Book Review: Spirit Level (YA)

I received this book for free from Orca Book Publishers at BEA 2016. That fact in no way influenced my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Spirit Level by Sarah N. Harvey

Goodreads Summary:
Harriet is a donor-conceived, an only child. She has never considered her family unusual.

But things change when her longtime boyfriend chooses New York over their relationship, and her best friend leaves her for Paris. Level-headed Harry can’t keep it together.

Maybe it’s time to do something other than cry into her pillow and wallow in smoothies. Maybe it’s time to think about the bigger picture. Maybe it’s time to find some half-siblings and redefine her idea of family.

My Review:
I didn’t know what to expect with this book. I honestly don’t even remember getting it at BEA. It was kind of refreshing to read a book having no expectations. Harry (Harriet) is a donor-conceived child. Her single mother decided she wanted a baby, so she used an anonymous sperm donor to get pregnant. Now she’s 16-years old (I think) and alone for the summer. Her best friend is abroad, and she just broke up with her boyfriend who moved from Seattle to NYC with his father. Harry decides it’s time to find her half siblings using the Donor Sibling Registry.

Harry ends up finding two sisters who also live in Seattle. Lucy is 14-years old and half Asian. Her moms used the same donor to conceive her and her half brother, who’s away at college in Oregon. Meredith is 18, and she’s run away from Montana to come find her father (as she calls their donor). She’s brought along her best friend, Alex. Lucy is sweet and SUPER peppy. Meredith is sullen and angry and a little unstable.

This book was rather short, but I enjoyed the very different story. Harry, Lucy, and Meredith had some serious drama, just like any sisters. All of the adults in this book were very realistic and really added to the story. I especially loved Harry’s “grandmother.”

There were some other unexpected topics involved in the plot that I won’t mention because I don’t want to spoil anything, but I am unsure what to think about how one thing was handled. It was a rather optimistic outcome, but I appreciated the juxtaposition to another book I read recently. Did I just annoy the heck out of you with that ambiguity? Sorry! Not sorry. You’ll have to read the book.

My Rating: 4 Stars

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