Three lads, members of an aspiring British boy band, move into the Los Angeles home that 12-year-old Lark, a budding musician, shares with her newly divorced mother, who’s just started her own record label.
This would be a dream come true for most girls, but Lark is not thrilled, despite the fact that the boys, ages 14 and 15, are handsome and talented. The white girl is still reeling from her parents’ divorce, her separation from her beloved father, and the move from cozy Nashville to alien Los Angeles. Lark writes, plays guitar, and sings, and although she works hard honing her craft, stage fright keeps her away from the limelight. In the course of the story, the first in a new series, Lark begins to adjust to her new living situation, starts working musically with a dreamy schoolmate, and takes the first steps to becoming the performer she was born to be. The cleverly titled book’s pluses include an appealing premise tailored for middle-grade girls and a sympathetic protagonist that readers should be rooting for from the get-go. The negatives consist of an all-around blandness, air of predictability, and a lack of detail and specificity, in both the characters and particulars of the music world.
Romance and musical stardom are the twin lures in this lite but likable pop-fiction series opener. (Fiction. 8-12)