This story is so lyrical and poetic without throwing it in your face or being obnoxious. It just felt right. Leah Raeder is a great writer with the ability to describe places and people in beautiful detail reminiscent of great poetry. The key to her writing is that she doesn't take this skill too far. The descriptions are not over-the-top or too cheesy. She saves it for the time, using it only when necessary and not taking it for granted. It is descriptive without going overboard, familiar without being boring or redundant, and realistic.
The characters are well-developed and believable. I wasn't left wondering what Evan saw in Maise (or the other way around). I feel like they both represented their "issues" appropriately and realistically. The drama wasn't extreme, the level of angst just right. This novel is like the perfect recipe for a NA/Romance/YA/however-you-want-to-label-it. The premises is a familiar one (student-teacher love affair) but it is done the right way.
There were several paths that Maise and Evan could have taken. They were fairly predictable but not to the point of locking in the ending with any great certainty. It was captivating, addictive, and very enjoyable. I was able to become invested in the characters and story with ease and I wanted great things for them as individuals. I was very impressed with this debut.