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 get recommended books often from other bloggers. It's handy because there are so many good books out there to have other readers that know your tastes so well can save me a lot of shopping time. This book was not only recommended by several readers and bloggers but I was sent a copy by one super lovely blogger (Emma at Book Angel Booktopia) and that says a lot. Jenna is a girl that is scarred inside and out and she's struggling to come to terms with this new life she'll be facing and losing her best friend. Both were in a car wreck and Jenna wonders if she'd been better off dead now that she has a huge facial scar and is stared at like a freak.
Ryan on the other hand is someone with the scars from society as he's constantly pre judged as a criminal and trouble maker because he lives on a boat with his mum and travellers from town to town. His mum us sick with mental illness and he has to deal with it all on his own when all he really wants is to settle a bit and have some piece of a normal life. When Jenna and Ryan meet things seem to click and before either of them can come to grips with it they have fallen for each other thick and fast. Each other has something to give and can see beyond the surface. The fate rears it's ugly head and throws a spanner in the works for them both and you don't know if things will fall about or come closer together in the fall out.
Skin Deep is a stunning read that I'd love to have read earlier in the year so I could have been championing it as soon as it was published. Laura Jarratt has a brilliant way with words that made both Jenna and Ryan's lives so tactile and vivid and I was having aching chest pangs hoping that nothing would drive these two apart. They were wonderful for each other. Laura handles Jenna's injuries and the painful recovery so well that it would be the kind of book that I'd hope schools and libraries would invest in. There are big messages in Skin Deep and they are dealt with so fantastically that I couldn't resist reading more and more when i should have been working. My flat was long over due for a hoover and the dishes in the sink were put off so I could have just one more chapter.
I'm not a fan of gushy romances but this one was tender and beautifully written. Simply can't wait to see what Laura Jarratt writes next!
Published by Electric Monkey and is available from here and bookshops now