Teddy Crutcher has won Teacher of the Year at the esteemed Belmont Academy, home to the best and brightest.
He says his wife couldn’t be more proud—though no one has seen her in a while.
Teddy really can’t be bothered with the death of a school parent that’s looking more and more like murder or the student digging a little too deep into Teddy’s personal life. His main focus is on pushing these kids to their full academic potential.
All he wants is for his colleagues—and the endlessly meddlesome parents—to stay out of his way.
It’s really too bad that sometimes excellence can come at such a high cost.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for review & can confirm all thoughts and opinions are my own.
For Your Own Good was nothing like what I expected! Filled with twists and turns, unlikable but remarkably real characters and a murder mystery like no other. Each chapter threw a new spanner into the works and I absolutely flew through the pages.
Teddy is the best teacher, being voted teacher of the year just proves the point. Not having grown up with the ‘benefits’ his students are used to he feels it’s his job to show them the realities of life, sometimes taking them down a peg or two, after all he wants the kids to reach their full academic potential. A death at the school puts an unfortunate kink in his plans, and then someone starts digging into Teddy’s life, he realises that if he wants to complete his plan he’s going to have to up his game. It’s really too bad that sometimes excellence can come at such a high cost.
For Your Own Good is told from multiple perspectives: Teddy, Frank & Sonia Teachers at Belmont Academy, Zach a student there and Fallon an ex student of Teddy’s. They are all unreliable narrators which makes for an intriguing and twisty book because you’re never quite sure who you can trust. None of them are overly likable, though some are definitely worse than others, they all have their privileges and pride though it presents differently for each of them.
Downing gives us an entirely relatable and real school experience with Belmont Academy, from the teachers who care more about their own praise and accolades than that of their students, to the parents who heap pressure and unattainable goals on their kids. Through the POV’s you get to see the school from both a teacher and student perspective and as an adult it definitely made for some humorous moments.
It’s actually really hard to talk about this book without giving away spoilers. Downing is a master of keeping you as the reader on your toes and there are SO many plot twists as well as different storylines to get your head around. I buddy read this with Susan and we had so many ideas of what happened/who did it/why, but they kept changing throughout the book, just as you think you have the plot down a new character appears or a new twist is thrown in & you’re right back to the beginning again.
Fans of adult thrillers are sure to love this, I haven’t read any of the authors other works but Susan assures me this is her best. Her quick witted writing style makes for a quick and easy read, though the story is certainly not quick and easy. If you like your narrators unreliable and your stories slightly convoluted then this is for you.