...funny, fumbling adolescence and a vibrant romp of a novel ... The Martin Chronicles evokes that triple-dog-dare-you pursuit of adventure that fuels gleeful adolescent experimentation with kissing, smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. The novel captures vividly the stinging rejections that teenagers experience ... Mr. Fried aims straight at adolescence and hits a bull’s-eye regularly ... The Martin Chronicles is made more memorable by spare dialogue and evocative scenes.
...[an] uneven debut ... Unfortunately, an overabundance of cliché causes the tale to reflect the awkwardness of its pubescent protagonist a bit too closely ... However, when the excessive simile usage settles down, Fried’s lighthearted humor shines through ... While Fried’s novel offers playful moments and an evocative atmosphere, these vignettes never come together into a fully formed story.
'I never knew quite where she would come to rest.' That question, and Evie’s continued machinations, ebb and flow throughout the book. It’s an interesting strategy, a way to inject more risk into the narrative, but in the end, it backfires a little bit. This is because Evie is a more compelling character than her cousin ... None of it sticks, however, or more accurately, none of it comes fully to life. The scenes resound with a kind of nodding recognition, charged less from within than by the recollections of its readers, the memories of adolescence they provoke.