C. K. Kelly Martin lives in the greater Toronto area with her husband. This is her first novel. You can visit her Web site and blog at www.ckkellymartin.com.
Gr 9 Up-With heartbreaking honesty, Martin's debut novel gets into the mind of 16-year-old Nick Severson. Still dealing with the effects of his parents' divorce, he plans to have a vacation with no commitments. However, the summer takes an interesting turn when Sasha Jasinski enters the picture. Nick is intrigued by the connection they seem to share but also put off by Sasha's initial disappointment with his behavior. To the shock of his friends, Nick stops seeing Dani to pursue Sasha. They grow closer both emotionally and physically. When things start to get too complicated for her, she breaks off the relationship only to discover a few weeks later that she is pregnant. What raises this novel above the many other teen titles dealing with sex and pregnancy is the authentic voice and emotion of the protagonist. Readers struggle with Nick as he deals with the loss of his first love and the decisions related to Sasha's pregnancy. His story challenges stereotypical notions of reckless teen sex and careless abortions; teen boys will especially applaud this portrayal of a devastated and conflicted young man who makes the right decisions, but still finds that his mistakes have repercussions. Sex, drugs, alcohol, and abortion are each portrayed realistically, and the novel gives invaluable insight into the adolescent mind and the world in which teens live.-Lynn Rashid, Marriots Ridge High School, Marriotsville, MD Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Just as he is leaving his mother's house to spend Christmas with his dad, 16-year-old Nick receives a surprise visit from his ex-girlfriend, Sasha: she's pregnant. Still hurt from their recent breakup, Nick has no idea how to respond. Debut novelist Martin displays uncanny insight, replacing the issue-driven engine common to most pregnant-teen stories with an emotionally complex and disarmingly frank coming-of-age tale. As narrator, Nick reviews his relationships, and confronts his drives and how he controls them--and how his friends and his father control, or fail to control, theirs. Martin is especially good at writing about sex: Nick is believably awkward, Sasha more mature (especially as viewed by Nick), and it takes the couple more than one try to get it right ("You'd think sex would make you feel less innocent. It didn't work that way for me," Nick ruminates. "I felt new"). In describing Nick's struggle to do the right thing by Sasha, the author defines each feeling, coloring in Nick's momentary failures as well as the full pain of his realization, as Sasha recuperates from an abortion: "We're at the very end.... All I have to do is walk out the door." Ages 14-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
This novel should be read by every teen in North America, and every
parent. Catherine Gilbert Murdock, author of "Dairy Queen
" A great read. This one will appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen and John Green. Lara Zeises, author of "Bringing Up the Bones"
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2008:
"Authentic and sophisticated."
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, August 18, 2008:
"Debut novelist Martin displays uncanny insight, replacing the issue-driven engine common to most pregnant-teen stories with an emotionally complex and disarmingly frank coming-of-age tale."
"From the Hardcover edition.""