Delicate by C.K. Kelly Martin

12:19 PM

Title: Delicate
Author: C.K. Kelly Martin
Release Date: September 16, 2015
Publisher: Dancing Cat Books
Pages: 180
Source: eARC provided by Dancing Cat Books
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Overall: 4 STARS

Ivy’s seemingly perfect, master-of-social-causes boyfriend breaks it off in the school hallway before their final exam. So much for love. It turns out Jeremy wants to get good and laid by someone new over summer vacation, before they both head off to different universities in the fall.

At her grandmother’s seventy-fifth birthday party, Ivy is in no mood to socialize. In fact, she’s downright delicate. Unfortunately, sixteen-year-old Lucan’s peanut allergy reaction happens right in front of her eyes. As Ivy keeps him company the two realize they’re second cousins who haven’t seen each other in six years due to a mysterious family feud.

The old drama is the last thing on Lucan’s mind. He has more immediate problems, like his mom’s noisy playtime activities with her brash younger boyfriend. On top of that, Lucan’s a constant witness to his best friend’s toxic relationship, which he begins to suspect has become abusive.

As the weeks pass, Lucan and Ivy’s summer seems more like a minefield of disastrous events — but at least they have their developing friendship with each other to count on. Or is that what’s really going on?

With high grades, a scholarship to Carleton University in the fall, and a perfect boyfriend, everything in Ivy's life was going according to plan. That is, right until Jeremy suddenly breaks up with Ivy before their final exam and shatters her heart. He meant everything to her. They shared a passion for social causes, and led their AVL group at school, and sure, he was heading to Montreal for university, but she never imagined they would ever be apart. Jeremy might be apologetic about their break up, but Ivy can't mask the rising fury and pain.

Lucan can't help feeling caught in the middle. His parents have been divorced for several years now, but his father doesn't approve of his ex-wife's new younger boyfriend. Lucan isn't really a fan of him either, especially since he can hear them having sex down the hall at night (shudder!), but his father's comments about his mother make him uncomfortable. And then there's his best friend Des, whose volatile relationship with his girlfriend has become abusive.

When Ivy and Lucan meet at her grandmother's seventy-fifth birthday party, they find a friend in each other, someone they can trust and confide in knowing they won't be judged. They're second cousins who haven't seen each other in years, not since a mysterious family feud drove their mothers apart, but Ivy and Lucan reconnect over the summer as they deal with issues that are all too realistic.

Maybe it's because the gritty cover threw me off at first, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I absolutely enjoyed C.K. Kelly Martin's latest YA contemporary fiction novel Delicate. Everything from peanut allergies and family arguments to sexually transmitted infections and abusive relationships were approached head-on and pulled no punches. What a refreshing attitude!  

Delicate was a very socially conscious read, and while it dealt with serious teen issues, it never felt judgmental. I feel like any teen or new adult can relate to the problems Ivy and Lucan faced in the novel, or walk away with more knowledge of how to get help and face these problems should they arise. Ivy's interest in social activism was also very inspiring and made you feel you can make a difference in the world, if only you simply raise your voice. C.K. Kelly Martin's Delicate was an absolute page-turner, and I hope you add it your TBR!

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  1. I hadn't heard of this one before, but it sounds like it manages to tackle a lot of issues in a thought-provoking and realistic way. Have added it to my Goodreads TBR!

    1. I think you'll really enjoy this one, Danya! With so many different issues, it could have felt like it was there just to add some drama & angst, but C.K. Kelly Martin really tries to approach them in a realistic way. And thought-provoking is definitely a good word to describe the book! Like it opens your eyes to some things we take for granted, or just don't really think about (like Lucan realizing his friend is hurting his girlfriend).