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The Abstinence Teacher
The Abstinence Teacher
Author: Tom Perrotta
Tom Perrotta knows his suburbia, and in The Abstinence Teacher he carves out an even larger chunk of his distinct terrain. Set in the northeastern suburb of Stonewood Heights, Perrotta's sixth book takes on the war between the liberals and the evangelists. When single mother Ruth Ramsay, the sex ed teacher at the local high school, tells her cla...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780312358334
ISBN-10: 0312358334
Publication Date: 10/16/2007
Pages: 336
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.

3.3 stars, based on 118 ratings
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Abstinence Teacher on + 234 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
The book was well written, and like Jodi Picoult's books, the reader may find themselves siding with characters that may not possess the same values as themselves. However with that said, I was very disappointed in the ending. I felt it just dropped off after a big work up to it.
reviewed The Abstinence Teacher on + 82 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This book was on my wish list for over a year. It ended up being a disappointment. As another reviewer already mentioned, it ends kind of mid-action, with no resolution whatsoever to the conflict. I wasn't impressed by either of the main characters, who both seemed to have a strong opinion but then throughout the course of the book just kind of watched it float away in the wind. Ruth, the sex-ed teacher, was morally opposed to the abstinence-only program she was forced to teach; I thought that she would rebel against it somehow, championing the student's right to the real facts. However, she just kind of went along with it half-heartedly and, when she was removed from the position, seemed relieved. Tim - the ex-addict-turned-good-Christian - felt strongly about his faith, but when it was really challenged, he just up and decided it wasn't for him any more. Both of these characters were unlikeable wimps. Don't waste your time with this one. If you're interested in Perrotta, read Little Children instead.
cacialeigh avatar reviewed The Abstinence Teacher on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Almost halfway through this boring book, I kept thinking, ok, something is just about to happen. By the time I reached the end, I was STILL waiting for something to happen.

This dull & unexciting book would be perfect for those who want to read without thinking, because although it did BRING UP some interesting issues, it never went any further than that with any of them.
demiducky25 avatar reviewed The Abstinence Teacher on + 161 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
The story fluctuates between two characters: 1)Ruth, the high school Sex Ed. teacher who is forced to teach an abstinence only program after the school is pressured to change its curriculum due to a growing faction of religious fanatics and 2) Tim, a former drug addict and alcoholic who is a member of this religious faction (also the coach for Ruth's daughter's soccer team) and his internal struggle with the demons from his former life and coping with the disconnection he is feeling with the religion he feels saved his life. All in all, it was an interesting commentary on sex, religion, and (to a degree) how they mix with public education. This story did pose many interesting points without seeming too preachy or critical, just some interesting things to consider while reading. The downside to this book was the ending. It pretty much just stopped. At first I thought I was missing pages (a recent book I read was missing pages, so it wasn't entirely unlikely), but alas, Perrotta just ends the book mid-scene. As a side-note, although the location of the town is never explicitly mentioned, I figure it is in NJ since all the colleges he refers to are NJ colleges or former names of NJ colleges and since I'm from NJ, I liked that (after finishing the book I GOOGLED Perrotta and he grew up in NJ so it's plausible)! :-P
SuzanneB avatar reviewed The Abstinence Teacher on
Helpful Score: 3
Thought-provoking story of seduction within the modern American culture wars. Which is the most seductive force: freedom, love, Jesus, sex, acceptance, moral superiority, family??? The main characters must decide. The author is careful not to judge and lets the reader decide, too. Loved this book.
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reviewed The Abstinence Teacher on + 2 more book reviews
I found this book very witty and made me laugh aloud at times. Even though I am a Christian, and the book pokes fun at some of my values, I still enjoyed it. Tom Perrotta also writes great short stories. "The Leftovers" another satirical book of his, was another great read if you like his work.
reviewed The Abstinence Teacher on + 7 more book reviews
A well written book with some unexpected twists. I like that the characters are not one dimensional. A good read.
bretnmel avatar reviewed The Abstinence Teacher on
New author for me but this book broke through and made my top 10 list. Everything just seemed to flow so well. The characters were all interesting and the story was believable. Highly recommended.
sukie175 avatar reviewed The Abstinence Teacher on + 18 more book reviews
The title of this book and cover info is EXTREMELY misleading! This book is much more about religious choices and the angst of the lead character. I really didn't enjoy this book, in fact our whole book club gave it a big fat zero!
comet71 avatar reviewed The Abstinence Teacher on + 6 more book reviews
Surprisingly good.
reviewed The Abstinence Teacher on + 12 more book reviews
Interesting point of view about the intersection of evangelical Christians and the "real" world. Fast read.
reviewed The Abstinence Teacher on + 132 more book reviews
A sacrilegious book.After WASTING my time 140 pages into it, I couldn't take anymore. Pure junk. Taking pages from the bible & making more of it than it states in the verse or passage. Almost threw it in trash.
reviewed The Abstinence Teacher on + 9 more book reviews
A fast read on a thought-provoking topic, The Abstinence Teacher uses humor and imperfect people trying to do right by their families and live according to their values to deal with some hot-button issues like parenting, divorce, religion and sex education.

I enjoyed it and passed it to a friend who sees those issues quite differently than I do; she liked it as well.
reviewed The Abstinence Teacher on + 38 more book reviews
Slow, slow, slow...I just couldn't get through it.