SKIN DEEP is a contemporary YA novel written by LAURA JARRATT. Laura is a little bit of a newbie in the YA genre. I only know about three novels which she has written and two of them are a part of my library. As a part of my recent reading cravings for the YA genre, I have decided to dive in a find out if she is a good writer. And guess what I will be buying for September Book Bonanza? ;-)
First impression. Let's talk about the edition. Paperback. Beautiful photograph of two people who are clearly in love. The Blur on the back has an extract of one of the first chapters plus a brief description of the story.
Jenna hasn't been having the greatest luck in the world. She has been recently in a car accident which left her with a permanent scar on her face and her best friend dead. So she has a bit of a trouble to deal with the outside world. Thanks to her scar, people stare at her and doesn't look past it to see the real Jenna. She hides from the world and the cruelty of people. That is until a young man, Ryan, and his mum come into the town. Ryan and his mum are volunteering travellers. They spend their lives living on a boat, travelling from town to town and this time they end up in Jenna's little village. Let's say that Ryan & Jenna's first meeting doesn't go that well. So Ryan makes sure to make up for it every chance he gets. Slowly their start to share a wonderful friendship and fall in love. But will they make it at the end? Or will the troubles they both have divide them and end their sweet romance?
I will be honest, I have been a little bit sceptical about this story as I expected it to be cheesy like a camembert. Maybe even cheesier than that. I expected to not be able to relate to the characters as they are so young, but I have been pleasantly surprised and found myself enjoying this book very much.
Ms Jarratt's writing and story-telling managed to surprise me. I love the fact that she wrote the story from the point of view of both characters. We have a perfect view into Jenna's and Ryan's life separately. I have fallen in love with both of the characters. They both have their own baggage which sometimes stop them to move forward with their lives, but together they helped each other to discover that there is more to enjoy in their lonesome lives. Their relationship is so sweet, even when they are so young. They fell in love unexpectedly and completely.
I love the fact that there was a murder incorporated to the story, and who and why did it, was very entertaining and made the story a little more different.
Actually, the whole book was very smart, enjoyable, actually very relate able, funny and heart-warming. And it is very truthful. Laura managed to capture the human judgemental behaviour in its true glory with her writing. We have some types of prejudice against others based on the way of life or what they look like, and it's shameful. And I like the fact that the author of this book weren't scared to point at it in this story. I also have to mention the fact that Ryan's mum has a bipolar disorder which is beautifully and truthfully captured within the story.
This book has been captivating. I have enjoyed it straight from the start and weren't able to stop reading it. It was an emotional roller-coaster and I have fully enjoyed the ride. (At least It didn't make me sick like the real roller-coaster.)
I am now looking forward to read the other two books written by this wonderful writer - BY ANY OTHER NAME & LOUDER THAN WORDS. Well done Laura Jarratt, you have written a great story which is easy to read and makes an impact, in a wonderful way.