Reasons to Read: Starboard by Nicola Skinner

Having read and loved Bloom and Storm, I was so excited to see a new Nicola Skinner book publishing. Her books are unique, full of plot twists and incredibly creative characters. The main characters are always girls and they have brilliant personalities and adventures waiting for them within the pages. I have yet to make it through a book by Nicola Skinner without tears flowing, both happy and sad!

Here are my Reasons to Read this fantastic book!

1. Starboard features Kirsten, a young reality tv star, bordering on unhappy with the way her life is turning out. What started out small has turned into 4 years of reality tv, cameras and complete upheaval. “Your life was completely stripped, and altered, then rebuilt by other people, right?” (SS Great Britain). On a school trip to see the SS Great Britain, Kirsten feels a whoosh, gets splinters in her hands and begins communicating with the ship.

2. The ship is a feisty character intent on making some bold decisions and taking Kirsten and her ex best friend Olive with her for the ride. Breaking out of dry dock, the SS Great Britain escapes all who try to block her way. “We are to experience the joy of GOING. It’s called the wander-thirst, and there’s no point fighting it. Fighting your wander-thirst is such a colossal waste of time, darling.” SS Great Britain.

3. Over the course of a week, the girls, the ship and a set of mannequins who take the parts of the ships crew all learn to live alongside each other and to trust each other. Kirsten must search for the truth in the hidden depths of the ships dreams but this is a dangerous journey as she may never be the same again. Kirsten and Olive also need to repair their relationship and this may be an even harder journey for them.

4. Events and peril lie in wait for the SS Great Britain and her crew but this story features brave characters up for the adventure. “She smelled like she’d lived a little. Adventure and risk and truth-seeking, she realised, were never going to make you smell like washing powder.” Kirsten. No longer clean and well kept, she was rather dirty and enjoying it!

5. “Endings, said the ship grandly, are just beginnings in different hats. They’re honestly the same thing, except endings are cleverer because they know the whole story.” I feel this sentiment keenly…every time I finish a wonderful book I feel a huge sense of wonder and accomplishment. This story had me laughing, rolling my eyes, crying (tears of happiness and sadness) and wanting more!

6. Nicola Skinner has an incredible ability to bring her stories to life, and though the elements of the unimaginable are firmly in place, they feel real and possible! Her imagination knows no bounds! Sign me up for super fan status!

7. The book covers and inside illustrations, not to mention what is hiding beneath the jacket, are perfectly in tune with the story. Flavia Sorrentino is a master illustrator!

Tune in for the upcoming blog tour….

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