god” amazing, but the book was fun. It’s a great popcorn book.
My biggest beef though (aside from the fashion), is the geographical confusion. The book is set in Iowa and though I don’t know where exactly, I’m guessing mid-Iowa. The book said that the closest fun town was Twin Falls, which was what I believed to be fictional, but then there was a mention of Idaho and a Twin Falls in Idaho. That, got me confused because Iowa doesn’t border Idaho at all. I mean, you have Nebraska and Wyoming in the way. I’m sure there is a closer fun town. So, yeah, that was a biggie. However, if you can ignore geographical and fashion faux pas, then the book would be an interesting one to linger in.