Author: C.K. Kelly Martin
Release date: September 1st 2014
Publisher: Dancing Cat Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Tour organized by: Xpresso Book ToursPurchase: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Add to your library: Goodreads
Losing weight over the summer gains Serena some popularity, but it also means discovering first-hand the pains of being a fifteen-year-old girl in a world that both sexualizes and shames young women. After narrowly avoiding exploitation in a shortlived relationship, Serena aligns with a new friend who was the victim of an explicit image that was shared at school. When Serena finds herself in a relationship with a new guy, she is surprised to find a different set of expectations. But have her previous experiences damaged her too much to make it work? As Serena struggles to find who she is as opposed to who she is expected to be, she begins sighting Devin – her older brother who disappeared months earlier. (via Goodreads)
I received an e-copy of this from C.K. Kelly Martin and Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This however did not influence my opinion of the book or of the author in any way.
I had this feeling that I would totally like this one. Yet when I got to a certain point in the book, I thought that it wasn't what I expected. Then again I reached another point in the book and realized that I liked it more than I thought I would. Judgments and conclusions are not really enough, huh?
Everything about Serena's life is more of a cliche. Still it did not bore me entirely. The things that happened to her, how she managed them and how the people around her managed them were all a little expected. Though I guess that's a given in a contemporary novel. What set out this one apart is the realistic thoughts and actions that the characters had. They said and did things one will say and do in real life. It may be rude and all but it's the truth and you can't always get that. At first, I didn't like Serena. Like I've said, the characters were realistic and so she was being a fifteen year old obsessed-with-herself kind of girl. As the story went on, I learned how to soften with her. She had her reasons and stuff. Though that's one thing I didn't exactly feel genuine with. It was like I just read she was having her closure in the end and that's it. I don't know why but it seemed a little rush for me when that happened. I didn't get to feel that heavy weight lifted off my chest.
This novel may be about Serena trying to be contented with herself, trying to find her brother, trying to be enough for her parents. But for me, it was more than that. It was about being fat, about swearing off guys, about judging people based on their looks, about how you cannot help people when they don't want your help, about family issues and just about everything else. I guess anyone can relate to these things even in the most indirect way. So you definitely won't get bored with this.
I have to commend Kelly's writing for making this novel entertaining while still tackling the issues in a serious way. Truly one of the most realistic light-but-heavy novels I've read with realistic concerns.
About the Author
C.K. KELLY MARTIN’s bestselling debut novel, I Know It’s Over, was published in 2008. It was followed by One Lonely Degree, The Lighter Side of Life and Death, My Beating Teenage Heart and the sci-fi thriller, Yesterday. A graduate of the Film Studies program at York University, Martin loves good books, movies, music, web design, and Ireland. She currently resides in Oakville, Ontario.