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Young Adult Book Review: Skylark by Meagan Spooner

If you choose one book to read the rest of the year, PICK SKYLARK! It’s exhilarating and heart-pounding, and I was so so SURPRISED all the time while reading.

Book Review: Skylark by Meagan Spooner

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skylark by meagan spooner

Title & Author: Skylark (The Skylark Trilogy) by Meagan Spooner

Genre: YA Fantasy – Futuristic, Dystopia

Release Date: August 1, 2005

Series: #1 in the Skylark Trilogy

Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab

How I Got the Book: ARC via Publisher


“Sixteen-year-old Lark Ainsley has never seen the sky.

Her world ends at the edge of the vast domed barrier of energy enclosing all that’s left of humanity. For two hundred years the city has sustained this barrier by harvesting its children’s innate magical energy when they reach adolescence. When it’s Lark’s turn to be harvested, she finds herself trapped in a nightmarish web of experiments and learns she is something out of legend itself: a Renewable, able to regenerate her own power after it’s been stripped.

Forced to flee the only home she knows to avoid life as a human battery, Lark must fight her way through the terrible wilderness beyond the edge of the world. With the city’s clockwork creations close on her heels and a strange wild boy stalking her in the countryside, she must move quickly if she is to have any hope of survival. She’s heard the stories that somewhere to the west are others like her, hidden in secret—but can she stay alive long enough to find them?”

YA Fantasy…and Steampunk and Science Fiction

I was trying to decide what YA genre Skylark fell under, and I really can’t decide. Maybe YOU can help. Ok, so there’s a world inside a dome, there’s magic, there’s magic-powered machines and there are freakish creatures in a wicked wood. It sounds like fantasy/steampunk/science fiction/.

Which is not a problem for me because I LOVE ALL OF THOSE!

So now that we’ve got that out of the way…let’s get down to business. I loved loved loved this book. It’s so startling in its intensity and harness. Skylark tells the classic tale of someone finding out the trust they put in the world they thought they knew was very, very misplaced.

After waiting years to be “harvested” – much longer than most children – Lark Ainsley goes to the Institute, where she’ll be assigned a work role and continue on with the rest of her life. It’s a huge turning point for her…but she never makes it that far.

Lark learns the cruel leaders of the Institute want to use her in ways she never could have imagined. Trusting no one, Lark escapes past the barriers of her world – knowing she can’t return but hopeful she can find her long-disappeared brother Basil.

Long Journeys

I both love and loathe “long journey” type of books. It’s when the main character is travels most of the book through forests, deserts or [insert fantasy landscape here]. I don’t mind it normally, but sometimes when the journey is SUPER long, it can be tedious to read about.

Although Skylark does feature Lark running through all manner of terrain, I didn’t mind it. She meets crazy creatures and people and things and discovers so much about herself and her purpose that it added so much to her story.

Also, Lark meets a strange boy (Oren) in the woods. She can’t decide if she can trust him or not, and where Spooner takes their journey is amazing and killer and agh!!!

I really loved how Lark transforms from someone who’s so confused most of the time and who feels so weak to someone stronger and more confident, who takes big leaps of faith because there is not other choice.


I found this song by Imagine Dragons and thought it represented Skylark so well that I had to share it!


This book is intensely delicious. What made it a true standout was the journey of discovery that Lark makes. She’s continually shocked and revolted by the world she lives it, but she perseveres, presses on and pushes herself to find the truth. Skylark is a must read!

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.