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The Lighter Side of Life and Death

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  550 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 friendsthe gorgeous but previously unobtainable Kat Medina. His dreams are coming true and the future looks golden. Unfortunately, Kat sees ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published May 25th 2010)
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Average rating 3.29  · 
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To say Im slightly conflicted about this book is a huge understatement. I finished it yesterday, and Ive been thinking how I feel about the content and the characters since then, so Ill warn you now, my comments below are unorganized and might be borderline ranting... just so you know... Okay, who am I kidding... its a rant... full blown rant.

First of all, Im 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
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
Oct 04, 2011 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 cant understand why shes avoiding him and his friends are treating him differently. When he meets Colette, a friend of his new stepmom, everything changes. Shes 23 and he cant get her out of his mind.
Apparently, a 16 year old is of age in Canada, and
May 28, 2010 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
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
May 30, 2010 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
Steph Su
Aug 20, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lookalikes
C.K. Kelly Martins third novel, THE LIGHTER SIDE OF LIFE AND DEATH, is a nuanced tale of the complexities of contemporary romance. It doesnt 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 desires
Jun 06, 2011 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.
May 20, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book has one saving grace: diversity. Love how diverse the characters are. Especially Kat. I'm Filipino, so I always love when I see that there's a Filipino character in a book. And the author mentioned pancit and furniture covered in plastic? All for it.

That's pretty much all I liked about this book. The main thing that I disliked--and the most important thing--is the protagonist, Mason. And when the main character is the problem, it just makes the whole reading experience unpleasant.
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVED IT! This was my fave Martin book to date. I just recently discovered her books and i've been devouring them so quickly. Great writing, great story and I love that she's canadian :P There isn't much I can say except that this was an easy read, Martin gets your attention quickly and the story just flows from there. Mason was adorable and I loved being in his head. At times he felt older than his sixteen years but the story still worked. And the ending, perfect!
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 26, 2010 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 ...more
Oct 19, 2011 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
Jun 13, 2010 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, Masons interactions with his and family are also dominant, showing smoothly and efficiently both sides of his
Jul 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
full review on my blog, holes In My brain

This book is good. Its 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 Masons voice from the very first page and fleshes him out as things get complicated making him one of the best male voices Ive read in a while**. I loved how realistic he seemed, and what I loved even more is that Martin didnt rely on some sort of
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I cant 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 Ive 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
Nov 21, 2010 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
Apr 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: april-2011-reads
stories on cougar relationships always fascinates me, i mean will the older woman fall for the younger guy? will their circle of friends approve it? how will the story end? and a lot of questions more. well, reading this book definitely entertained me in that department.

this is a story of mason who just had the most wonderful time of his life....well, almost. after an amazing performance of his life (he's in a play, btw) and doing it with his best friend kat medina (love the girl, well the name
Feb 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: contemporary fans
Originally posted at Fragments of Life.

In the YA world thats dominated by heroines, Masons narrative was a breath of fresh air. I found his confused state, as well as everything he felt, very realistic and natural for a teenage guy. After living the best day of his life delivering a great performance, enjoying the best party of the year, and losing his virginity to his best friend and crush, Kat lady luck seemed to grow tired of him and waltzed out of his life.

What I loved most about The
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
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
Nov 09, 2009 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
Jul 21, 2012 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. Its told from Masons perspective, and I have to say I love reading books that are told from a guys 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 to
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
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 ...more
Stacia (the 2010 club)
I skim read this one. There wasn't much going on other than the plot following around one guy who was trying to sort out relationship issues. After an awkward experience isolates him from a good friend, he turns to an older woman and starts to internally obsess over her a little. The age difference is a sure sign that nothing is permanent, and the book ends (view spoiler)

The book was pretty one-note. The inclusion of
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jaglvr for

On the night after a great performance in his high school play, Mason Rice finds himself having a wonderful time celebrating. Little did he expect to find himself having sex with his best friend, Kat. He's always been attracted to Kat, but so has their other best friend, Jamie. Which is the main reason why neither guy has ever made a play for Kat. No one wanted to mess up their solid friendship.

But the aftermath of their encounter effects all of their
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
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Long before I was an author I was a fan of books about Winnie the Pooh, Babar, Madeline, Anne Shirley and anything by Judy Blume. Throughout high school my favourite class was English. No surprise, then, that most of my time spent at York University in Toronto was as an English majornot the traditional way to graduate with a B.A. (Hons) in film studies but a fine way to get a general arts ...more

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