Review Blog

Jul 30 2015

Under My Skin by James Dawson

cover image

Hot Key Books, 2015. ISBN: 9781471402968
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. 'You have changed me so much and, here's the thing: I needed to change. Before you I thought I was weak scared and uncertain . . . You made me see I was wrong. You made me realise I could do things I never thought I could do.'
James Dawson writes teen Horror with great skill and this book is no exception. It is difficult to put this book down as the writer skilfully draws the reader into the sinister and terrifying world Sally encounters.
Sally Feather is 17 years old. She is shy and lives with parents who keep her world cloistered and safe. Sally gets straight A's in school and has a beautiful singing voice. She finds High School to be a complete nightmare. She's not an A-Lister, a Hot Jock, or a Band member, she belongs to the waifs and strays. Sally wants more. Inside Sally is a wild child looking to escape. Have you ever thought about getting a tattoo? A tattoo can be a very special secret for a shy teenager. This story has Sally, one afternoon after school, finding herself in a Tattoo Parlour and leaving with a truly beautiful American pin-up girl on her lower back. The girl is sexy, daring and dangerous and Sally's life will never be the same. Then the reader meets Molly Sue. At first Molly Sue seems to be a likeable character, however some incidents begin to build an unease in the reader and take on a sinister glow.
This is more than a horror story as it cleverly layers the issues of abusive relationships, cyber bullying, friendship, jealousy, anorexia and self-image through this gripping tale. The book is engaging from beginning to end as Sally transforms in confidence, rebelliousness and strength. Her strength is never more evident than in the dramatic conclusion.
Linda Guthrie

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