Review: Under My Skin by James Dawson

March 19, 2015 in Book Reviews, Fiction, YA

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Under My Skin by James DawsonUnder My Skin by James Dawson
Published by Hot Key Books on March 2015
Genres: YA
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
three-half-stars

When Sally Feather walks into a tattoo parlous, she is walking into more trouble than she can imagine.

Molly-Sue offers Sally everything her heart desires - popularity, beauty, the most gorgeous guy in school - but at a very, very high price.

Because there are some things that really do get under your skin. And some that you would do anything - absolutely anything - to be rid of.

 

 

 

In Brief

5 words

TEENAGERS, POSSESSION, FEAR, IDENTITY, FRIENDSHIP

Things I liked

* THE UNDERLYING MESSAGES

* THE TENSION

* THE DARKNESS – A PERFECT BALANCE

Didn't Like

* TOOK ME A WHILE TO GET INTO

Who Should Read It

* YOUNG ADULTS & FANS OF YA

* IF YOU LIKE A BIT OF DARKNESS IN YOUR YA FICTION

My Thoughts

I saw Under My Skin talked about on the Hot Key Books YouTube channel and I was pretty intrigued. I haven’t read any of James Dawson’s work before now but something about this book appealed to me. I was lucky enough to be sent a copy from Hot Key Books for consideration, so thank you Hot Key Books!

First things first; this is a YA book. I have different expectations of YA books as, after all, they’re written with young adults in mind and I don’t really fit into that category any more. So I do take this fact into consideration with my rating of YA books.

Sally Feather is an academic girl from a conservative family. She and her best friends are not in the cool crowd, and with her long plait and baggy clothes she certainly doesn’t look like she should be in with the cool kids either.

There’s a fairly predictable element to this book… a makeover, getting noticed, having the attentions of her long time crush, you know how these things tend to go. The difference with this novel is that all the changes are prompted by a tattoo Sally gets in a moment of rebellion.

Molly-Sue is a pin-up girl tattooed on Sally’s back. No-one knows about her; she’s Sally secret. However her secret takes a dark, unexpected twist when Molly-Sue comes to life. Not only that but she starts to control Sally’s body. Molly-Sue makes Sally’s body do things Sally’d never dream of. While at first it might seem like a good thing, her new look, the attention from the gorgeous Todd, sorting out a friend’s creepy boyfriend, it soon gets out of hand.

Sally wants rid of her but Molly-Sue won’t let her get the tattoo removed. Sally faces an internal battle with this evil being who is trying to use her body. She needs help, but who’s going to believe her that a tattoo is taking over her life?

There are elements of Mean Girls and predictability about the book, but there’s also a dark side. A dark side that’s not predictable. There are messages and lessons aplenty in this book, but they’re hidden beneath a storyline which, once it takes hold, is pretty gripping.

I love the concept of the tattoo, of something creeping under the skin and battling to take control. It’s a fantastic idea and I liked the way Dawson executed it, probably integrating an appropriate level of darkness for a YA read.

I may be in my thirties but I could still relate to the 17 year old Sally. The book brought me back to my teenage years, the politics of High School life, the dynamics of various relationships and preparing to embark on a journey to Uni where you leave all you know behind.

All in all I liked this book. At first I wasn’t sure, but when things with Molly-Sue start to heat up, I found myself hooked!

three-half-stars