Random House: Bringing You the Best in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Children's Books
Newletters and Alerts

Buy now from Random House

  • One Lonely Degree
  • Written by C. K. Kelly Martin
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780375851629
  • Our Price: $8.99
  • Quantity:
See more online stores - One Lonely Degree

Buy now from Random House

  • One Lonely Degree
  • Written by C. K. Kelly Martin
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780375853920
  • Our Price: $7.99
  • Quantity:
See more online stores - One Lonely Degree

One Lonely Degree

    Select a Format:
  • Book
  • eBook

Written by C. K. Kelly MartinAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by C. K. Kelly Martin


List Price: $7.99


On Sale: May 26, 2009
Pages: 256 | ISBN: 978-0-375-85392-0
Published by : Random House Books for Young Readers RH Childrens Books
One Lonely Degree Cover

Share & Shelve:

  • Add This - One Lonely Degree
  • Email this page - One Lonely Degree
  • Print this page - One Lonely Degree


Anything is possible. . . .

Finn has always felt out of place, but suddenly her world is unraveling. It started with The Party. And Adam Porter. And the night in September that changed everything. The only person who knows about that night is Audrey—Finn’s best friend, her witness to everything, and the one person Finn trusts implicitly. So when Finn’s childhood friend Jersy moves back to town—reckless, beautiful Jersy, all lips and eyes and hair so soft you’d want to dip your fingers into it if you weren’t careful—Finn gives her blessing for Audrey to date him. How could she possibly say no to Audrey? With Audrey gone for the summer, though, Finn finds herself spending more and more time with Jersy, and for the first time in her life, something feels right. But Finn can’t be the girl who does this to her best friend . . . can she?

Praise for I Know It’s Over:

* “Authentic and sophisticated. Readers will look forward to whatever gestates next.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred

* “An emotionally complex and disarmingly frank coming-of-age tale.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred

From the Hardcover edition.


Chapter One

Things don't always change with a bang. Sometimes they change so gradually that you can't clearly pinpoint the last moment they were truly the same. That's the way it was with my parents. I know they were happy--but I couldn't tell you exactly when.

Audrey says they could just be going through a bad patch and that things could start changing back when I least expect it. Anything is possible. That's almost the truth, but it doesn't fill me with hope. Anything is possible makes me feel like someone's scraping at the inside of my rib cage with dull scissors. If you kept that idea in your head, you'd never leave the house for fear you'd be crushed by a runaway bus or gunned down in the mall parking lot.

Anything is possible is something I prefer not to think about, but I don't always have a choice. Some nights are just like that. The sick feelings creep up on me until I want to shout so loud that it would make my parents come running. I never do, of course. It wouldn't help, and my parents would cart me off to some highly recommended shrink that would want to know everything.

And there are things I could say, but not anything that I actually want anyone to hear. There are thoughts in my head that I can't get out, but I have my own trick for dealing with them, which is to let other things in, as loud and furious as I can.

Tonight, for instance, I have to keep pulling off my earphones to listen for my dad's key in the front door. Raine Maida screams "Naveed" in my ears. Listen. Then it's "Where Are You," "Innocent," and "Yellow Brick Road." Listen. The pounding in my ears, the sound of Raine's voice like burning gold, and the blanket pulled all the way up to my chin is the nearest thing I know to an antidote, but if Dad hears the music he'll open the door and ask why I'm still awake. It's happened before. I used to keep the bedside lamp on, and a couple months ago, around two in the morning, he tapped at my door and asked if I was sick.

"No," I told him. "Just a little insomnia." My face felt like a bleached white sheet, and I was scared that he'd sense my bad feelings and try to put them into words.

"You could try turning down the volume," he said, smiling.

A guitar riff was screeching out of the earphones around my neck, and I furrowed my eyebrows, puffed out my cheeks, and said, "Ha. Ha." Everyone is so sarcastic these days that it's practically boring, but I need all the crutches I can get.

"And turning off the light," he added, still hovering in the doorway in his plaid pajamas and slippers, looking like a sitcom TV father that can solve any problem within thirty minutes.

"You're funny, Dad." I pulled an impatient face. "Anyone ever tell you you're a funny guy?"

"Not my teenage daughter," he said, smile as wide as ever. "Don't go deaf tonight, Finn. You have school in the morning."

I nodded and watched him shut the door, the sickness stretching tight across my face the moment he was gone. My skin feels that same way now. Like a mask that doesn't fit anymore. Like I'm not the person anyone thinks I am--not even Audrey. But if I'm not that person, just who am I instead? I'm not the girl who slinks soundlessly through the school hall pretending nothing can touch her. That much I do know.

Listen, I tell myself. Just listen. Listen. Everything will be all right, as long as you stop your mind and listen.

And this is the way it goes for a while. Me listening to Raine's voice in my ear. Me waiting for Dad's key in the door. My heels are itchy dry in my socks. My lips are cracking and my fingertips will be next. The air in my room is colder than anywhere else in the house except the basement. My mother says she doesn't know how I can stand it, but I like the contrast. This is me in bed in the middle of winter.

Everything will be all right.

From the Hardcover edition.
C. K. Kelly Martin

About C. K. Kelly Martin

C. K. Kelly Martin - One Lonely Degree

Photo © Patrick Hickey

Many of my earliest memories contain books –— my parents reading me nursery rhymes before I could read them myself, flipping through the pages of Babar and Madeline books and listening to my parents read aloud from tThe Hardy Boys series. Later I devoured Judy Blume’s children’s books, the entire Anne of Green Gables series, fantasy novels like A Wrinkle in Time and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and still later contemporary teen novels about various social issues and romantic relationships (offerings by Richard Peck, Norma Fox Mazer, Norma Klein, and others).
I began writing my own stories at the age of seven. My third- grade teacher placed them on the shelf at the back of our classroom along with the published books so my classmates could read them, but it would be a long, long time before any book by me landed on the shelves again.
I never really stopped writing though. In high school, I used to pass on my short stories on to my favourite teacher, Mrs. Burns, to read and makes notes on. Between high school and university, I wrote a Choose Your Own Adventure book, which was promptly rejected by the publisher in New York who already had an entire team of people writing books for the series. In university, I penned several short stories (submitting a few, without any success, to literary journals) and did a bit of writing for the university newspaper. But somehow I sensed I wasn’t ready to devote the necessary time to writing so after graduating from York University in Toronto with a Film Studies Degree in the early nineties I gave in to the pull I’d felt towards Ireland since first visiting a couple of years earlier. In Dublin, I worked in an odd assortment of places –— including a couple of bars, a lingerie shop, video store, and a division of the Irish post office –— but spent most of my time hanging out and enjoying the buzz.
It wasn’t until I’d gotten married (to a lovely Irish guy) and was on the verge of moving back to Canada that I began writing my very first YA novel, inspired by the fantastic writing on TV show Party of Five. Several years (and books!) later Random House bought and released I Know It’s Over. Since then I’ve written many more YA books, but I’m not really any wiser now, about where the stories come from, than when I was seven years old. When asked, sometimes I say that I feel like medium Allison Dubois, only channeling characters instead of spirits. One thing I’m certain of is that the initial inspiration to write sprang from my love of an elephant king in a three- piece suit, a spirited little French orphan girl, and a collection of nursery rhymes from The Little Mother Goose.


Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2009:
"The perfect temperature for a summer read or a cool discussion, and an outstanding second novel."

From the Hardcover edition.

Your E-Mail Address
send me a copy

Recipient's E-Mail Address
(multiple addresses may be separated by commas)

A personal message: