When she was little, Joni used to have dreams that she could fly. But these days her feet are firmly on the ground – they have to be when money’s tight and her dad can’t work and the whole family has to pull together to keep afloat.
Then she meets Annabel. Annabel is everything Joni isn’t, and yet there’s a spark between them. Though Joni barely believes it at first, she thinks they might be falling in love.
But when Annabel’s parents find out about the relationship, it’s clear they believe there are some differences that are impossible to overcome …
Skylarks by Karen Gregory is a wonderful story with the true essence of today’s society and which includes and focused on many issues that people and maybe some of the readers struggle with today.
I adored this story, it was the first f/f YA book that I have read and the first YA book that I have seen were money worries are one of the main focuses, it really resonated with me as I’m sure it did with many other people, although not as dramatically as the Coopers but I have my fair share of money worries in my lifetime. It’s one of those things that people don’t really talk about, I find a lot of YA books have teenage characters who seem like they have everything, I honestly can’t think of another book where any of the characters seem to have very little money or money issues at all. It was refreshing to read something so real.
I enjoyed the storyline with the characters banding together to try and save themselves, doing what little they could to try and make a difference, even though they had little resourced, they had each other. The brother and sister bond that we saw between Joni and Jamie was so lovely, and the way they both tried to look after Jack, the youngest sibling was something I thought was really nice.
Joni was feisty and caring, the way that she did everything in her power to keep her family afloat was admirable, the love she had for her family, even though they had very little else was evident. I honestly felt so sorry for her, when all her friends and her new found love interest didn’t seem to have the problems she did, but yet she carried on, yes she was a bit annoyed at times and it did seem to get her down and she definitely saw the injustice, but she still kept her head up and tried to get on with it.
The romance side to the book was written so well and so realistically, Joni and Annabel were sweet, they didn’t really make a lot of sense as a couple honestly, but how they felt for each other was pouring of the pages, I loved how their moments were written, I really was rooting for them. The turnaround from how Joni first perceived Annabel to how she felt about her at the end of the book was so different, I really liked Annabel.
I hated the injustice of the book, I really didn’t know how the story was going to end, at one point I thought there was going to be something very cliche that happened when Joni visited the corner shop, I would love to know if anyone else picked up on that and had the same thoughts? But the way the story ended fitted really well, it was really well thought out, I loved the epilogue too, the way that we are left to make up our own ending I suppose, was great!
There was honestly nothing I disliked about this book, except from a few of the characters Mrs H who was pretty spineless, Deal who was a bit of an idiot, but I didn’t exactly hate him and Mr Huntington who was just awful! I only disliked them however, because I feel we as readers were supposed to.
I would highly recommend Skylarks, it’s a fantastically written YA with such a fresh take on the genre.
One of my favourite quotes from the very last page was “I realise now that courage will find you in the choices you make.” I thought this fitted the story so well, and it’s a great quote to live by too!