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 things very differently. Crossing the friendship line was a big mistake, and all she wants is to forget it and move on, even if that means forgetting Mason altogether. What's a guy to do? Well, if you're Mason, you hang your hopes on the first attractive twenty-three-year-old you cross paths with. At first Mason wonders if he's imagining the chemistry . . . until Colette invites him over to her apartment. Suddenly Mason's living in a whole new world.
OPINION: 4 STARS
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 his world after things begin to unravel on what he thought was the perfect night.
Mason is a very well rounded, developed character. Easy going and friendly, Mason gets along with most anyone and rolls with the punches smoothly for the most part. Though he does have his hang ups and his moments of frustration with a few outbursts mixed it, for the most part, Mason is able to take the high road and bow out of things gracefully. Martin has blended him masterfully, creating a very likeable character even in the moments where he is a jerk or leaning closer to immaturity. His reactions to things are very realistic for both the character she’s created and the age. He may be mature, but there is still a certain mindset and level of things he simply cannot comprehend in the same way a 23 year old would, or even a parent.
Colette, for the most part, is cast in a positive light predominantly as a result of the reader seeing things in Mason’s perspective. Where his best friend turned her back, Colette opens up to him despite her reservations. Where one sexual experience ended in hurt, another ignites him and creates a fire in him, even opening his eyes. There are several positive things that come out of Mason’s relationship with Colette, at least in his biased eyes, and Martin portrays this seamlessly.
This book portrays a mostly adult situation on a teenage level, including both sides of the scenario. Partly to keep the excitement going and because there was, of course, an inherent social taboo to the relationship, Mason keeps his interactions with Colette a secret. Though the premise is straight forward, an air of mystery lingers throughout while the reader questions if people will find out, if the relationship will work, and what will ultimately happen. I thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of the book, falling into the world built easily. Sex, of course, is a part of this story but the related scenes are don't tastefully and serve a point, showing Colette and Mason’s relationship as well as building Mason overall.
There were several ways this book could have played out and Martin chose a very sturdy path for it, leaving a lasting effect on the reader. Her ultimate ending is bittersweet and though there were a few small hold ups I did have, overall, this was a tremendous job on a scenario that blends the lines between adult and teenage. Mason’s actions are both shocking and understandable and he is certainly a memorable character. Martin’s writing is strong, showing strongly Mason’s frame of mind while still painting an overall picture of the events happening.