Book Review: Gideon Lee

Gideon Lee (Starlight Chronicles #1)
Author: Lisa Orchard
Published by: Eskape Press
Publication Date: 21 October 2014
Page Count: 129
Buy it at Barnes & Noble or Amazon
Source: e-book provided by author
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

Most of the books I have read for reviews lately have been fantasy, paranormal, or sci-fi.  It was a nice change reading a contemporary teen novel, no magic or special gadgets, just real life and how to deal.

Gideon Lee is about a teen musician, Lark Singer.  She is an ordinary girl just trying to get through the perils of high school.  She is in a band, is the lead singer, and also plays bass guitar.  There is a music competition coming up and her band is entered.  Between the stresses of school and trying to prepare songs and practice for the competition, she also walks a rickety path with her mom.  They don't get along very well and Lark always seems to land on her mom's bad side.  Then Lark's best friend, band mate, and potential love interest Bean, starts acting strange and Lark doesn't understand why. She has so much to contend with, she doesn't know how she will get through it all.

This book is definitely the beginning of a longer story.  For me it is far too short, I wanted to read more about her relationship with her mom, her relationship with her friends, and I wanted a bit more drama...and a bit more of a conclusion.  Nothing is fixed with her mom or Bean, the story just kind of leaves you hanging.  On the surface, things might seem better, but as the reader, you know that it hasn't been all wrapped up in a pretty bow.  In a way, this makes you want to pick up the next book and find out what happens, which is a good thing.

There also seems to be quite a bit of redundancy in the book. When Lark is discussing her rocky relationship with her mom, or her feelings on the upcoming competition, it just seems like she is saying the same thing.  It would have been nice if the author changed it up a bit, get the same meaning across, but use different words to express it.

Okay, now that I have gotten the two negatives out of the way, I can still say that I truly enjoyed reading this book.  Yes, it was too short and yes, there was some repetition, but the story itself, the substance and plot were very good.  This book will touch and connect with anyone who has gone through some of the situations Lark finds herself in.  She has to deal with some pretty tough things: living with a single parent just trying to make ends meet, drugs and alcohol, peer pressure, high school.  I think these things are what makes the reader keep reading.  You want to know if she is strong enough, and in turn if maybe you are strong enough as well.

You can feel the passion and love Lark has for her music.  The author, Lisa Orchard, has captured that flawlessly.  You find yourself wanting to hear the music her band plays, to listen to the melodies and harmonies as Lark writes and rewrites the lyrics for each piece.  I want the soundtrack to this book!  Everyone has a passion for something, and that makes you connect even more with the character.

I am looking forward to picking up the continuing stories of Lark, her mom, Bean, and her band and seeing how far they go.

Favorite Thing About This Book: I love the passion Lark expresses for her music.  It reminds me of the passion I have for writing and where I want that to go.

First Sentence: I want to be like Gideon Lee.

Favorite Character: Lark

Least Favorite Character: Bean's dad

Lark Singer’s relationship with her mother is prickly to say the least. As she enters a musical competition that could launch her career, Lark also searches for answers her mother would rather keep hidden. Throw into the mix the fact her best friend Bean has been acting strangely, and Lark finds herself launched into uncharted territory. Will her quest for answers sabotage her musical aspirations? 


  1. It is always nice to see a contemporary novel that is down to earth and willing to talk about the gritty aspects of high school without becoming overwhelmingly depressing. From the sounds of it, this book does deliver on this front. Although I have to could you get tired of sci-fi and fantasy!? Hahaha :)

  2. Thanks for the great review! I appreciate your time and efforts!


Post a Comment

We love your comments!