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Girl Defective

Girl Defective

Photographer: Henry Beer
For Ages: 14 and up
In the tradition of High Fidelity and Empire Records, this is the literary soundtrack to Skylark Martin’s strange, mysterious, and extraordinary summer.

This is the story of a wild girl and a ghost girl; a boy who knew nothing and a boy who thought he knew everything.

It’s a story about Skylark Martin, who lives with her father and brother in a vintage record shop and is trying to find her place in the world. It’s about ten-year-old Super Agent Gully and his case of a lifetime. And about beautiful, reckless, sharp-as-knives Nancy. It’s about tragi-hot Luke, and just-plain-tragic Mia Casey. It’s about the dark underbelly of a curious neighborhood. It’s about summer, and weirdness, and mystery, and music.

And it’s about life and death and grief and romance. All the good stuff.
Choose a format:
  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781442497603 | 
  • September 2014 | 
  • Grades 9 and up
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Read an Excerpt

THE SONG “WISHING WELL” by the Millionaires (Decca, 1966) was as rare as it was weird, and my dad named his record shop after it. The guy who produced it, Joe Meek, was famously bonkers. He had occult leanings and Svengali issues. He heard voices, but he also heard music in a way that no one else did. Just a few years after his greatest success, Meek killed his landlady, then himself, and for a long time his tapes were locked away in a tea chest. Dad had “Wishing... see more

About the Author

Simmone Howell
Photograph by Tania Jovanovic

Simmone Howell

Simmone Howell is the award-winning author of Notes from the Teenage Underground and Everything Beautiful. Before becoming a writer she worked in a multitude of secondhand bookstores and record shops, and as a result her house looks like one. She lives with her husband and son and crazy dog in Melbourne, Australia. Visit her at




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