My rating: 3 of 5 stars
C.K. Kelly Martin’s story of a teenage couple’s rise, fall and the consequences of the choices they made together. Nick is an ordinary enough teenage boy, dating the girls who allow him to fool around but never quite let him go all the way. He then meets Sasha, who he finds himself falling for and sharing an entirely different kind of connection with, leading to his becoming faithful to her and pursuing a summertime romance together. Nick begins to push Sasha for more from their relationship on a physical side, eventually ended up in the two becoming sexually active and an unintended pregnancy. Sasha discovers this a month after she decides to take a break from Nick to allow her to focus on school and other aspects of her life.
Told from the first-person perspective of Nick, the story is a fascinating and frightening one all at the same time. Nick’s voice is an authentic one and it will ring true to any of us who have been a hormonally imbalanced teenager. The story is one of two people who are forced to grow up early because of their decisions and, on that level, it works fairly well. The story may be frightening to parents of teens when the attitudes toward the physical side of a teenage romance are revealed. It’s certainly eye opening and it could create some interesting conversations.
However, the book falls apart because while Nick and Sasha are well drawn, the rest of the supporting cast is a bit too cliched and familiar. Nick’s estranged parents, his sister and Sasha’s family are only here to serve one role and rarely become more than simple caricatures for one viewpoint or another. Nick’s father’s casual attitude toward his son’s increasing sexual activity is that he gives Nick money for condoms and then is upset later that Nick didn’t follow his advice. It seems a bit cavalier from Nick’s father and doesn’t make the character come off well.