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ONE LONELY DEGREE by C.K. Kelly Martin Kirkus Star

ONE LONELY DEGREE

By C.K. Kelly Martin

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: May 26th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-375-85163-6
Publisher: Random House

Finn’s family is falling apart at the same time she’s falling for her best friend’s boyfriend. As the school year transitions into summer, Finn’s father moves out and her mother retreats to her bedroom. Her confidante, Audrey, is sent on a forced vacation for dating Jersy, Finn’s childhood friend, and Finn finds herself increasingly attracted to Jersy’s supposed stability. Martin delivers the same genuine and powerful voice in her sophomore novel that garnered praise for I Know It’s Over (2008). Finn embodies the outsider teen, with her forays into reinvention and concomitant retreats into familiar territory. Authentic emotions resonate throughout the text, and the upbeat ending flows naturally from the story rather than being forced into the summer-romance archetype. Readers will find strains of Sara Zarr and Laurie Halse Anderson in the prose, but the author is innovative, not derivative. The perfect temperature for a summer read or a cool discussion, and an outstanding second novel. (Fiction. YA)