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I Know It's Over by C.K. Kelly Martin

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Blueboarders have got it going on!  I've had an awesome week of reading and have concluded it with C.K. Kelly Martin's fantastic debut, I Know It's Over. And it. Was. Awesome. After reading Lacey's GoodReads review, I picked it up and was prepared to be totally heartbroken. I might have even been looking forward to it, because I am a Canadian and that's how we are. Or at least that is how I am. I like a good heartbreaking story (it's usually the happy ones that freak me out).

Anyway, as much as I thought I was prepared for this book, I totally wasn't. It doesn't just break your heart--that's putting it too mildly--this book will rip your heart out of your chest and then dry ice it and then smash it into smithereens and then direct you to the cupboard where the glue is so you can then begin the process of pasting the pieces of your old heart into a NEW heart.

The good news: it's so worth it.

I Know It's Over is a book about a teenage guy named Nick and his intense, all-consuming relationship with a girl named Sasha. The two are so full of each other they can hardly breathe. When they break up, Sasha citing a need for space, Nick is devastated. It's not what he wants and he struggles to understand how it's something she could. 

And then Sasha comes back--not to tell Nick she wants to get back together... but to tell him she's pregnant. Together but not, they must figure out what to do, how to cope and how to continue after the decision is made.

This is one YA novel that really impressed me (and also gave me chest pains with its amazingness, as mentioned above). It tackles some big issues--teen pregnancy, sex, sexuality--but never once feels like an Issue Book. I mean, Degrassi is fun to watch, but it wouldn't be that fun to read (unless it's a Degrassi book--we all know that'd be awesome). Martin never once goes for a melodramatic or heavy-handed approach, nor does she have an agenda, which is sure to make people on either side of the fence mad.

Nick is one of the most memorable male protagonists I've read in a long time. His observations are candid and devastating. He's a frustrated, 16-year-old guy, struggling with his own perceptions of himself and other people's perceptions of him. Martin drives home the fact that it's tough just to be a teenager, let alone one that is about to go through the things that Nick goes through. Martin is also excellent at taking down walls between characters, both major and minor ones, and the reader. If you don't know these people, you will know them. I think that familiarity is especially important, considering the book's subject matter.

The writing is frank, brutal, beautiful and emotionally confrontational. I'm sure it'll force people to ask questions they don't want to ask. After reading I Know It's Over, I'm convinced there's nothing Martin won't say and that's good. That's what I want on my YA shelf. That's what I want on EVERY YA shelf...

I Know It's Over doesn't come out until September 23rd.  Do yourself a favour and pre-order your copy today.
#1 - August 30, 2008, 11:05 PM

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