THE LIGHTER SIDE OF LIFE AND DEATH by C.K. Kelly Martin

THE LIGHTER SIDE OF LIFE AND DEATH

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Sixteen-year-old Mason Rice has just lost his virginity and his best friends after a winning night of basketball and parties. While he adjusts to both his new stepfamily and increasing awkwardness with his formerly close companions, Mason begins seeing Colette, a 23-year-old with relationship issues of her own. Though she captures the male voice, Martin doesn’t deliver the authentic emotional package she has achieved in her previous works (One Lonely Degree, 2009, etc.). Mason and Colette’s weak connection is unable to sustain the entire story, especially as the author fractures the narrative by introducing issues of blended families as well as interpersonal tensions. Mason’s inner turmoil seems lukewarm at best, and the saccharine ending destroys the comforting uncertainty previous works provided. Some isolated moments shine in the first-person, present-tense narration—Mason’s obscenity-laced confrontation with his “homicidal psycho cat” is priceless—but overall, it’s a disappointment. For a summer novel focusing on love and lust, this barely causes the temperature to rise. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: May 2nd, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-375-84588-8
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2010




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