BOOK: Skylarks by Karen Gregory

Goodreads: Keep your head down and don’t borrow trouble is the motto Joni lives by, and so far it’s seen her family through some tough times. It’s not as if she has the power to change anything important anyway. Like Dad’s bad back, or the threat of losing their house. So when Annabel breezes into her life, Joni’s sure they’re destined to clash. Pretty, poised, privileged – the daughter of the richest family in town must have it easy. But sometimes you find a matching spirit where you least expect it. Sometimes love can defy difference. And sometimes life asks you to be bigger and braver 

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It’s refreshing to read something like this. First, this is my first book where the heroine are 2 lesbians. I’ve read a couple of colorful books but it usually features both males. The story also brings me back to a certain point in my life where I was Annabel. The book was really an eye opener.

I appreciate KG’s effort to talk about relevant issues such as poverty, different social classes, political activism and inequality in general. The conversation was not heavy yet you learn something from the daily life and financial struggles and issues that were raised through the character of Joni.

I loved how KG built the relationship of Joni and Annie where it was not rushed. As you go through the chapters, you witness how their relationship grows from acquaintance to colleagues to friends to something mutual to becoming special and until their I-love-yous. Unlike some YAs where they meet and they instantly fell in love. like, what? How did you even? Not . like . that. at. all. The build up was perfect.

Some daily life struggles of Joni:

  • Not wanting to enroll or take another class or attend a seminar because she worries she doesn’t have any smart clothes & it would also mean she needs a decent haircut which would also cost her.
  • Her everyday clothes are old compared to the other students.
  • She has to go to the library really early to do an assignment because her laptop is busted.
  • Worrying about whether her brother can attend the school trip — it would cost them money
  • She checks the price of every single thing and knows them by heart
  • Not being able to shop for your groceries without looking at the price tag
  • It’s a luxury to be able to eat and leave the dishes on the sink because someone is there to clean it up.

Some of the highlights from the book:

  • We all have less because they always have to keep grabbing at more.
  • What’s the point in always looking at what everyone else wants and wishing you had it? That never stops, does it? Someone’s always going to have a bigger house or a better car or whatever. It’s best not to ‘make waves’.
  • Sometimes I wish the most important part of the day was still those playtime, running and shouting, the playground hot under our feet and our futures not even thought of yet.
  • There’s all these expectations that you will do something incredible but it doesn’t actually matter if you do, because someone else is always more extraordinary than you.
  • Having money doesn’t mean life is easy.
  • Even when everything is about crap as it’s going to get, you still have to roll over and get your feet on the floor.
  • When you love someone, it’s an act of courage. You have to let yourself take chances.
  • Courage will find you in the choices you make, to keep fighting, especially when there’s no guarantees.

Overall, it’s a 3/5 for me. It’s an okay read but it’s not something I will reread willingly. Although I’m thinking if I should pick up her other book, Countless. Should I?

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