by Tracey Porter
Published: May 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
When sixteen-year-old Lark Austin is kidnapped from her Virginia hometown and left to die in a snowy forest, she leaves behind two friends who are stunned by the loss. As Lark's former best friend, Eve can't shake the guilt that this tragedy was somehow her fault. Meanwhile, Nyetta is haunted each night by Lark's ghost, who comes through the bedroom window and begs Nyetta to set her soul free. Eve and Nyetta realize that Lark is trapped in limbo, and only by coming together to heal themselves will they discover why.
Let me start off by saying I hate sad books, and if I'd read the blurb before reading the book, I probably wouldn't have picked Lark up. As it was, the cover reminded me of Maggie Steifvater's The Wolves of Mercy Falls series. That said I am so glad I did. This was my first read of 2012 and I managed to finish it in under three hours. The chapters are short, and it is an extremely fast read.
Part of the fast read is that the characters are engaging. The three points of view made everything even sadder by how close they were to what was happening. There is very little in the way of extras. We learn about Lark's relationships with Eve and Nyetta, what they were like together, what drove them apart and ultimately how they really felt about each other. Nyetta's perspective was especially moving because she is younger and struggling with something that the adults in her life can't even begin to comprehend.
Listening to Lark relive her death and her relentless efforts to get Nyetta to help her move on was heartbreaking. The idea Porter builds around what happens to girls who die in the woods was really interesting. I don't want to say more for fear of giving away too much, but this is definitely worth a read.