Girl Defective


Simmone Howell

Pan Australia

9780330426176

ISBN: 9780330426176

RRP: $16.99

AGE: 12+

KEY WORDS: Family, Disfunction, Romance

PUBLISHED: 01 March 2013

REVIEWER: Kylie Calwell

Skylark lives above her dad’s record store with her dad and brother Gully. They each have their own problems. Dad is an alcoholic, Gully has social difficulties, including the fact he cannot go out without wearing a pig snout over his face. Sky looks fairly normal on the surface but a little scratching and it’s clear she has more than enough of her own problems. She is still struggling with the abandonment of her mother, having to be the responsible one and having to get a handle on her bubbling hormones. She just wants to break out a little, she wants to be a bit more like Nancy, who seems to have control of her life. There’s a girl, a boy, a girl who had gone missing and some life changing events.

Sky is a bit of an outsider, her best friend is older and doesn’t go to school, her mother doesn’t have much interest in her outside a brief call for her birthday. Sky has feelings for Nancy but they are complicated, particularly when Luke comes along. She loves her brother but it’s hard to be the one mostly responsible for him. Sky is struggling to find her own way, to find who she really is so she can be true to herself.

The other characters frame Sky’s story. Nancy appears happy on the surface but underneath is something much darker. Gully adds some humour even as his defects are central to his actions, you feel sadness for his situation but there is joy in the way he copes. Luke brings a quiet determination to the story, he is a little lost but knows what he is looking for.

This is a story about family, about disfunction and about survival. This story shows us that though times can be terrible, can be hard to handle that there is a way through them. It is possible for a family to stick together an come out the other side. If you like books that are grounded solidly in reality and don’t shy away from tough topics like disfunction and teenage uncertainty then I’m sure you’ll like this one.

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