Initially Leah keeps to herself, with no energy for anyone or anything else, but it's not long before her nurturing neighbours begin to become fixtures in Leah's life and a much needed part-time job forces her to interact with other members of the community. And when Leah is faced with another earth-shattering event, her perspective on life begins to shift again. Soon Leah's falling into a casual sexual relationship with Irish actor Liam Kellehan, who has troubles of his own, even as she continues to yearn for her dead boyfriend. Clearly she's not the person she thought she was—and maybe Liam isn't either.
Straight up, Martin's newest book had me itching to get my hands on it with two words: New Adult. I love YA, but with a very strong preference towards older YA and an absolute love for characters in the New Adult age. And, of course, it's written by C K Kelly Martin.
I really truly love C K Kelly Martin. Something about her books just click with me. I first read I know It's Over after seeing Jaclyn Moriarty's blurb for it. "This book is compelling and unswervingly honest. It takes on real complex issues with a light, deft touch. The second half broke my heart a little every page or so."So agreeing, Jaclyn. Since then, I've read all her books, loving the quiet and achey Finn in One Lonely Degree (my mini review). And falling for Mason (charming, charismatic and ache-y, 100% teen man-child) in The Lighter Side of Life and Death. (my review)
The thing that most sucks me into C K Kelly Martin is how she gets right under he character's skin, and she has done it again in Come See About Me with Leah. The prose is pitch perfect, this elegant blend of simple and straightforward with some poetic turns of phrase sprinkled throughout. Martin is a talented writer, for sure, and there's nothing like sinking into a book from the first page thinking 'this is going to be good'.
And it was good.
From the blurb, you know it's a grief book, coupled with sexy times.
My gosh, C K Kelly Martin brings the angst and depression and sorrow and longing and utter devastation with such expertise. I really felt that. On the flip side, if there was one thing I would change about the book, would be that, although it felt 100% realistic, the first 20% where Leah was drowning, I started to feel like I was drowning, too. But, if the pacing feels a little slow at the beginning, hang in there, because it is so worth it. Just a few more chapters along, and suddenly I couldn't put the kindle down.
You guys, it would be remiss of me to just get all SWOON and SEXY regarding Liam. Because he is so much more than that. I love all the shades of grey in his character and in his relationship with Leah. Liam is Irish and gorgeous and has some unique background/occupation not often seen in the YA scene making him completely intriguing. He is also complicated, messy, older. And Leah's relationship with him is complicated, messy and definitely older.
A word about the sex: It's sensual and steamy and completely hot (as in HOT). Without the bounds of being a YA book, Martin is able to explore more sexually, and the scenes are essential to the relationship and so gorgeously and evocatively done. The scenes weren't just some steamy filler, guys, they had depth and emotions and all kinds of excitement and confusion that comes with a sexual relationship in your early twenties. Caution: The sex scenes are not fade to black, and are for mature readers, not young teens (IMO).
Where was I before I was distracted by Liam? ;)
Oh, I was glued to the pages (after making it past the little 10 - 20% slow hump). Coming to the climax and resolution, I had this sudden panic attack. So bewitched by the story, it had slipped my mind that this is a Martin Book, and her stories often have these bittersweet (read: painful) endings. The suspense in those last chapters nearly broke me. Which is a true sign of my love for the characters, my gut clenching for them. No spoilers here, but absolutely everything I felt while loving in this world was worth it and I thought the ending was perfect.
This is what I want you to know: C K Kelly Martin is truly one of the talented writers for this YA generation. She brings what feels like the truth with a heartbreaking and hopeful clarity. Come See About Me is a New Adult novel, set outside of high school, with sex scenes more explicit than regular YA stuff. I was sucked in, swallowed up and mesmerised by this story. I read it over the course of one blissed-out ache-y day and one month on, I am still feeling the emotions of this read.
I find it hard to pick favourites, but I think Liam and Leah is my fave C K Kelly Martin couple so far x
I am definitely excited for what C K Kelly Martin has for us next.
Buy the ebook from amazon (paperback also available)
Thank you ever so much to the author for providing my review copy
Have you read this one?
What did you think?
Do you love the new adult genre?