by C. K. Kelly Martin
Publication Date: May 2016 (US)
Published by Dancing Cats Books
Ivy’s longtime boyfriend proposes a breakup minutes before their final exam of high school, and the sunshine couple of Suttonville High are no more. Lucan’s summer begins equally mortifyingly. Amidst turmoil with his mother’s agonizingly youthful boyfriend, Lucan also begins to suspect, to his horror, that his best friend is hitting his girlfriend.
When Ivy and Lucan, second cousins immersed in a lingering family feud, meet at their grandmother’s seventy-fifth birthday bash as Lucan has a violent allergic reaction, their blemished reintroduction into each other’s lives provides a welcome perspective to the complexities of understanding, growth, and friendship. In a passionate rebuttal against archetypes of teenage apathy, Delicate is a realistic narrative of the depths of human caring.
Books that focus mainly on the dynamics of relationships are some of my favorites and C.K. Kelly Martin has a knack for writing these books. That is probably why DELICATE has been on my reading wishlist since June of 2015. DELICATE definitely focuses on the complexities of relationships - the good, the bad, and the ugly. There are so many to examine:
- Ivy's relationship with her parents
- Lucan's relationship with his mother and her new, young boyfriend
- Ivy's relationship with Jeremy - Is it really over? Can Ivy let go when Jeremy can't seem to?
- Lucan's friendship with his best friend Des
- Ivy's friendship with her best friend Betina
- Ivy's parents' relationship with Lucan's mother - There's some history there, some bad blood that they can't seem to get beyond and Ivy is just now finding it out.
- Ivy's friendship with Jeremy - Can they be friends after everything they've gone through?
- And Ivy's relationship with Lucan - What is going on between them? Is it romantic? How does their family connection fit in to all of it? Can they or should they be more than friends?
I loved reading about all of them and how in some way they are all connected. Each relationship affects another. Nothing is ever simple. Relationships rarely are.
As a side note, I thought that Lucan's peanut allergy would play a major role in the story as a whole, but it doesn't. If anything, it shows that there is so much more to Lucan than just his allergy.
"Life is a lot of things, not just the person you're sleeping with."
"I went home and wrote tortured poetry in my head without ever putting a word down on paper."
"It's hard when people turn out to be someone other than who you expected them to be."
"He was the real thing. We'd been the real thing. And it was over."
I've come to really enjoy C.K. Kelly Martin's books. I seek them out and have yet to be disappointed. Thank goodness. DELICATE is a fantastic addition to contemporary YA. It's a book that could be referred to as "under the radar", but readers definitely need to take notice.
Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Quotes were taken from the Advanced Reading Copy and may differ from the final published version. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
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