Bonnie's Reviews > Lark

Lark by Tracey Porter
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May 14, 2014

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011-books, young-adult, ya-contemporary
Read in April, 2014

A lot of darkness and a lot of hope is crammed into a very small book (only 192 pages, and the book itself is tiny-sized).

Lark Austin is raped, stabbed, tied to a tree and left to die. She was once a high-achieving gymnast, who put aside friendship and crushes to concentrate on school and sports. “I was dead when I was alive, and I didn’t even know it.” Now she’s a spirit who’s afraid of getting trapped forever in a tree, unless someone from her living days is willing to really see what happened to her (I’m sure that this is actually a metaphor for something, but I’m not quite sure what).

Nyetta is the young girl Lark used to babysit, who is now haunted by Lark’s spirit. Nyetta is dealing with a strict, controlling mother who has had a long-standing breakdown after her husband left her for another woman and started a new family. While Lark’s dark issue is abduction/rape/murder, Nyetta’s dark issue is parental problems and divorce.

Eve is Lark’s former best friend. They stopped being friends when Eve tried to confess to Lark that she had been molested, and Lark didn’t understand that what Eve was saying was a cry for help. Eve’s dark issue is sexual abuse (and, just as bad, no one being there to believe her or support her afterwards). Eve is also finding first love (weirdly, with a boy who seemed to have a crush on Lark up until she died).

Since this is such a small book, Tracey Porter doesn’t have time to go too much into any character. On the other hand, I’ve read young adult books that are twice as long and say less. I felt that Porter wrote what was needed, and did a nice job with each of the characters (I particularly liked Nyetta and her story). I don’t get the whole murdered-ghost-girls-become-trees thing, but I do understand that the three girls needed to come to terms with themselves and their pasts and the ghost-girl-trees seemed to be a vehicle for that.
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05/14/2014 marked as: read

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