Published on October 23rd, 2014 | by Hayley0
A vintage vinyl shop, a mysterious death, an even more mysterious girl, a pig snout, a dysfunctional family and a teenage girl figuring out life all make up Girl Defective.
Skylark Martin leads a quiet, mundane life in a sleepy Australian town. Ever since her mother walked out on her family she’s had to take major responsibility for her younger brother Gully, and lookout for her dad who has a tendency to drink a little too much. Her only excitement comes in the form of the mysterious, older Nancy, her only friend, who’s maturity and sophistication both fascinate and confuse Sky. After a teenage girl is found dead in the city, and her father just so happens to hire her brother on at their failing record shop Sky develops both a crush on the dead girls brother and an obsession with the dead girl herself.
While Sky is dealing with confused feelings about Nancy and a burgeoning crush on Luke, her little brother Gully is investigating a drive-by bricking that saw the record shops windows smashed. Gully, convinced he’s a secret agent, constantly wears a pig snout everywhere he goes. Regardless of what other people may think.
Girl Defective is the story of a fractured family, fractured friendships and imperfect people. It’s also the story of a teenage girl figuring herself out.
Girl Defective takes it’s time, it’s a slow read – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s simply not one of those stories filled with wild twists and turns, instead it builds slowly, it’s more of a character assessment then anything else. Main character Sky isn’t just likeable, she’s relatable, a lot of the confusion, angst and anger she mulls over make her more then real. Her friendship with Nancy, her growing crush on Luke and her resentment towards her parents are all things readers will be able to get on board with.
The story is littered with mysteries, and their eventual reveals take awhile to get to. However within the last 100 pages the story picks up and offers satisfying answers to many of the questions that have been ongoing in the book. The book is riddled with teenage angst but author Simmone Howell handles it in a way that makes it neither grating or stereotypical.
Why You’ll Love It
Girl Defective has some great, unique characters, all equipped with their own little quirks, from Gully’s pig snout, to Luke’s drawings and even Nancy’s overall mystery, the story may not be a fast, wild ride, but author Simmone Howell has created characters that standout and stay with you, long after you’ve closed the book.
Choice Quote: I don’t know why I am the way I am. I was thinking about it. I remember when I was little, the first time I ever heard the word ‘opportunistic,’ I thought, I want to be that. I didn’t know it was a bad thing.”
More books by
Notes from the Teenage Underground
Girl Defective is published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers