One Lonely Degree by C.K. Kelly Martin (May 26th 2009—Random House)
Grade: 3.5 stars out of 5
Summary: “Anything is possible...
Finn has always felt out of place, but suddenly her world is unraveling. It started with The Party. And Adam Porter. And the night in September that changed everything. The only person who knows about that night is Audrey—Finn’s best friend, her witness to everything, and the one person Finn trusts implicitly. So when Finn’s childhood friend Jersy moves back to town—reckless, beautiful Jersy, all lips and eyes and hair so soft you’d want to dip your fingers into it if you weren’t careful—Finn gives her blessing for Audrey to date him. How could she possibly say no to Audrey? With Audrey gone for the summer, though, Finn finds herself spending more and more time with Jersy, and for the first time in her life, something feels right. But Finn can’t be the girl who does this to her best friend...can she?”
Review: Ms. Martin has a way with manipulating the past into the present and future. The format of her previous book, I Know It’s Over, makes another appearance in One Lonely Degree. She has this way of forcing the past into the present as the prominent setback the character faces and yet still making it seem a part of whom there are. Not just as an unfortunate event that happened but rather what makes them grow. It becomes what they are as they face every day life with the ever lingering past haunting them. This is what Ms. Martin excels in—mixing the past with the present.
Like her previous book I had some trouble with One Lonely Degree. There were sudden burst of magic that left me pleased but some scenes that were monotone. Think of a roller coaster. We had the highs and the low. The lows made the highs just all that much better. They were still low though.
The lows were the sections where it was all details—daily routines of her job, her fixation to her height, those types of things. The highs were definitely the emotional parts, the relationships with the family and friends, the development.
Speaking of family relationships I must say there seems to be a trend in regards to the dysfunctional families. I think it played a key role in furthering the relationship between Jersy and Finn however.
One thing that left me baffled was the friendship between Finn and Audrey. The final breakup between the two left me disordered as I could not tell if I loved it or hated it. What I felt was that it broke my heart to see that. I am so used to books where friends go through a rocky path but ultimately reunite. On the other hand, this is a realistic scene. In the real world friends will separate because of this, it has happened and will continue to do so. The key is the borderline of the fantasy world and the real world. What we expect and hope as opposed to what should technically occur. So kudos to Ms. Martin, for making me dislike and praise the same scene at the same time.
The issue with Audrey about not getting back together? Well I got my happily ever after with Jersy. Jersy was everything—he had no apparent class in the high school hierarchy. Jersy and Finn I felt were a sweet couple together. I could see them as friends or as a couple. They have the best friends talk—deep and meaningful, but the sexual tension as well. We see in the end that there is still a tinge of their friendship left behind after the confrontation.
Speaking of sexual, this book is more for the mature audience. I will not go into further details of it but trust me on this—read if you are an older teen.
Overall: One Lonely Degree delivers as a provocative piece that sets the bar of a past versus present book high. Fans of I Know It’s Over will fawn over C.K. Kelly Martin’s One Lonely Degree.
I actually like this cover much better than I Know It’s Over. I think the model of Finn is on point especially with the hair. I enjoy the brighter colors and the more soother hues.
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