By: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
15-y.o. Skylark (a.k.a. Sky) Martin thinks she’s the strangest a kid can be, she prefers clothes from vintage and thrift shoppes, she doesn’t have any friends except for her box of beautiful people, Nancy, and her famous mother’s “Ask Me Anything” black box, her brother sports a pig snout mask 27/4, her father is a record shop keeper who fell into a deep drunken depression after his wife up-and-left, and music is her everything.
Okay, I thought this book was strangely great. There were a lot of references to classic songs that made you want to sway (queue ‘Incense and Peppermint’ by Strawberry Alarm Clock) with the vibe of the entire story. I really liked Sky’s character, it is slightly relatable in the appearance of a good-girl-teen trying to find herself but is constantly left with the responsibility of her little brother since her father is busy trying to keep Bill’s Wishing Well (his record shop) afloat. She’s almost sixteen and by this point she’s a little rebellious, curious, and has an energy to try to find answers to those questions usually only mums can answer. That’s what makes this story just a bit more exciting since she’s going through the phases and motions of routines but still trying to standout without being too obvious.
Although, perhaps this isn’t the point, but for some unknown reason, I think Sky’s brother Gully has Down Syndrome, maybe I’m a little dense, but that is the vibe I got from it all. Which in turn explains the constant need to be supervised by his sister because he was regularly unpredictable especially when he was Private Investigator mode on the search for The Bricker, and a white jeep with the bumper sticker ‘Live Love Local’. But it adds to the story as something more grounded. There’s no flashing lights, or people buzzing around on hover boards. It’s a real story about family, coming of age, and relationships, and those are the stories that keep things interesting.