What a wonderful breath of fresh air from the author of the Super Spies! I’ve read other books of Lisa Orchard’s, so I feel confident in saying this is by far the best piece of writing I’ve read from her. The quality and strength of this new voice is such a great leap forward, I forgot all about the author and concentrated solely on the story. This is talent. This is an author who has fallen into the right groove.
Gideon Lee is a mystery, just like other stories by this author, and in this this first book of the series we don’t figure out the puzzle, not entirely. Lark, the protagonist, is a character with whom I could identify easily, someone who felt every knock of her hard life, someone whose existence could be real. She has been beautifully portrayed. Lark’s struggle to understand the world around her, her anger at the realities of life, and general treatment of teenage angst are done with a light hand, intuitive appreciation, and high mastery of the writing craft. To me, Lisa Orchard has arrived.
Just like other commenters, I did find the ending of this instalment a little abrupt, but I don’t mind it, somehow. I do feel the hope that’s filling Lark’s heart fill mine too. I can wait – just about – for the next one in the series.
So difficult to find, these days, a no-nonsense book for teens, about teens, written in their language, and one that doesn’t sugar-coat the more offensive aspects of life. There’s no profanity in these pages, and yet the message is clear-cut and positive. I wholeheartedly recommend this book for teens and those who love them. Unquestionably, a five-star performance.