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The Lighter Side of Life and Death

3.29  ·  Rating Details  ·  511 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
Sixteen-year-old Mason Rice is having the night of his life. He's just delivered an incredible performance in the school play, basked in celebratory afterglow vibes at the party of the year, and lost his virginity to one of his best friends—the gorgeous but previously unobtainable Kat Medina. His dreams are coming true and the future looks golden. Unfortunately, Kat sees t ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,283)
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To say I’m slightly conflicted about this book is a huge understatement. I finished it yesterday, and I’ve been thinking how I feel about the content and the characters since then, so I’ll warn you now, my comments below are unorganized and might be borderline ranting... just so you know... Okay, who am I kidding... it’s a rant... full blown rant.

First of all, I’m giving it three stars because I liked the narrator of this story. Mason is a sixteen year old junior in high school, who I feel is li
I automatically wanted to read this book regardless of the premise because I really love the way C K Kelly Martin writes. (Not that the premise was so bad, just that I plan on reading her books regardless of the blurb)

C K Kelly Martin captures the teen voice so authentically and without any sentimentality ~ it really is refreshing to read. Her books just feel honest.

Likewise ~ I adore her prose. It is neither overly literary or simply commercial. I love the way she tells her stories ~ her senten

Seriously, C.K. Kelly Martin is one of my favourite YA authors. I think her novels are so significant and important and everyone should be reading them and every time I finish one of her books, I want to hand them to a million people and be like, YOU NEED THIS! Even if I don't know them! Which makes me sound kind of creepy, but really it's because C.K. touches on so many emotional truths, I feel safe in making the assumption that there is something in her books that all people of th
Sep 12, 2012 Alyssa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers who are tired of the same-old, same-old.
Recommended to Alyssa by: Courtney
Martin does diversity - with her characters and plot lines - extremely well, a reason why I enjoyed this book as much as I did. I was pleasantly surprised that Martin supported and represented minorities, as well as addressed "taboo" (and often clichéd) situations. Although this book wasn't without its faults, I'm very glad that there is an author out there that gets the idea of diversity, and that she took that aspect of reality to her story. This is definitely my favourite of Martin's books.

Kerri (Book Hoarder)
2.5 stars.

This book was a bit strange, for me. I couldn't decide if I liked the main character or not, in spite of my usual reminders to myself when reading YA that I am reading about teenagers.

In that sense, the author has teenagers down pat. Hormones running wild, awkward drama, tensions over the smallest things? All of that is to be found in this book about a sixteen year old boy who finds the course of his life getting a bit bumpy when he sleeps with his best friend only to have things fall
Diane Ferbrache
Mason is a 16 year old boy who loses his virginity in the first chapter. He and his best friend, Kat, have too much to drink at a party, she sees her boyfriend with another girl, and things get out of hand (she was a virgin too). The next week he can’t understand why she’s avoiding him and his friends are treating him differently. When he meets Colette, a friend of his new stepmom, everything changes. She’s 23 and he can’t get her out of his mind.
Apparently, a 16 year old is “of age” in Canada
Jenny / Wondrous Reads
If there's one thing C. K. Kelly Martin can do better than almost anyone, it's write from the perspective of a normal teenage boy. She somehow manages to get inside their heads and portray them with realism and honesty, leaving no stone unturned and nothing to the imagination. Her debut novel, I Know It's Over, also used male narration, leaving me to think that that was as good as it got. Thanks to The Lighter Side of Life and Death, it got better.

From reading the summary, you're probably thinki
May 30, 2010 Carla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imagine you've had a crush on one of your best friends for as long as you can remember, it's a bit of an all consuming thing. You loose your virginity to that person and it's midblowing, everything you hoped it would be and more. Then imagine that person decides it was a mistake and blatantly ignores you, acts like your nothing and what you did together was nothing. It can destroy a person, so it's no suprise that Mason jumps on the rebound train and heads straight to Older Woman town, a one way ...more
Steph Su
Aug 12, 2010 Steph Su rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lookalikes
C.K. Kelly Martin’s third novel, THE LIGHTER SIDE OF LIFE AND DEATH, is a nuanced tale of the complexities of contemporary romance. It doesn’t quite have the punch and memorability I seek in contemporary realistic fiction, but it will nevertheless find fans among those who like their love stories quieter and subtler.

I adore Mason, the protagonist, in a way that is less than adulation but more than pleasant enjoyment. He is the realest boy I have read about in a long time, with typical male desir
May 30, 2010 laaaaames rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish C.K. Kelly Martin wrote ten books a year so I would have more of them to read. I mean, good god. They are so awesome. And they are so awesome because they are not super high concept or paranormal or trend-jumpy, they are just books about people living, and sometimes they do good things and sometimes they do bad things, but mostly they just do THINGS because life is rarely very black and white, so why should books about people be either?

I like Martin's boy protags a lot. They are boys for
mason loses his virginity to his hot best friend kat at a party where she is drunk and reeling from a break-up. but it is still perfect sex and everyone has orgasms, so mason is pretty thrilled. kat is confused and needs space. so mason hooks up with his step-aunt's friend colette, who is 23, and has a lot of drama with his friends and new step-family.

2.5 stars. 2.75 stars? eh. i liked mason as a narrator but it seemed like all these characters and situations kept getting introduced really hapha
Irisa Liço
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 06, 2011 Trisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-literature
Intense, vivid and a little bit unsettling. The voice of the narrator is an authentic teenage male, with all his flaws and adolescent idealism on display equally.
Jun 17, 2014 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again, C.K Kelly Martin has written a complex and gripping novel etched with honesty and realism. The Lighter Side Of Life And Death revolves around Mason as he deals with many new obstacles in his life that have been presented. Like Martin's other novels, there is much more to this book than the summary dictates. As well as the lust that surrounds Mason's relationship with Colette, there are also family and friend conflicts that manifest that add substance and complexity to the characters, ...more
Jun 13, 2010 Kari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The premise if this book is what first caught my attention besides the title, luring me in with the older woman theme but without a large age gap. Only six years apart, Mason and Colette can still find some common ground, allowing one to mature and the other to air on the side of reckless abandon, creating an enduring dynamic. Though this relationship forms the primary basis of the plot, Mason’s interactions with his and family are also dominant, showing smoothly and efficiently both sides of hi
Audrey (holes In My brain)
full review on my blog, holes In My brain

This book is good. It’s really good. I can see the appeal of CK Kelly Martin now, I think her writing is more about the voice and the character than telling the story in a step by step manner. She pinpoints Mason’s voice from the very first page and fleshes him out as things get complicated making him one of the best male voices I’ve read in a while**. I loved how realistic he seemed, and what I loved even more is that Martin didn’t rely on some sort of
Liz at Midnight Bloom Reads
This was my first time reading a novel by Martin, but wow, has she ever left an impression. I'll admit, I was a bit wary to begin reading the novel so I kept putting it off, but finally, I grabbed it and just began... and I'm glad I did. In some ways, The Lighter Side of Life and Death was exactly the kind of book I expected it to be- a teen romance which goes awry with the main lead needing a distraction to get over it- but it was also so much more than that.

With honest storytelling, Martin wri
Dec 26, 2010 Ari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ari by: April (Good Books and Good Wine)
I saw the cover of this book and for some odd reason I thought it was about two poc. I now realize Mason is white and the brown-skin belongs to Kat. Who knows what I was thinking. I also didn't know the story took place in Canada. I was completely confused when Mason said he only had a year and a half till he left home since y'know, in the U.S. it would be two years. Not that this bothered me, the story was a great one. I do wish that Kat had been better developed. I guess since Kat was trying t ...more
Sarah Rosenberger
When 16-year-old Mason loses his virginity to his friend Kat, the girl he's had a crush on forever, he's elated. He thinks that sharing this experience will move their relationship to a deeper level, but unfortunately, that's not what happens... Instead, Kat won't even make eye contact with him, his best friend (who also had a crush on Kat) is hurt by their betrayal, and somehow, the whole school knows exactly what happened. Hurt and confused by Kat's rejection, when 23-year-old Colette flirts w ...more
Aug 22, 2011 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading One Lonely Degree, I just had to get my hands on anything else that C.K. Kelly Martin had written. She has this way with words, her prose,that just makes you fall in love with her writing. She also has this uncanny way of knowing how to write perfectly from a teen POV and it amazes me everytime.

I loved Mason`s character and voice in this novel. He was so sweet and caring that it was hard not to like him. He was also your typical teenager dealing with everyday dramas that were some
Apr 17, 2012 Kristin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Prior to reading this book I had heard amazing things, I was excited to crack it open and get to know the characters and fall into the story. I was disappointed to say the least. I couldn’t stand this book! At times I felt like I was reading a young boys fantasy porno (not in a vulgar way but in a ‘oh I’m 16 and I’m with an older woman who is experienced and going to teach me the ways of sex’ way). The plot for me dragged on way too long, and then the ending was one of those “wow so all this cou ...more
Dec 10, 2012 Kristyna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I can’t remember what initially attracted me to The Lighter Side of Life and Death by C.K. Kelly Martin, but I heard rave reviews about the author. This is the first book I’ve read by this author, and I was impressed and disappointed at the same time.

This story has an interesting, dynamic concept. A high school boy loses his virginity to his life-long crush, but she wants to forget it happened. So, what does he do? He starts hooking up with a 23-year-old woman. I enjoyed this idea — from a dista
Nov 13, 2011 Lesley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Posted on

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect when I started reading The Lighter Side of Life and Death, from the blurb is sounds like a sixteen year old boys dream scenario of having an affair with an older woman (cougar alert) which in a way it was, but the way it was written by c.k. kelly martin just made the story so much more and it didn't feel particularly sordid or distasteful at any point.

Sixteen year old Mason has a "perfect" one night stand wit
Kim Smiley
This was an easy book to read quickly and the story was pretty good too! I don't read many books that are written from the guy's perspective and this one was, and I like that.

Mason is a 16 yr. old kid in school and his 2 best friends are Kat & Jamie. Mason and Jamie have always had a thing for Kat since she is gorgeous, but since theyr'e all friends, nothing has ever happened.

Until the night of the big party after the play Mason was in. At the house party, Kat sees her boyfriend Hugo going a
Nov 23, 2010 Kelsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Surprisingly, The Lighter Side of Life and Death was my first CK Kelly Martin novel. I've had it sitting on my TBR pile for quite awhile now and I'm so glad I finally picked it up. It was definitely different than I was expecting but it was a refreshing change from all the female POVs I've been reading lately.

To begin with, Mason was a character that I just had to like right away. His warm and easy going personality just made him an extremely likable main character from the start. Mason's life
Jul 05, 2011 Amy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sep 24, 2012 Caitlin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Caitlin by: hertelave
2.5 stars. Midway through I would have rated this 3 stars but rather than growing on me Mason increasingly annoyed me and I think the narrative would have ended on a better note (and with a higher rating) had Kat and Jamie been more developed.

Still, I enjoyed a good chunk of it. The escalation of Mason and Colette's relationship was kind of exciting but, while it was also one of the reasons Mason began to irritate me, I liked how his completely childish and petulant interactions with new step-si
The Lighter Side of Life and Death is a great book about a boy's life. It touches on relationships between friends, family, and couples. The male POV is well-written and the characterization is amazing too.


Mason is a good guy, easy to get along with, but still having some problems with people. He is struggling with his feelings for his best friend, Kat Medina. When they end up sleeping together after a party, he is happy because he thinks she might finally return his feeli
Michelle Sallay
Sep 10, 2011 Michelle Sallay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I live my life scandal free, so I know I enjoy reading books with a little scandal because I find it interesting to watch characters amidst scandal. Of course it only works when it is well written, and in this book it is.

First off I couldn't believe how strong this male voice was and I knew this was a female author but I had to keep checking the back to make sure there was still a picture of a girl author. Anyway, the voice was right on. Martin would add these little details like someone putting
Aug 23, 2012 Marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian, male-pov
This review was originally posted on my blog, Ramblings of a Daydreamer. You can find it, and many more reviews at the blog.

The Lighter Side of Life and Death reads kind of like a journal to me. It’s told from Mason’s perspective, and I have to say I love reading books that are told from a guy’s perspective. You get a totally different outlook on life, sex, friendship, and family. But in The Lighter Side of Life and Death, the reader gets a lot of minutiae, which is why it reads like a journal t
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Most of my time spent at York University in Toronto was as an English major, not the traditional way to graduate with a B.A. in Film Studies but a fine way to get a general arts education. After graduation I headed for Dublin, Ireland and spent the majority of the nineties there in forgettable jobs meeting unforgettable people and enjoying the buzz.

I always thoughts I'd get around to writing in ea
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