Blythe's Reviews > Skylark

Skylark by Meagan Spooner
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's review
Apr 03, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: netgalley-edelweiss-arc, in-a-name-challenge, 2012-reads, did-not-finish, 1-star, disappointments, read-reviewed
Recommended for: I wouldn't

I don’t give out many one star ratings. (EDIT 7/21: Never mind. Ever since I started reading more books in the YA genre I've been giving plenty of one star ratings. When I wrote this review, though, a one star rating was rare from me. Now? Not so much.)

So Congratulations, Skylark! I reward you with a single, lonely, star. You should be honored of your crappiness.

Just so you know, I did not finish this book, but I made it up to 53%, which I think is an accomplishment, given how much this book was a struggle to get through. Clearly, I don’t know how things work out in the end, and if the things I rant about are fixed in the end, I apologize, but I couldn’t read this any longer.

Now, let’s get this review started.

I tried to like you, Skylark. I really, truly did. You started off… Interesting, to say the least, and I wanted you to be good. But I think it was when I made it to 30% that I realized you wouldn’t be good. You started off mysterious, and I wanted to know what was going to happen, but then everything just stopped, got boring, and it hurt me to read any longer.

My first complaint I have with this book is that saying there is a war and that’s why everything is what it is does not make up for proper world building! That just shows me that the author is lazy and doesn’t want to come up with a good reason why the world in her book is how it is, so just puts something in and says that’s the reasoning behind everything, and doesn’t even bother to explain.

Here’s what I think went through Meagan Spooner’s head while writing Skylark:

Hmm… Maybe I should write a young-adult novel. Let me just come up with a few ideas…

Okay, so… Umm… It could be a fantasy… Yes, yes that’s good… Maybe throw a little steampunk in there, a little dystopia, too… Oh yeah, that’ll make it perfect; everyone will love this.

What else? Oh yeah! Maybe I’ll throw in some magic; that should be cool. Ooh! And pixies! Yeah, everyone loves pixies! Aw, but how do I make it all come together? Oh, how about this. I’ll say there was a war, but I won’t describe the war in any way, just say it was there. Perfect!

And so began Skylark (or at least what I’ve read of it).

Okay, moving onto my second complaint: Right from the start, this book just felt so rushed. It felt like I was reading a book that was going in fast-forward. So many things happened in very few pages, and I don’t know how I could’ve read the other half of the book like that. It. Was. Torture. Here’s what happened in probably the first fifty pages (I’ll put it in a spoiler tag, but they’re pretty minor):

(view spoiler)

If you read that, do you see how much happened in a short amount of pages? That’s where I thought it was interesting, too. Then it all went downhill to the point where I just couldn’t stand reading it any longer.

There’s one more interesting part, though, where Lark gets somehow trapped in a house, and a certain scene of a family’s death keeps replaying and replaying, and she can’t get the family’s attention. That was when I actually had some hope for the book, and thought it would get better.

But then she sees a boy in the house, and he’s all dirty, and he could see her. They have a stare-down for a little bit, and then he jumps out the window. At that point I was laughing. I don’t think that was Spooner’s intention.

I think I’ve read enough of the book to form an opinion and say that Skylark was boring, confusing and so bad it was laughable. I have zero interest in finishing it, or picking up any of the sequels when they’re released.

This book may be for you (it seems I’m one of the few who think negatively of Skylark) and I hope you like it, and I can actually see many of my friends liking it. I absolutely did not.

Oh yeah, another thing: If you were intrigued by
Sixteen year-old Lark Ainsley has never seen the sky.

like I was, sorry, but from what I’ve read, this book has nothing to do with never seeing the sky.

Once again, another promising book goes down the crapper.
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Reading Progress

April 3, 2012 – Shelved
April 3, 2012 – Shelved as: netgalley-edelweiss-arc
April 6, 2012 – Shelved as: in-a-name-challenge
April 8, 2012 – Started Reading
April 8, 2012 –
0.0% "Going to go get started on this! :D"
April 9, 2012 –
18.0% "It's okay so far, not really sure what to think of it."
April 10, 2012 – Shelved as: 2012-reads
April 10, 2012 –
38.0% "Now I'm confused, and bored. Why can't I just finish this book already?"
April 10, 2012 –
46.0% "I'm trying really hard not to abandon this right now."
April 10, 2012 –
April 10, 2012 – Shelved as: 1-star
April 10, 2012 – Shelved as: disappointments
April 10, 2012 – Shelved as: read-reviewed
April 10, 2012 – Finished Reading
August 23, 2016 – Shelved as: did-not-finish

Comments (showing 1-31 of 31) (31 new)

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message 1: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH Oh, I have this one to review. We seem to have similar views on books. I wonder what I'll think of it.

Blythe If you choose to read it, I'll really look forward to what you think of it. So many people loved this one, I feel like I'm missing out on something.

message 3: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH I'm trying to read them in release order, so it may be a while til I get to it.

Jenelle Hey, just wanted to let you know that based on your review, I almost didn't read this story. And as far as the first half of the book is concerned, I totally agree with you. I've read more than enough YA books in the last year to know exactly what you're talking about and I get super peevy about the same things.

It got better, though! And not until the last 1/4 of the book did I realize how much I liked where it had gone.

Anyway, I appreciate your honest review, but maybe, if you're bored, consider giving it another shot. :)

Blythe I'm glad to hear it gets better in the second half, Jenelle! I have a lot of ARCs to get to, so I don't know if I can ever really pick this back up, but if I do have time, I'll keep this book in mind, now. Thanks!

message 6: by Valeria (new) - added it

Valeria Aw hell, this one sounded quite interesting. But I can't tolerate flimsy world building. Such a pretty cover though.

message 7: by Blythe (last edited Jul 21, 2012 11:29AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Blythe Well, of course my review is to be taken with a grain of salt, considering I didn't finish it. Perhaps the world building does eventually get better, but I wouldn't know. From what Jenelle said above, apparently it does get better later on in the book, but for me, if it takes three quarters of a book for me to realize I'm enjoying it... well, I probably won't be enjoying it in the first place. I'd read some of the other reviews from people who did finish the book and see if the world building does get better, and then determine whether or not you'd want to read the book then. If I have nothing else to read, I'm willing to read this in full, but as of right now I have too many ARCs that I haven't read to give another shot to an ARC I couldn't finish.

message 8: by Valeria (new) - added it

Valeria I guess I could try it sometime but with fairly low expectations. Do you know if there was any insta love in it ? Because nothing kills a book like insta love.

Blythe From what I've read, there is no insta-love, but Lark hasn't really met any strangers other than the boy who jumped out of the window in the creepy house. I stopped reading shortly after that scene, so I wouldn't know if that boy turns out to be a love interest or not. I believe there is a love interest, though. I'm just not too sure if the relationship between Lark and the love interest is brought upon by insta-love, sorry.

message 10: by Valeria (new) - added it

Valeria That's ok, since it's YA it's probably likely but I'll try it anyway. Thanks.

Rogier woow . gr8 review

message 12: by Blythe (last edited Jul 25, 2012 08:45AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Blythe I'm sorry if you thought my review was harsh but it's my opinion and I'm not going to sugarcoat it. Sure, I'll give Spooner an A for effort in writing Skylark and in getting it published, but that doesn't defeat the fact that I didn't like her book, or at least what I've read of it. I realize the amount of time and effort that goes into writing a book, but I'm not going to restrain myself from writing a critical review because of that.

message 13: by Kate (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kate Bond The worldbuilding does not get better--the characters do. This novel is not-so-good until about the last third, and then the humanity--good and bad--of the characters starts to kick in, and there are a few moments in the last 10% or so that just really moved me in a way that took me completely by surprise. But you gotta get through that slog of a first 2/3, and if you're not a fast reader I dont' think it's worth it.

Catie Garland ok ive seen a LOT of your reviews cuz apparently we read (or try to in your case) the same books.
you never write nice reviews do you? xD like whenever i read a book ill see you pic/name and im like "oh shit, here comes another one!!"
kinda entertaining. than again i actually like some of the books. not all. but some.

message 15: by Blythe (last edited Sep 11, 2012 03:30PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Blythe Catie wrote: "ok ive seen a LOT of your reviews cuz apparently we read (or try to in your case) the same books.
you never write nice reviews do you? xD like whenever i read a book ill see you pic/name and im like "oh shit, here comes another one!!"
kinda entertaining. than again i actually like some of the books. not all. but some."

Honestly, I'm not too sure if you're a troll, or someone who worded something they wanted to say very poorly, but I'm going to handle you under the assumption that you're a troll: I just wrote a very positive review for a book. And another one. In fact, the most recurring rating I've given this year is four stars. I only write 'not nice reviews' to books I think deserve 'not nice reviews'. Again, I'm not sure if you're trying to troll me, or just wanted to say something but worded it poorly, leading me to think you're a troll, but either way, I give 'not nice reviews' to crappy books. In my opinion, this was one of them. Try looking up good books to see my 'nice reviews.'

message 16: by Jessie (Ageless Pages Reviews) (last edited Sep 11, 2012 07:47AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews) I am guessing troll. >_> very suspicious.

Blythe Yeah, that's what I'm leaning on.

message 18: by Jessie (Ageless Pages Reviews) (last edited Sep 11, 2012 03:30PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews) Mine is 3.20! Apparently I'm harsh. But 3 does mean I liked it. I just refuse to round up a 3.5 to 4 and whatnot.

Catie Garland Sorry I was not tryin to troll you i think i just worded it poorly. i wasnt trying to be mean or diss ya or anything i just was trying to say that your "not nice reviews" are kinda entertaining cuz they are honest oppinions and not the "oh my god best book ever on this entire planet!!" kind. Again sorry didnt mean for it to sound like i was trollin ya. :/ wasnt my intention. ill try and word things better in the future.

message 20: by Mark (new)

Mark pfft.

message 21: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Cannon Hmm, you really need to have read a book in its entirety before damning it and saying it doesn't follow through or doesn't continue with ideas it started. A lot of the things you don't feel it had were present, such as the idea that she's never seen the sky. It is there and very obvious - not something the author missed out, just something you didn't get because you didn't finish the book!

message 22: by Sierra (new)

Sierra its a bit odd that you're the only one star out of many reviews I've seen. Seems a bit harsh, but whatever.

message 23: by Kate (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kate Bond Nah, I think the disparity between her rating and those of most reviewers can be chalked up to her abandonment of the novel during the first 2/3 of it. The ending is beautifully executed, and it goes a long way to make up for the copious flaws we had to slog through early on.

message 24: by Aleesha (new)

Aleesha For anyone reading this review and wondering if the book is worth your time- it does get better. I believe the author is trying to keep from us important details to create suspense- the world building is weak at the beginning but it is better by the last 1/3 of the book. I was unconvinced until after about 2/3 of the way through- I'm very curious where she goes with the next book.

Stacy Depp I don't know why you didn't like it, the book is just amazing, but may be because it's just my type, but i'm really looking forward to read the second book, which is coming this October))

message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

I too feel the same way Blythe. There are just too much for me to digest. First she talks about her dystopian world with steampunk and magic in it. Then after Part I she started talking about cannibalism. I think she's a little greedy wanting so many things to happen in like less than 400 pages which is not practical.

message 27: by S. (new) - rated it 4 stars

S. Davis I'm about halfway in & I see what you're saying, though for me, it's not running in fast-forward, more like slow-motion. -_-

I think Megan is one of those writers who likes to reveal the main elements of her story very slowly until the end where you get answers to 95% of your questions (and, unfortunately, most of the excitement) thrown at you at once.

I'm okay with this because I recognize it early on, but think it's a risky move in YA when attention spans are shorter.

(Also, for busy reviewers backed up on ARC's, etc., waiting to be reviewed.)

I'm good with a slowly-revealed, meandering plot as long as it pays off in the end, but I'd prefer a perfectly-paced page-turner, with exciting mini-reveals around every corner.

Good review!

Sarah A teaser hook like "Sixteen year-old Lark Ainsley has never seen the sky," on the back of ANY YA novel isn't supposed to shape the entire plot, point, or takeaway of a book. If you had continued reading, perhaps you would understand why the sentence is relevant. But please just don't assume a book is supposed to model itself after a ad line a publisher developed, or label a book laughably bad if you don't take the time to finish it. Nor are any dystopian authors required to completely reveal the history of their world in the first book to its readers while the narrator remains ignorant. @Valeria : No insta-love in Skylark. Even the few phrases that seemed to hint that way had a practical explanation as the story progressed.

message 29: by Adam (new) - added it

Adam Ok, so I know I'm no critic. However, you talk about world building and I disagree about your assessment. I might change my mind if I still have questions after the last book of the series. I like a mystery, and I'm anxiously awaiting the ending to put all of the pieces together.

message 30: by Kami (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kami I think you might be missing something. It is one of the best books I have ever read. Meagan Spooner is my favourite author.

message 31: by Kami (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kami I think you might be missing something. It is one of the best books I have ever read. Meagan Spooner is my favourite author.

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