C. K. Kelly Martin’s I Know It’s Over starts off in the middle of the story as Nick learns on Christmas Eve that his ex-girlfriend is pregnant. It has only been a month since their break-up; Nick had already not been handling the break-up well, and Sasha’s pregnancy only intensifies his pain. The two teens struggle with what to do while muddling through the holidays and the family tension that comes as part of the package. Martin rewinds the story half a year to the beginning of the relationship. Nick and Sasha are students at the same high school but run in different social circles. He is a hockey player who enjoys partying with his friends – drinking, smoking, co-ed sleepovers. Sasha is much more academically focused and her parents work to keep her on that track. A spark ignites between the two when their paths cross and despite warnings from friends about their differences, they begin to date. Nick and Sasha develop a special relationship while trying to balance family, social life, and work during their summer break, but things become more difficult when school resumes in the fall and Sasha’s academics and Nick’s hockey begin to take up more of their time. Despite Nick’s desire not to, the two break-up, but the reveal of Sasha’s pregnancy a month later brings them back into each others life. The two teens must figure out what would be the best decision for all involved.
Martin has written a painfully honest novel that depicts the pleasures of first love and the multiple pressures of adolescence. The characters are well-developed and I was invested in the outcomes of not just the two main characters, but their families and friends. A side story about one of Nick’s friends coming to terms with his sexuality was well done. My heart broke for Nick and Sasha and I cried more than once due to Martin’s depictions of their emotions. The end of the novel particularly left me in tears, I was tied so close to Nick.
I truly loved this book, it stuck with me for days after I finished. My only complaint is over the cover – the spine is purple, which I think will chase away potential male readers. Unlike teenage girls, guys tend to prefer reading books written from a male perspective, and there are less contemporary YA novels coming from a male perspective than a female. I think this book could have potential appeal to male readers, but I don’t think they will be motivated to investigate a book with a lilac spine. I am hoping the publishers consider a re-design when they release a paperback.
4 and 1/2 stars