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Written by Karen Gregory

Featured Books for 13+ readers Featured Books for Young Adults General Fiction Recommended Children's eBooks

LoveReading View on Skylarks

Falling in love, taking a stand, and standing tall

Exploring an unforgettable relationship between two young women and obstructive social inequalities, this is a thoroughly thought-provoking, engaging read. I was mightily impressed by the author’s debut Countless, and this confirms her prowess at covering big social and emotional themes with heartfelt depth.

Joni’s family is struggling to make ends meet. With her mum working all hours and her dad incapacitated by a bad back, she brings in extra cash with a weekend job at the local library. It’s at the library that Joni meets Annabel, daughter of a big shot businessman and benefactor. Joni has good reason to dislike posh Annabel, but her first reaction soon shifts to overwhelming attraction, a feeling that turns out to be mutual. The scenes in which Joni and Annabel visit each other’s homes are incredibly affecting, with the passion of their first intimate encounters and increasing closeness contrasted with the class chasm that separates them. Their life chances are as different as their life styles. While Annabel has a huge house and an actual lake, Joni’s family is on the brink of being evicted as a result of a corporate buy-out of their estate. As is clear from Annabel’s situation, money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does keep a roof over your head, and so with time running out Joni steps up her involvement in her brother’s campaign to save their estate. 

Throughout Joni’s spirit and sense of hope are inspirational. Despite the unfairness she and her family must fight in order to survive, she holds onto to the belief that “things can change, if you keep trying”. Highly recommended for readers who like their YA to mix real-life issues with romance, and I loved the twist that makes the political all too personal.

Joanne Owen

Skylarks Synopsis

When she was little, Joni used to have dreams that she could fly. But these days her feet are firmly on the ground - they have to be when money's tight and her dad can't work and the whole family has to pull together to keep afloat. Then she meets Annabel. Annabel is everything Joni isn't, and yet there's a spark between them. Though Joni barely believes it at first, she thinks they might be falling in love. But when Annabel's parents find out about the relationship, it's clear they believe there are some differences that are impossible to overcome ...

Skylarks Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our LoveReading4Kids Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Grace Spear, age 15 - '‘Skylarks’ gives you a great insight into lives that you never normally think about, with the story creating a picture in your mind.'
  • Emily Price, age 15 - 'a gripping and heart-warming story and I’d really recommend it to anyone my age.'
  • Amy Laws, age 16 - 'This story was equally beautiful and engaging, I really enjoyed it.'
  • Katie, age 16 - 'Definitely will read again.'
  • Chloe Shortall, age 21 - 'I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an honest novel that deals with real issues.'
  • Sophie Ufton - 'Wow, this was so brilliantly amazing!! It made me laugh and cry. Wonderfully done. Read this book.'

Skylarks Press Reviews

Praise for Countless;

Moving and thought-provoking Irish Times

Insightful, authentic and profoundly moving ... This is an important, impactful, mightily impressive debut about love, reaching out and taking one step at a time  LoveReading4Kids

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781408883617
Publication date: 03/05/2018
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781408883617
Publication date: 3rd May 2018
Author: Karen Gregory
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 336 pages
Suitable for: 13+ readers, YA readers
Genres: General Fiction
Recommendations: eBooks, Reviewed by Children

About Karen Gregory

Karen Gregory has been a confirmed bookhead since early childhood. She wrote her first story about Bantra the mouse aged twelve, then put away the word processor until her first child was born, when she was overtaken by the urge to write. A graduate of Somerville College, Oxford, and a project coordinator by day, she's become adept at writing around the edges. Strong coffee and a healthy disregard for housework help. Karen lives in Wiltshire with her family. Countless is her first novel.

More About Karen Gregory

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