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Girl Defective

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,246 ratings  ·  224 reviews
In the tradition of High Fidelity and Empire Records, this is the literary soundtrack to Skylark Martin’s strange, mysterious, and extraordinary summer.

This is the story of a wild girl and a ghost girl; a boy who knew nothing and a boy who thought he knew everything.

It’s a story about Skylark Martin, who lives with her father and brother in a vintage record shop and is try
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published March 1st 2013)
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3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,246 ratings  ·  224 reviews

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“This is the story of a wild girl and a ghost girl; a boy who knew nothing and a boy who thought he knew everything. And it’s about life and death and grief and romance. All the good stuff.”

..and Girl Defective does have these things. But for me, it isn't about those elements so much being about a girl finding her place in the world. As with Notes from The Teenage Underground, Simmone Howell does this beautifully: it’s real and organic and subtle. Withi
May 25, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, kindle
Sky is trying to find her place. In the world, in her personal relationships and even in her family. Her mother left long ago, pursuing dreams of art and recognition leaving her caring but alcoholic father to raise herself and her eccentric younger brother Gully. The one constant in life has been 'The Wishing Well', their beloved vintage record shop. But with a developer sniffing around for ways to claim the property even that is on shaky ground. With her best friend Nancy drifting further away ...more
Guys, I have shamefully been procrastinating reviewing Simmone Howell's outstanding new book. I felt intimidated to review this one because I truly just want to get my review right. I struggle to find words that will encapsulate my reading experience, the heart and the essence of the book and also the brilliant, careful and loving way in which it is written.

This book is truly as awesome as the cover (and the wickedly funny/awesome/crazy/unique blurb)suggests.

I loved the prose. Howell has this w
It’s so hard to know where to even start with this review, because Girl Defective just blew me away. Howell’s writing was absolutely gorgeous and she managed to capture the feeling of being on the cusp of adulthood beautifully.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly, all your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise.

I just loved Sky. She was feisty, but also fiercely loyal to her family. She was so incredibly real. She was naive and impressi
As I read Girl Defective, I kept finding myself wanting to love it but instead I found myself only liking it.

Like most teenagers, Skylark Martin is trying to find herself and her place in the world. She's confused about the status of various relationships, including the one between herself and her record-store running father, the one with her estranged rock-star mother (Sky continually uses the "Ask Me Anything" link on her mother's web site to ask pointed questions to which she receives little
Wendy Darling

This pretty just arrived from the lovely Michelle Maree at Maree's Musings! So excited to start. Thank you, Maree!
Trish Doller
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Will someone please tell me what's in the water in Australia and where I can get some?! This book is gem. Damn. So good.
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Mia Casey’s graffiti face with blackened tears watches over Bill's Wishing Well record shop. Mia was a real girl who died a few months ago, found face-down in the river and thought to be a ‘party-girl’ – no investigations are underway.

Skylark ‘Sky’ Martin thinks about Mia, even dreams about her. But Sky has enough to worry about without deluding herself into thinking she knew a dead girl . . .

For one thing, her dad is the Bill who owns Bill's Wishing Well record shop. Her dad can polish off a w
Girl Defective is Australian author, Simmone Howell’s, third book. Set in St Kilda, the story revolves around Skylark Martin, fifteen and never been kissed. Sky, her younger brother Seagull (Gully or Agent Seagull to you), and her father live in a flat above their father’s record store, Bill’s Wishing Well, where you won’t find anything over 1995. Sky’s only friend, Nancy Cole, is four years her senior and Sky finds her alluring and worldly. Soon Luke Casey is hired as a store assistant and Sky ...more
(Melina Marchetta blurbed this. If that doesn't attract you I DON'T KNOW WHAT WILL)

It's difficult reading Australian YA, in the best way possible. Difficult because you're sometimes hard-pressed not to get too invested in the characters, and difficult because they're SO BLOODY GOOD. Even better when the characters live in a part of Melbourne (St. Kilda) that you're familiar with!

Girl Defective centers around Sky Martin, a 15-year-old living with her record-store-owner dad and eccentric little br
Rashika (is tired)
What made me sad was that this book had so much potential and was so good but it lacked development in certain areas that would have made it even more enjoyable and more memorable.
Read in one glorious night - fantastic.

Not a bad book, but a bit meh.

Review to come.
Aug 12, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Page:103. Honestly I can't tell you what I read. I don't remember anything but the mom left them. I would not recommend reading, for me I never got into it.
Dec 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this down, I read it in two sittings! The way Simmone Howell sucks you into her story and characters is magic. This book is about a girl discovering who she is and finding "her people". It's a story of finding love, uncovering secrets and lots of music.

I felt like such a loser when I was reading this! There were so many music references that I didn't get because I didn't know the artists that the characters were talking about. It's another book I've read that is set in Australia,
I Forgot I Read This

I finished this book two days ago. Then, apparently, promptly forgot it. I was just looking at the list of books I need to review, saw the cover, and suddenly remembered it.

That probably tells you a lot about the book right there.

This is a quirky coming of age book about a quirky girl and her quirky family. Unfortunately, quirkiness just wasn't enough for me. The plot is incredibly thin and the only character I liked (loved actually) was Sky's brother, Gully. He got me throug
In the name of Bob.... I so enjoyed this book. Set in St Kilda made it all the more real. Sky lives with her father, who likes a drink, and her younger brother, Gully, above their record store..and by record store that is what it is. No CDs at all its vinyl all the way. I instantly fell in love with Sky's younger brother Seagull AKA Gully AKA Agent Gull..... He doesn't see a counsellor anymore but he lives in his own little world and for most of the story he wears a pig snout mask to cover his f ...more
Feb 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: those cooler and more Australian than I
Shelves: ya
Those Australian YA writers, man. So tough for me to get into (which a couple notable exceptions). I love that they are so very different stylistically from American YA authors, but apparently I'm just not cool enough to hang with the Aussies.

In theory, I loved everything about this book. In practice, I couldn't make it past page 70. Fascinating characters, hip setting, funny banter, music references galore. There was even the potential for a serious girl crush! But...I just couldn't slip into t
Edacheeky (Eda D)
Loved this book. I should really slap myself for judging this book by its cover because i am AGAINST that type of thing!! But i did and i thought this book would be stupid and boring and girlish i mean any book with "girl" in its title is most likely girly. I did after a while realise this was actually quite a nice cover and an authentic, real, beautiful story. Also, not to forget IT'S SET IN AUSTRALIA! WHICH MAKES IT EVEN MORE AWESOME! Loved it!
Moving. Timeless. Great writing.
(Ignore the length of time taken to finish it. Daughter had it, and then I read it in snippets in the 'smallest room in the house'
May 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
*2 and a half stars*
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
(view spoiler)
Jenni Arndt
Jul 14, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-own
Upon seeing the references to both Empire Records and High Fidelity in the blurb for Girl Defective I was quick to read this one as soon as it showed up on my doorstep. Empire will forever be in my top 5 favourite movies of all time list because I am a huge music junkie. I love the feelings that music captures and how it can evoke so much emotion from me as a listener. I was a big fan of how Howell conveyed the importance of music in the lives of the Martin family but since a lot of the referenc ...more
Meghann (Becoming Books)
Ooo Australian, Teen High Fidelity...

Skylark, ahem... Sky Martin and her brother Seagull, ahem... Gully live above a record shop their father runs. Named after birds and armed with abandonment, rock music and restlessness they team up to solve St. Kilda's mysteries.

Sky and Gully both escape from the realities of their neglect to investigate a local girl who drowned, Mia, and a mysterious vandal of their record shop. Dad drowns his miseries in beer while mom has skipped the country to be an ente
Cass -  Words on Paper
Thanks to Pan Macmillan for the review copy!

4.5/5... I think. I never know what to rate these days.

I liked it. It's a glorious blend of things I like in contemporary YA.

* A dorky love interest who seems to care about the main character on a level higher than purely physical.

* Coming of age. There's a heck of a lot of it in this book. Think, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, except the priorities are a bit different here.

* Music. OMG so much music! I had no idea, otherwise I would have bumped this
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Books like this one are the reason I still read YA at 23. It gets all the ugly-beautiful-tender-gritty coming of age stuff just right. It made me feel so nostalgic for my skipping school to hang out at the record shop days. It also made me feel happy, sad, hopeful and little adventurous. I absolutely adored it.

Skylark is a 15 year old girl who is trying to find her people and her place in the world. She is tough, vulnerable, smart, kind, passionate, insecure and hungry for adventure. She's right
Alisha Marie
I really wanted to love Girl Defective. Why? Because the synopsis compares it to the film, Empire Records...I LOVE Empire Records. It's my go to feel-good movie. I watch it at least once a month and it never fails to make me feel better about life in general. I guess I expected the same thing from Girl Defective...I guess I expected a little too much.

There are shades of a good story in Girl Defective. However, it gets lost in everything that's actually going on in the novel. There's just a littl
Sherreka Burton
Jan 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
One-Sentence Summary: With a weirdo brother and an alcoholic father, all Sky wants is to not feel defective.

Time/Setting: Present day St. Kilda, Australia.

Review: This book is...I honestly don’t know how to describe it. It has its good moments, but overall, I’m not all that impressed. I always have a hard time reading stories with irresponsible parents placing the burdens on their offspring. You had the kids, you take care of them—simple. But everybody has to make things complicated all the time
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writer of YA novels Notes from the Teenage Underground, Everything Beautiful, Girl Defective and Take Three Girls (w/Cath Crowley and Fiona Wood). Currently living by the sea, taking long walks, and writing book five.
“But it was too late. I was down the steps and out the door, where the warm night air almost felt like forgiveness.” 1 likes
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