One Lonely Degree

Common Sense Media says

Teen deals with rape, divorce, and friendship issues.





What parents need to know

Educational value
Not applicable
Positive messages

The novel focuses on a young girl finding her way through difficult situations. One positive message to take away is the importance of having reliable friends to lean on during turbulent times.

Positive role models

The teens and adults are portrayed realistically, so they have flaws, but overall they are pretty good role models. The parents struggle with their own issues, but they make a great effort at being there for their kids. The teen characters are basically good kids dealing with tough issues in the best way they can.


A girl slaps a boy in the face, leaving a red mark, and a teen boy tries to fight another teen. Also, a girl is held against her will as a boy tries to force her to give him oral sex.


There is flirting, boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, sexual banter, and heavy petting. One teen boy is described as being gay.


Frequent use of swear words like "s-t" and several uses of" f-k."


Some mentions of music bands.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Teens drink and take drugs at a party, and there is talk of teens using drugs and drinking frequently at other times.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there are some serious scenes in which divorce is discussed, attempted rape is described, and some sexual situations are portrayed. There's also liberal use of swear words.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

Finn is 15 and an outcast at school. She and her best friend Audrey stick together, especially after what happened at a party with a popular boy at school. Finn tries to block everything out -- the "incident," school, her parents' arguments, her feelings for a guy named Jersy, but slowly things start to fall apart. She freezes every time she sees Adam at school, her parents' fights aren't so quiet anymore, and though Jersy is dating Audrey, Finn can't shake her feelings. How is she ever going to figure all of this out?

Is it any good?


Author C. K. Kelly Martin does a great job of developing believable, likable characters. The story is compelling and engaging, and teens will definitely be able to relate to all the teen angst and drama.

However, there isn't anything really new or different here. The book is a pretty typical coming-of-age story with difficult life situations many teens encounter while dealing with raging hormones, high school social anxiety, and questions about who they are as people. Teens will enjoy the book, but may not necessarily remember it after they finish the last page. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about having a strong support system. Do you have friends and family that you can talk to about your private thoughts and feelings?

  • What are the signs of date rape? What should you do if you or someone you know is raped? Who would you talk to, and where would you go for help?

Book details

Author:C.K. Kelly Martin
Genre:Coming of Age
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Random House
Publication date:May 26, 2009
Number of pages:256

This review of One Lonely Degree was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byBeliefs-Wonder May 1, 2010
Number 1, there ain't nothin wrong with being gay, it ain't 'my' cup of tea, but they ain't hurting anyone. Second, when I have kids, their problems come first, cuz there problems are my problems and they shouldn't have to go threw it alone. And, I really ain't got a clue what oral sex means and I sure ain't gonna google it! But its bad, so I hear. So, guys, girls, men, women, stop being perverted pigs! ( animal pigs forgive me ) Stop trying to get people to sleep with you the time will come when the time will come! I like the main characters for trying to stick it threw. :)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models


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