Second cousins Ivy and Lucan re-encounter each other years after a falling out between their moms and find solace as they both deal with their respective relationship and family issues.
Seventeen-year-old Ivy is stunned when her longtime boyfriend dumps her. With appealing frankness, Martin explores the betrayal felt by Ivy as she discovers the truth about what she thought was her happily monogamous sexual relationship. Lucan is disgusted both with his mother and her much younger boyfriend's ubiquitous displays of affection and with the constant relationship drama at play with his closest friends. The alternating first-person narratives from Ivy’s and Lucan's perspectives are nicely distinct. Both of the main characters are middle-class, though the differences in their families are clear: Lucan's palpable discomfort in his own home is a far cry from Ivy's mostly sheltered and image-conscious background. Dating violence and sexually transmitted infection are just two of the many issues experienced by the group of teens—with the exception of Betina, Ivy's best friend, who was adopted as a baby from China by her Canadian family, ethnicities are not explicitly described—depicted in this story, and they're examined with nuance. If the tension between Lucan and Ivy draws out a bit long at times, it will still keep readers engrossed.
Thoughtful and honest. (Fiction. 14 & up)