Lark by Tracey Porter
Release date: May 24, 2011
Summary: Sixteen-year-old Lark Austin has been found dead—she was stabbed, tied to a tree, and left there in the bitter cold. Eve, Lark’s former best friend, struggles with the loss of Lark—she’s not sure if she should feel anything. Nyetta, a young girl Lark used to babysit, knows that Lark needs her to set her free. The stories of these three girls are woven together in the most lovely way possible, and leave a lingering feeling of hope.
My thoughts: Haunting and shiver-inducing, Lark paints a vivid picture of a kidnapping and eventual murder. We get to experience the event through the eyes of a victim, and it is very, very frightening. Tracey Porter handles the subject with finesse—she does not gloss over any part of Lark’s rape and murder, but doesn’t dwell over the more intense parts, either. Though the book clocks in at only 170 pages, it certainly packs a punch.
After Lark’s death, the subject of blame comes to the surface. Eve and Nyetta, the two other narrators, have certain parts they play in Lark’s lives, but Tracey Porter also brings up how society tends to blame the victim. Porter subtly criticizes society for this tendency, and thus raises awareness in the reader.
Though Lark’s voice is the most powerful, Eve and Nyetta are distinct, interesting characters. Eve is recovering from sexual harassment, and Nyetta is convinced that Lark is speaking to her from beyond the grave. It sounds like a plot overload, but everything ties together nicely, and nothing seems rushed.
I would highly recommend Lark. It’s beautiful, poignant, and it really made me think about victims of sexual assault and murder.
Impossible by Nancy Werlin
I grew up singing Scarborough Fair, so Impossible struck a chord with me. I absolutely love the haunting vibe the song gives off, and Impossible managed to pull off that vibe beautifully. The writing was lovely, and I felt that the plot was well constructed.
Although I hate reading about pregnancy (teen or otherwise), Impossible didn’t bother me one bit. It didn’t focus too much on the awful bits (morning sickness, the birth itself), but the more positive aspects (feeling a connection to the child before it’s even born).
Lucy was a great protagonist, and Zach was an amazingly sweet love interest. Impossible was well balanced between love and seriousness. Speaking of seriousness, the matter of the Scarborough curse was executed really well! I liked how even though it sounded crazy, Lucy’s family accepted her need to try to break the curse, whether they believed it to be true or not. They supported her because they loved her.
All in all, I really enjoyed Impossible. I found it to be a beautiful, haunting read.