Diving In by Kate Cann

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Diving In by Kate Cann

Cann, Kate. Diving In. HarperTeen, 2007 (reprint). ISBN  978-0060886011 352 pp. $

*****

Heroine Coll, influenced by her feminist-to-the-point-of-man-hating mom, rightly believes that her first sexual relationship should go beyond the physical and as she holds out for “holistic sex,” her boyfriend Art, a former player, becomes more and more frustrated. Much of the first book is taken up with the struggle between head, heart and hormones.

In book number two (The Deep End), when Coll and Art do finally become lovers, the intensity of the relationship becomes too much for baggage-laden Art who skips off to New Zealand.

In book number three (Sink or Swim), Coll is recovering slowly from the relationship that left her ravaged when Art, interested in being “just friends” returns. But is there really such a thing between men and women?

Protective parents will complain that this book is “too” for teens–too sexy, too honest, too promiscuous–but the sexual relationship between Coll and Art is mature and tasteful. Collete describes the overwhelming emotion of being physically intimate, rather than play-by-play of what goes where, and condoms are mentioned regularly, with a subplot of a best friend’s abortion amplifying the disasters of going skin-to-skin, even one time.

The flawless writing, realistic story, and complex characters blend together to give a sense of “I know what she means!” about the short series. This is Forever for the new millennium, British style: A smart girl falls in love and has a sexual relationship that runs its course with no harsh repercussions (such as disease, pregnancy, or death). Hopefully a three-in-one version of the series will be published soon, because it is impossible to not want to read all three books in one sitting.

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