Sweetest Thing You Can Sing, The

ISBN 9781770864115 | 5.375″ x 8″ | TPB | $14.95 | Age: 13+ | 256 pp
ISBN 9781770864122 | EBOOK | $9.99

Category: Novels



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Losing weight over the summer gains Serena some popularity, but it also means discovering first-hand the pains of being a fifteen-year-old girl in a world that both sexualizes and shames young women. After narrowly avoiding exploitation in a short-lived relationship, Serena aligns with a new friend who was the victim of an explicit image that was shared at school.

When Serena finds herself in a relationship with a new guy, she is surprised to find a different set of expectations. But have her previous experiences damaged her too much to make it work?

As Serena struggles to find who she is as opposed to who she is expected to be, she begins sighting Devin — her older brother who disappeared months earlier.


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“Takes readers on a heartfelt journey of longing, love, self-discovery and newfound hope. Martin has succeeded in offering poignant prose, a fresh perspective, witty, slice-of-life dialogue and well-rounded characters.”
Best Books for Kids and Teens

“Teenage girls attracted to the morass of emotional drama that can dominate teen life will devour The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing.”
CM Magazine

“The writing is thoughtful, with moments of smiles, and the topics are relevant and believable. For the mature reader, this will be a book they wish there was a sequel to!”
Resource Links, E for Excellent

The Sweetest Thing has got a whole roller coaster of YA ups and downs. If you enjoy YA Fiction, you will enjoy Martin’s book.”
Back Porchervations

“The writing is down to earth and sensitive and I love, love that [protagonist] Serena is flawed. Yes, there are other characters in this story, but Serena is the story for me.”

“Martin has written exactly like a teenager would think and her characters are those you fall in love with immediately—even the bad ones.”
Rhea’s Neon Journal

“Anyone in high school should read this book. It may just help them out and put some perspective on life.”
Book Lit Love

“I have to say that this book was actually amazing and just a really, really good read.” 5/5
The Book Landers

“Truly one of the most realistic light-but-heavy novels I’ve read with realistic concerns.”
Bookish Confections

The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing has a lot of great things to say about slut- and virgin-shaming, and I love it all.”
A Reader of Fictions

“An emotional and fulfilling story. I hope that other readers will love it just as much as I do.”
Actin’ Up With Books

“Very contemporary romance with some real issues that girls have to face every day.”
Creating Serenity

“I did not want to put it down, and I fell in love with the characters very fast. I would highly recommend this book to any YA contemp lover.”
Beneath the Jacket

“C.K. Kelly Martin expertly weaves a story based on the typical confusion of the teen years but with an atypical, devastating situation that impacts that confusion all the more … Martin gets [it] very right and, without making Serena’s life a Broadway musical, she allows her to find a song that is sure to become sweeter.”
CanLit for LittleCanadians

“[An] excellent, subtle novel that fans of contemporary YA shouldn’t miss.”
Clear Eyes Full Shelves


EVERYONE DISAPPOINTS YOU EVENTUALLY; it just comes as a bigger surprise when your favourite people do it. My brother Devin taught me that.

It was my other brother, Morgan, who showed me the power of second-hand stardust. The minute he appeared as a reality TV contestant on one of those claustrophobic shows that lock a group of pretty people into a house together, the popular tier at school started smiling at me and saying hi, as though my chubbiness was suddenly okay.

Don’t think I overlooked the difference between ninth and tenth grade. It would be hard for me to miss how invisible my freshman self was first semester, except to my old middle school friends, Marguerite and Izzy. Then Morgan became a TV hit, making such a splash that mere days after his elimination, MuchMusic phoned him up and asked him to be their newest VJ.

At first the attention made me feel like maybe it didn’t matter how much I weighed, but it turned out that most of the guys I was interested in still weren’t interested back. They’d tell me about their weekends and kid around with me during class, but I can count on two fingers the times I made out with one of them at a party. The first guy pretended it’d never happened and bragged about the hot lifeguard girl he’d hooked up with at the community centre pool (which sounded more like a daydream he’d had while thumbing through Maxim than reality). The second guy apologized to me before math class, explaining that he was so plastered the night it’d happened that he’d fallen asleep over the toilet in between puke attacks.

Marguerite and Izzy told me I’d just chosen the wrong guys, but how could I choose the right guy when no one with a Y chromosome (except old creeps who leered from moving cars) looked at me with lust in their eyes? The truth is that no high school guy ever likes you for yourself. Being thin is prerequisite number one for being sexy. Other prerequisites include having skin that doesn’t look like a biblical punishment, laughing at stuff guys say even when they’re not as funny as they seem to think they are, and not acting like a complete loser (by doing things like wearing loser clothes, stuttering, or walking around like there’s a “kick me” sign attached to your spine).

I had most of the prerequisites covered. I wasn’t very good at approaching people I didn’t know, but I could speak to them in a way that assured them I wasn’t an absolute geek when they came up to me. Being Morgan LeBlanc’s sister awarded me bonus cool points (and I already had clear skin), but unfortunately not even those could magically make me skinny.

Teacher’s Guide


About the Author

Martin, C.K. Kelly - is a writer of YA novels, including the bestselling I Know It's Over, and currently resides in Oakville, Ontario. (read more)

Books by the Author

Delicate - C. K. Kelly Martin
ISBN 9781770864528 | 5.375" x 8" | TPB | $14.95 | Age: 13+

At her grandmother’s seventy-fifth birthday party, Ivy is in no mood to socialize. In fact, she’s downright delicate. Unfortunately, sixteen-year-old Lucan’s peanut allergy reaction happens right in front of her eyes. As Ivy keeps him company the two realize they’re second cousins who haven’t seen each other in six years due to a mysterious family feud. (read more)
Sweetest Thing You Can Sing, The - C. K. Kelly Martin
ISBN 9781770864115 | 5.375" x 8" | TPB | $14.95 | Age: 13+

Losing weight over the summer gains Serena some popularity, but it also means discovering first-hand the pains of being a fifteen-year-old girl in a world that both sexualizes and shames young women. (read more)

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