Saturday, 7 September 2013

I, Reader: SKIN DEEP by Laura Jarratt

I asked for recommendations on twitter for a contemporary YA with a really intense romantic relationship, and this book was recommended to me by the wonderful Molly Ker Hawn. And it was exactly what I wanted: intense and heartbreaking, all at once.

Don't forget, you too can win a copy of SKIN DEEP - just leave a comment on this post for a chance to win! **NOW CLOSED**

Here is the back cover blurb:

'I wanted to say this morning, only you ran off...Sorry if I was rude.' The boy from the boat grinned, looking straight at me. 'You surprised me, that's all. The scar' - he touched his face - 'took me by surprise. I didn't mean to be rude.' I gaped at him. Nobody ever, ever mentioned the scars.

After the car crash that leaves her best friend dead, Jenna struggles to rebuild her life. But every stare in the street, every glance in the mirror, makes her want to hide away. And then Ryan turns up - a tall, good-looking traveller unlike anyone Jenna's ever met before.

Can he help to put her world back together, or will he just break her heart?

Why did this book stand out?

I've mentioned in previous posts (or was it tweets?) that I'm broadening my reading horizons, particularly when it comes to contemporary YA, which has always been a bit of a blind spot for me. And SKIN DEEP is such an easy read, the characters totally engrossing (I'll talk about that more in a second), the setting and what happens so believable that I actually got lost in the story at some point in the first chapter and didn't emerge until I finished the last page.

The story is told in dual 1st person POV, which I will confess is a favourite of mine (I like getting into people's heads, and this seems the most expedient way to get there). Jenna has had a truly terrible thing happen to her, and that has had a huge impact on her life. But while it has obviously affected her, changed the person that she is, it hasn't made her self-absorbed or depressed or anything which would - for me - be a barrier to liking her. And Ryan was a fantastic character, too - he has his own issues to deal with, judged for being a traveller by the people he meets and isolated by his mother's illness. But he's funny, and charming, and a little bit rogueish, while at the same time having the courage to do what he knows is right and fighting for the things he believes in.

I finished reading SKIN DEEP a few days ago, and it has left me a little heartsick that I can't read it all over again without knowing what's going to happen. That said - and without spoilerifying - I thought the ending was exactly right for the story. I pretty much inhaled this book, it was so good!

SKIN DEEP is definitely in my top 3 reads so far this year!

**Leave a comment by 8pm GMT on 10th September for your chance to win a copy of SKIN DEEP. One commenter will be chosen at random. Open internationally.****NOW CLOSED - thanks to all who entered!**


  1. Stories like this always make me sad, so I tend to stay away from them. But this sounds fantastic and I'm definitely going to add it to TBR pile as soon as possible. Like you, I've also been expanding my reading and it's been an interesting, and fun, experience.

  2. Sounds like I'll need a fresh box of tissues and tub of ice cream for this one ;)

  3. This sounds great. I love dual pov done well.


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