As someone who is not into angsty, explicit, NA romances, I liked this book very much. It is all about the writing, I think. How would I know anything about writing, I am not sure. The best example I can give is that I felt such an empathy with Maise. Generally, I like or dislike characters. In this case, I can't say I loved her, or that I think she was awesome, a bad-ass, funny, etc. But never the thought of "oh, what an idiot" crossed my mind.
More like, if she thought that having an affair with an old man was OK, I was OK with that.
If she was falling for his teacher, I could get that.
If she was depressed because her mom was not really a mom, and that she felt alone in the world, I sympathized with her. All the times she cried, I pitied her.
If she considered Wesley her BFF, I also liked him. When he made that terrible mistake and she hated him, I hated him. And again, when she forgave him, I also did.
That is why I think the book was well-written. I wanted Maise to have her HEA, but regardless of the ending, I would have liked this book anyway.
I don't think I will read another student/romance angsty book again (it is a taboo topic I am not a fan of, it seems), but I recommend this book to people who likes this kind of thing. No wonder it has so many high ratings.