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Chapter by Chapter

A mostly Young Adult book review blog run by a mother and daughter team.

Skin Deep

Skin Deep - Laura Jarratt This was such a sweet tale of perseverance, strength, and first love. The opening scene and first chapter pretty much captured my attention instantaneously. There was so much emotion written in the first chapter alone, that there was no way I wasn’t going to simply adore this book.Written in an alternating point of view between Jenna and Ryan, Skin Deep has a little something for everyone who is in need of a great YA contemporary read.It pretty much gives us the details of the horrible car accident that our main protagonist, Jenna, was involved in, along with a handful of friends. It also opens up the start of her difficult struggle after having been caught in the fire due to the accident, causing a horrible disfigurement to her face. The way in which author, Laura Jarratt, describes the accident, as well as the details leading up to the crash, I felt as though I was watching a movie! I could hear the laughter, smell the alcohol and drugs, then hear the screams, feel the spinning of the car, sense the panic of seeing your friends dead, and the dread of needing to get out and live.One of the big hurdles that Jenna needs to jump is her lack of self-confidence. Enter Ryan *swoon*. There were so many little things that he did throughout the book that made me fall harder and harder for this guy! Seriously…He is the whole package! Sense of humour…check! Shirtless sexiness…check! Sweet, caring, and not at all stuck up…check, check and totally check! For some reason, as I was reading, I couldn’t shake the image of Ryan Gosling a la The Notebook as being him. Little scenes that played out had him written all over it!Ok, ok what did I love about the book? The sheer innocence that was…Jenna. The interactions between Jenna and Ryan are priceless! I loved the humour that was found amongst both of these characters, and that they just simply clicked as friends and more. Not only were these characters fantastic to read about, the other characters found within the pages made the book even more real! Jenna’s friends, Steven Carlisle – the jerk (!), the parents, the neighbours…everyone had a place, and it made the story work even more.It was also great to see the more vulnerable side to Ryan, especially when it came to him mother. All throughout Skin Deep, we see this cocky, tough side of Ryan, but behind closed doors, we see how not everything is as it seems on the outside, and that everyone has something that they are dealing with.Not only is this a story of first love and all that, but there is also an element of mystery weaved into the tale when a murder occurs, and everyone is a suspect. I, personally, had guessed who it was as soon as that twist played in, but it was still very interesting to read the way in which Jarratt incorporates this part of the story into the book.I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys are heartwarming contemporary read, with a twist of mystery. They say that you never forget about your first love…well, you sure won’t forget this one.