Monday, April 23, 2012

Lark by Tracey Porter - Review

Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: May 24, 2011
Source: Library
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"I was dead when I was alive, and I didn't even know it."

After 16-year-old Lark is murdered, she, her childhood best friend Eva, and Nyetta, a girl Lark used to babysit, find themselves facing hard truths about their lives and seeking a way to move on.

I saw some reviews on here where people said that this book was scary or creepy. I didn't really feel like it was either of those. :b I wasn't like freaked out or scared, but it was more of a mysterious curiosity for me.

Lark Austin is lured in by a man and is raped and stabbed and then left to die in the area's worst snowstorm of the year. But, she isn't really gone. I think that the author tried to depict her as a ghost, without really directly stating it. The logic here is that when girls are raped and left to die, like Lark was, they become trees unless someone is willing to see what happened to them. It doesn't make much sense, and most of the time I was like, "Huh?", but this book is very thought-provoking in a lot of ways.

The poetic prose featured in this book is outstanding. It almost sounds like it's a poem in some parts, which made the story all the more fascinating. The tone of the book is a little bit distant, since it's written in 3rd person. Most of the chapters are very short, some only 2-3 pages long, and each chapter alternates between the POV's of Lark (which could be said as in the past, before she was raped), and Eve and Nyetta (whose POV's are written after Lark is killed).

Eve is Lark's former best friend, who takes an interest in drawing and used to be on the swim team with Lark. They always went exploring together. Eve describes herself as being on "auto-pilot" after Lark's death. She shows no signs of grieving or mourning. Nyetta is a girl who Lark used to babysit, and Lark always taught Nyetta how to do gymnastic skills. Nyetta was so shocked and upset about Lark's death that she had to start regularly going to see a therapist.

One thing I didn't like about the book was that there are characters that are introduced but aren't really emphasized, but then they are brought up later in the book and I don't remember who they are. The characters aren't very round and their problems aren't emphasized, so they seem like trivial problems even if they were meant to be serious. I couldn't really relate to the characters and I didn't feel like I knew them.

Another negative aspect of the book was the plot, which is basically nonexistent. The important part already happened and there's no goal or mission. The book is just primarily about the two girls' response and how they cope with the loss. For some, this might be a turn off and some may not even finish it, because of the lack of rising action.

This book has a very dark mood. Like I said, it's not really scary, but it's just depressing. But if you think about it, why wouldn't it be depressing? A girl gets raped and killed. Of course it's going to be depressing! Anyhoo, despite it's short length, this book is very emotional and some people may even relate to it. It is a book that is not to be looked over or taken lightly. This is serious stuff here, and I thought it was wonderfully written. :)

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