Monday, September 29, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing by C.K. Kelly Martin


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.



I like the first-person voice Ms. Martin used in The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing.  It makes everything seem very important, which of course it is at that age.  It's really refreshing to see someone a little awkward, like Serena, deal with the vagaries of 'the popular crowd'.  Well, she may not be exactly popular, but gains some notoriety from her brother being on a tv show.  And then there's the weight she lost over the summer.  That brought her a whole different kind of attention.

Sweetest Thing has got the whole roller coaster of YA ups and downs:  real friendship, expectations, popularity based on looks, what makes a boy a man, what makes a girl a woman, lies, bullying.  (Wow...that's more negatives than I thought.  I know there are more positives - but my own teenhood was so long ago, I'm having a little trouble remembering back that far!)

If you enjoy YA Fiction, you will enjoy Martin's book.  You may recognize a big of your own past (or present).  Sweetest Thing is a great story of a girl growing up, and there's no vampires or dystopia - a coming-of-age story for the rest of us.



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.


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(Disclosure:  I received an e-copy of The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing from the author and publisher via Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.)

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