Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Girl Defective by Simmone Howell

Title:  Girl Defective
Author:  Simmone Howell
Genre:  Young Adult
Publisher:  Pan Macmillan
Publication Date:  1st March 2013
ISBN:  9780330426176
Stand alone or series:   Stand Alone
Pages:  312 pages
Book Received from:  Pan Macmillan (Publisher)
First Lines:  My dad named his record shop after an old song by a band called the Millionaires.

We, the Martin family, were like inverse superheroes, marked by our defects. Dad was addicted to beer and bootlegs. Gully had "social difficulties" that manifested in his wearing a pig snout mask 24-7. I was surface clean but underneath a weird hormonal stew was simmering...
 It's summer in St Kilda. Fifteen-year-old Sky is looking forward to great records and nefarious activities with Nancy, her older, wilder friend. Her brother – Super Agent Gully – is on a mission to unmask the degenerate who bricked the shop window. Bill the Patriarch seems content to drink while the shop slides into bankruptcy. A poster of a mysterious girl and her connection to Luke, the tragi-hot new employee sends Sky on an exploration into the dark heart of the suburb. What begins as a toe-dip into wilder waters will end up changing the frames of Sky's existence. Love is strange. Family Rules. In between there are teenage messes, rock star spawn, violent fangirls, creepy old guys and accidents waiting to happen. If the world truly is going to hell in a hand-basket then at least the soundtrack is kicking. Sky Martin is Girl Defective: funny, real and dark at the edges.

My Thoughts:
I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book.  I was asked if I'd like to review this book and after reading the synopsis I thought, "This isn't the sort of book I'm reading these days, I should give it a go." The Synopsis seemed promising enough but I didn't realise how much I would enjoy reading this until I started with chapter one.

Sky the main character lives with her family consisting of her father who runs the record shop and likes to drink, and her brother Gully (Seagull) who strangely enough wears a pig snout mask wherever he goes and likes to think of himself as a detective.  Sky's doesn't have any friends at school, and apart from Nancy whose a little older and more extrovert than herself, she sticks by herself.  

The story is based in St Kilda and while I have never been to the place, after reading Girl Defective it feels like I have.  The writing itself is easy reading and as strange as it sounds, I could hear Sky telling me her story in a very aussie accent.

The parts I loved the most and feel I need to point out are Gully's memos. While for me they seemed to be written above an eight year olds level of comprehension the content itself does seem genuinely like what a child of his age would note down.  

There are references to drugs and drinking but for an older teen I think this would make a great read.  I sure enjoyed it and I really fell in love with Luke.

Favourite lines:  .  "It's also the story of a wild girl and a ghost girl, a boy who knew nothing and a boy who thought he knew everything; and it's about life and death and grief and romance.  All the good stuff." - Page 2 - This little bit hooked me. It's written on the back of the book also but when reading the first chapter  and this pops up it makes you want to keep reading. And how true this line is once you finish reading!


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