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The Lighter Side of Life and Death
Cover of The Lighter Side of Life and Death
The Lighter Side of Life and Death
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Acclaimed YA author C. K. Kelly Martin offers a sexy, soulful story of one confused boy, two girls, and all the complications that ensue in this romantic feel-good love story that celebrates...
Acclaimed YA author C. K. Kelly Martin offers a sexy, soulful story of one confused boy, two girls, and all the complications that ensue in this romantic feel-good love story that celebrates...
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Description-

  • Acclaimed YA author C. K. Kelly Martin offers a sexy, soulful story of one confused boy, two girls, and all the complications that ensue in this romantic feel-good love story that celebrates friendship, first love, first lust, and second chances.

    Sixteen-year-old Mason Rice is having the night of his life. He's just delivered an incredible performance in the school play, basked in celebratory afterglow vibes at the party of the year, and lost his virginity to one of his best friends--the gorgeous but previously unobtainable Kat Medina. His dreams are coming true, and the future looks golden.

    Unfortunately, Kat sees things very differently. Crossing the friendship line was a big mistake, and all she wants is to forget it and move on, even if that means forgetting Mason altogether. What's a guy to do? Well, if you're Mason, you hang your hopes on the first attractive twenty-three-year-old you cross paths with. At first Mason wonders if he's imagining the chemistry . . . until Colette invites him over to her apartment. Suddenly Mason's living in a whole new world.

    From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    There are certain things you know you'll always remember. Like the way Miracle stares at me when we hear the gunshot. Our eyes lock fast. Hers shine with resignation, pain and the kind of love I can only begin to understand. Suddenly I can't catch my breath. I'm beyond anything I ever wanted to feel. It's low and high, intertwined like a double helix, and I mumble to Monica G as I rush offstage, my body racked with dread.But this isn't the end. Not yet. I stumble back under the lights, bury my head in Miracle's chest and try to speak. Don't, she says. She has the last lines. There's nothing else for me to remember, nothing to do but watch her and let the final moments roll over me. My eyes burn as I look and listen but I don't fight it. I want to be fearless like Miracle. I want it to hurt so everyone can see.

    Then there's just silence stretched out in front of us in the darkness. I wipe my face as we scramble offstage, and Miracle grabs my sleeve and whispers something I can't quite hear. I nod anyway, feeling wounded and amazed. It's like we're all incredible--me,Miracle, Monica G, Charlie Kady, Y and Z, Jamie and everyone else who made this happen. We're even better than last night and the night before that. It makes me wonder just how good we could be if there was a next time. Everyone claps for us. Not just polite applause but like they really got it. On stage we hold hands and bow, and the feeling just keeps growing. We did good; we did awesome. I love these people next to me, Miracle channeling Meryl Streep and Monica G squeezing my hand and Jamie pulling strings in the background and Y and Z looking deep in love with each other, beaming with pride. I tell you, if you could bottle what I'm feeling right now, you'd be a billionaire. My cells are singing an anthem.

    They're still singing when I stride out to the lobby afterwards. I'm swarmed by people clapping me on the shoulder and hurling praise in my direction. Then it's Dad's turn and he grins at Nina like he's showing me off for the first time. "Mason, you were fabulous," she says with a smile. "You should be so proud."

    Nina's the only one of Dad's girlfriends that I've ever spent more than thirty minutes with, and I thank her and shift my focus to Brianna, next to her. Brianna happens to be the only one of us who isn't smiling. She's a thirteen-year-old tragedy-in-waiting,that kid. The face of gloom. As far as I can see, it doesn't have much to do with Dad and Nina's engagement either. She's been like that ever since we met.

    "Your dad tells me you're off to celebrate now," Nina says with a cheerful nod. "Don't let us keep you."

    I smile wider because Nina's got my number. Yolanda Solomon's extremely cool parents have handed over their house until one-thirty. There's not a second to lose. "Say hi to Burke for me, okay?" I tell her. Burke is Brianna's six-and-a-half-year-old brother.He's so normal that you'd never guess they share DNA.

    "Will do," Nina replies. "I'll see you at the engagement shower."

    The engagement shower's doubling as a housewarming party. Everything but the wedding has been pushed forward on account of Nina's landlord selling their condo--they weren't supposed to move in with us until the end of September. Not that I mind. I only have a year and a half before I go away to university, and Nina's okay.

    "Do you need any cash?" Dad asks. He was here on opening night too but he wanted to come back with Nina.

    "Well, I won't turn it down." My jaw aches from smiling so hard. It's impossible to stop.

    Dad pulls out his wallet and hands me forty bucks, and then I'm edging my way through the crowd towards...

About the Author-

  • C. K. KELLY MARTIN lives in the greater Toronto area with her husband. You can visit her Web site and blog at CKKellyMartin.com.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 23, 2010
    Sixteen-year-old Mason has had a crush on Kat since she moved to town, so when they end up having sex after Mason's cast party for the school play (the first time for both of them), Mason is thrilled. But Kat becomes distant and instead of dealing with his pain, Mason pursues Colette, a 23-year-old family friend. Details of their secret affair are graphic but realistic, with Mason soon wanting an emotional connection Colette does not. Adding to tension at school is Mason's best friend Jamie, who also likes Kat, and Mason's new stepfamily (his father recently remarried), particularly belligerent 13-year-old Brianna. The family scenes are solid, with hostility between Mason and Brianna bubbling to a climax after Brianna spots Mason getting out of Colette's car, though the fallout from the affair is surprisingly minor. Still, Martin gives Mason a relatable voice ("I've never stalked anyone before; how do people do this?") and offers a refreshingly sincere perspective on early relationships. Ages 14–up.

  • School Library Journal

    August 1, 2010

    Gr 10 Up-Mason and Kat are best friends, but, drunk after a party, they have sex, and neither knows how to deal with the aftermath. Mason's always had a crush on Kat and he's worried that she'll think he was taking advantage of her; she's acting distant and won't talk to him. Their behavior after their secret tryst puts a strain on Mason's high school clique, especially with pal Jamie, who had a crush on Kat and who finds out what happened. Confused, 16-year-old Mason jumps into a romantic relationship with an older woman, Colette. His feelings about the mess he's made with Kat and the inappropriate relationship with Colette ring true. A subplot about Mason's new blended family adds dimension to the story. This narrative will keep readers interested as it moves from shamed encounter to forbidden relationship. For female romance fans, the story allows a peek into the teen boy's conscience and explores the emotional consequences of sex without being preachy.-Shawna Sherman, Hayward Public Library, CA

    Copyright 2010 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from March 15, 2010
    Grades 9-12 *Starred Review* When best friends Mason and Kat lose their virginity to each other, they react quite differently. Mason is obsessed with Kat; Kat responds by ignoring him completely. Partly from a desire for revenge, partly from fascination, Mason begins an intense physical relationship with 23-year-old Colette, a dalliance that soon becomes just as obsessive as his relationship with Kat was. This is not your ordinary teen romance. Its heavy on the sex but carefully nuanced. Although the lust is palpable, so is the affection and intrigue. Yes, Mason is in love with the act itself, but he cares deeply for both young women. The layers of emotion, so rarely evoked by young men in YA novels, give a depth and authenticity to Masons personality that expose his navet' and occasional bewilderment. The books other characters are equally complex. Kat and Colette have strong, genuine feelings for Mason, each battling her own distinct emotions. Even Masons relationships with his new stepfamily are painfully true to life. Counteracting its apparently happy ending, this taut novel propels readers from one corroding relationship to another. A more genuine representation of teen life would be hard to find.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2010, American Library Association.)

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    Random House Children's Books
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