Just Like You Said It Would Be Reviews

"Few writers follow the push and pull of a young relationship as deftly as C. K. Kelly Martin...How does one recover from the absence of the love of one's life? Just Like You Said It Would Be follows this process though a riveting set of emotional ups and downs and revelations that will keep readers wondering about the outcome till the end. It's highly recommended for teens on the cusp of adult relationships themselves who would learn much from Amira's evolution."
— Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

"So perfectly capture(s) the passionate intensity of first love . . . teens will be sure to connect to Amira's maturity as she struggles to sort out the intensity of her emotions. Adult readers will most likely find themselves dredging up deeply treasured memories about this age in their own lives."
***½ /4, Highly Recommended
— Joanie Proske, CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Materials

"This novel drew me in from the first page and I was not able to put it down . . . It was so well-written and full of different and complex characters that I found myself easily invested . . . Teen and YA readers will easily identify with the uncertainty that comes with growing up, going away to college, first loves, etc. Adult readers—prepare to find yourself quickly being swept away in the nostalgia of your own experiences at the age. Whether it was joy, curiosity, anger, worry, or sadness, author C.K. Kelly Martin perfectly captures the varying emotions associated with that age."
Dandelions Inspired

"The powerful first chapter captured me and made me want to read more. The emotions Amira feels are so well written that it brought me right back to the moments in my life where I felt that sad, scared and lonely and missing "the guy" . . . The writing is just perfectly detailed and the writing when describing any level of emotion is excellent."

"The air feels crisper, and the world more alive than in most other YA. It’s filled with sass, and zippy dialogue, and tender feelings that have to be protected, and the cavernous, shaky unknown of . . . is this thing between them the best thing ever, or is it nothing at all? . . . This could easily be a TV series—a good one. Richly drawn characters, sympathetic lead, a central relationship with both sharp edges and soft spots, tons of conflict, great setting . . ."
— CC, Goodreads

"Amira is perhaps one of the most most deeply introspective 16 year olds that I’ve read. She has a rich internal dialogue and is also a character that is very empathetic and sympathetic. She's experienced great loss, is facing the possible demise of her parents' marriage. The summer she spends in Dublin opens her up to finding herself. Martin does an amazing job creating a character with the kind of personality open to the exploration and growth she embarks on. She’s spirited and yet contemplative and smart enough to understand the impact of the vast change she is experiencing."
Once Upon A Page

"Martin’s insight into the female teen’s psyche is spot on . . . The author captures the heart and vivid imagination of romantic love."
 — Readers' Favorite

"The beginning of the book is slow, and there is what feels like too much unnecessary and irrelevant information. As the book progresses, however, we see that everything is relevant. This is not just a sanitized summer romance, but a true coming-of-age story . . . a touching tale of first love, growing up, and realizing that real life isn't a fairy tale."
Books Direct 

"You can’t see me (I hope), but right now I am holding up my e-reader and declaring: This is why I read young adult novels! . . . The emotions between the characters are palpable and the “sex” means something, which I have to admit has not been obvious in the other books I’ve read lately where it is a rote act and makes you want to skip pages. I didn’t skip these pages. Everything was an amazing discovery ... What made Just Like You Said It Would Be really work for me was that it felt real."
Sascha Darlington's Microcosm Explored

"Is there anything more potent, more intoxicating than first love? . . . I loved the geography of the book, especially that most of it took place in Ireland. It gave the story a  magical, almost ethereal quality at times . . . The writing is fresh and modern, the story is incredibly relatable, and the characters are dynamic and three-dimensional."
Reads & Reels

"The music is almost a character itself within . . . I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and found the primary setting of Dublin to be stunning. This is a contemporary book that will leave you entranced with the complex characters and the overall plot."
To Be Read

"intoxicating . . . The characters are real and heart-felt, and easy to relate to. Just Like You Said It Would Be is a great first love story."
Stellar Book Blog

"It was a perfect whirlwind, the kind of fast-paced love that makes you stay up and read until one in the morning because you need to know what happens . . . I would recommend this book to anyone who has the time to commit, because you aren't going to want to put it down."
—  Feisty Feline Book Review

Reviews of Other C. K. Kelly Martin Books

"C.K. Kelly Martin’s YA writing is the kind you want to give the teens in your life. It’s written for them, not adult crossover readers, and it meets teens where they live."
Quill & Quire on Delicate

 "Authentic portrayals of teen sexuality are few and far between...But Ontario author C.K. Kelly Martin unabashedly portrays the hormonal realities of being 16 and 17 in this dual narrative of second cousins Ivy and Lucan. Martin does not shy away from the messier realities of young love, including a laudably prolonged and uncomfortable description of an STI."
The Globe and Mail on Delicate

"One of the real masters of quiet YA novels is C.K. Kelly Martin, who's been writing for a long time, but is deserving of far more acclaim and attention than she receives. So, it's no surprise that her latest, The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing, is another excellent, subtle novel that fans of contemporary YA shouldn't miss."
Clear Eyes, Full Shelves on The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing

"You may know what you want in a happy ending, but C. K. Kelly Martin makes sure that you never see how she's going to get there, or even if. Every book of hers that I have read...has kept me engrossed in her unique and passionate characters and their struggles whose outcomes are never obvious. Tomorrow is a worthy and complementary addition to C. K. Kelly Martin's literary collection."
CanLit for Little Canadians Blog on Tomorrow (Yesterday Book #2)

"What I love about Yesterday is that it's so different from, say, I KNOW IT'S OVER, but at the same time, the earmarks of the author's writing are still present. Some writers change their style to adapt to different genres, but C.K. Kelly Martin is like your favorite band. They can go experimental and try a new direction on their next album, but as soon as you hear that first guitar riff, you know who it is."
Happy Owl Books on Yesterday 

"The voices of Ashlyn and Breckon will resonate long after the novel is read. Their dilemmas are real and timeless. Martin has written a teen angst novel filled with all the "big questions" of life...The book may wake the reader up to all the unrecognized beauty life has to offer. It has a strong anti-suicide twist and if it saves one depressed teen's life, the novel will have earned its place on your shelf."
Voya on My Beating Teenage Heart

"C.K. Kelly Martin’s first young adult novel is frank to the point of almost being brutal and yet so sincere that readers are totally immersed in the main characters and suffer the highs and lows of their relationship right along with them...Some critics may find this novel too gritty and detailed for teen readers, but I applaud Martin for her intelligent characters and her sensitive portrayal of their honest reactions and emotions."
CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Materials on I Know It's Over

"A more genuine representation of teen life would be hard to find."
— Starred Review, Booklist on The Lighter Side of Life and Death

"Martin’s book about grief, loss, and moving forward is a stunner and a must-read for fans of contemporary fiction...Never gratuitous, this novel is as authentic a coming-of-age as I’ve ever seen."
Early Nerd Special on Come See About Me

"Debut novelist Martin displays uncanny insight, replacing the issue-driven engine common to most pregnant-teen stories with an emotionally complex and disarmingly frank coming-of-age tale."
— Starred Review, Publishers Weekly on I Know It's Over

"A vivid infusion of 1980s culture gives this near-future dystopia an offbeat, Philip K. Dick aura...The cultural homage is nostalgic fun, from Care Bears to MacGyver. But for delivering that uniquely ’80s flavor, nothing beats music. Fans of the Smiths, Depeche Mode, Scritti Politti—this one’s for you."
Kirkus on Yesterday  

"Ashlyn Baptise doesn’t know where she is. Now somehow without a body she still exists in consciousness, and she finds herself drawn to a stranger. Brecken Cody is out of sorts, too. Having recently lost his sister, for which he feels partly to blame, Brecken is in the throes of grief. It is hard to talk about this novel without giving away a pivotal plot point but that the way in which Martin reveals how Brecken and Ashlyn are intertwined was unexpected—and amazing. Voice really drives the novel, making it impossible not to root for both characters as they try to navigate new emotional (and in Ashlyn’s case, physical, too) experiences. In the vein Gayle Forman’s If I Stay and Jenny Downham’s Before I Die, My Beating Teenage Heart is the type of novel that will remain with you long after you’ve read the last page."
Amazon Best YA Book of the Month, October 2011 | Omnivoracious, the Amazon Blog on My Beating Teenage Heart