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Review: Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt

Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt
Published by Electric Monkey

Ugly people don't have feelings. They're not like everyone else. They don't notice if you stare at them and turn away. And if they did notice, it wouldn't hurt them. They're not like real people. Or that's what I used to think. Before I learned...

After the car crash that leaves her best friend dead, Jenna is permanently scarred. She struggles to rebuild her life, but every stare in the street, every time she looks in the mirror, makes her want to retreat further from the world. Until she meets Ryan. Ryan's a traveller. When he and his mother moor their narrow boat on the outskirts of a village, she tells him this time it will be different. He doesn't believe her; he can't imagine why this place shouldn't be as unwelcoming as the rest. Until he meets Jenna. But as Jenna and Ryan grow closer, repercussions from the crash continue to reverberate through the community. And then a body is found...

I desperately wanted to read this book from the moment I first heard about it and read the blurb in some promo stuff I got from egmont. I am delighted to say it was every bit as good as I hoped it was going to be and I cannot wait for publication date so more people can read it and see how good it is.

Jenna is an instantly likable character. She was involved in an accident which left her face scarred. As a consequence she feels ugly and finds it hard to face the world outside. She worries that everyone is staring at her and gossipping about her. Worse than that her best friend was killed in the accident. These two things combined have left her feeling lonely and isolated. I loved her voice and seeing how the accident changed the way in which she lived her life and how people around her treated her as a consequence.

Ryan is the second main character. He is a traveller who have spent his life with his mother on a boat travelling around and not staying in one place for too long. I loved how grown up he was for his 16 years and how he was both quite cocky but almost really sensitive especially around Jenna. He was always worried about looking after her and making sure she was OK. The scene at the Rugby Club party was absolutely my favourite in the way he stood up for her. I loved his relationship with his mum and the way he put up with all her wacky, new agey ways.

The best part of this book for me was seeing the relationship between Jenna and Ryan develop. It's really tender and sweet throughout and the story had brilliant messages to tell about appearance and the real value of beauty. It also said alot about friendship the importance of it in relationships. I actually really liked that because all too often is YA romantic fiction the girl just falls for the guy because he is gorgeous and nothing more but in this case there was so much more to the relationship between the two main characters.

The story itself has a nice engaging pace to it and it well written meaning you want to just keep reading pace after page to find out what happens next. While there aren't any huge twists or revelations the story itself and the characters are so interesting that you want to immerse yourself in their little world and delve a little deeper into why they are like they are.

A brilliant debut and an author I hope to read more of in the future. Certainly a book I will be recommending to others because it is engaging and heart-felt with brilliant characterisation. A really good read and perfect for teenage girls who are sick of all the paranormal YA books that are everywhere at the moment



This sounds really good, fab review :D
Jim said…
Great review! Jesse, you HAVE to read it - it's incredible, definitely my favourite of the year so far!
Im only seeing glowing reviews for this one! cant wait to start it!
Okay, I so want to read this now. I think it sounds really good because nowadays everybody always seems to judge each other on appearances even though they are only, as the title says, 'skin deep'.
By the way, I gave you the Lovely Blogger Award! Have a look at the post on my blog :)