Saturday, 17 May 2014

Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt

Skin DeepAfter 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 received this book from Electric Monkey in exchange for an honest review. In no way have my opinions been effected by this.

I first saw this book in my local Waterstones about a year ago. Whilst I did like the sound of it, a part of me was reluctant to buy it. I don't know why, but that was just the way it was. And now, I wish I'd picked Skin Deep up sooner. Skin Deep is about Jenna whose face has been severely scarred due to a car crash. The scar has made her see herself in a negative light and it is only when she meets Ryan that that starts to change.

I loved Jenna, whilst she could easily take things the wrong way, she was witty, smart and thoughtful. Given what Jenna went through, I sort of expected her to be filled with pent up anger, and that wasn't there, she was just cold and numb. Throughout the book Jenna said a few times "Ugly people don't have feelings." and it was something that she only realised to be false near the end of the book. Laura Jarratt wrote how Jenna was becoming more and more aware of her feelings beautifully, almost like Jenna's heart of ice was defrosting. 

Jenna has a way with people throughout the book that just made me smile. Although at first she was pretty vile to Ryan (again, because she took something he said the wrong way) but she changed pretty quickly and a gentler side to her shone through. This was the same with Ryan's mother, Karen. Karen suffered from Bipolar, and she dealt with Karen in a way that Ryan hadn't expected. She saw everyone as equal in the world, except herself and to me that made her quite a unique character. 

The writing style in this book was simply brilliant. Chapters were split so that one chapter would be from Jenna's perspective and the next would be from Ryan's point of view but both perspectives were just as interesting as the other and that's hard to come across. Normally one perspective would be better than the other but it was different here, as you could see Ryan and Jenna falling in love through both pairs of eyes. The plot was amazing as well, I forgot after reading the synopsis that a body is found and so that was a real surprise, as was finding out who killed the person. 

Referring back to the issue of Bipolar - I think that was handled incredibly well throughout this book. Mental health always is a difficult subject to bring up and as somebody who has anxiety and has been depressed in the past I know that the subject isn't always delivered appropriately, but Laura Jarratt wrote that part of the book perfectly and I don't think it really could have been done any better.

A heartbreaking, uplifting novel that I'd recommend to anybody.
Holly x

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for commenting! I really appreciate every comment and do my best to provide a response.