Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Review: Under My Skin by James Dawson

Publication Date: 5 March 2015
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Source:  Received Copy For Review

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Blurb : 

Meet Molly Sue. Once she's under your skin there's no getting rid of her...

Seventeen-year-old Sally Feather is not exactly a rebel. Her super-conservative parents and her treatment at the hands of high school bullies means that Sally's about as shy and retiring as they come - but all that's about to change. Accidentally ending up in the seedier side of town one day, Sally finds herself mysteriously lured to an almost-hidden tattoo parlour - and once inside, Sally is quickly seduced by its charming owner, Rosita, and her talk of how having a secret tattoo can be as empowering as it is thrilling. Almost before she knows what she is doing, Sally selects sexy pin-up Molly Sue, and has her tattooed on her back - hoping that Molly Sue will inspire her to be as confident and popular as she is in her dreams.

But things quickly take a nightmareish turn. Almost immediately, Sally begins to hear voices in her head - or rather, one voice in particular: Molly Sue's. And she has no interest in staying quiet and being a good girl - in fact, she's mighty delighted to have a body to take charge of again. Sally slowly realises that she is unable to control Molly Sue... and before long she's going to find out the hard way what it truly means to have somebody 'under your skin'.

A HUGE thank you to Hot Key Books for sending me a review copy of this novel! This was my first James Dawson novel that I have read and I will definitely be reading some more of his novels very soon! 

Can I also comment on how beautiful the design of this novel is! From the beautiful cover with Molly Sue, to the tattoo drawings at the start of each chapter to the gorgeous pink sprayed edges of the book! Shout-out to the design team for amazing work on this novel. 

Book was the best balance of being relate-able and being wholly scary and creepy. The plot was so intriguing and gripping. I loved the idea of demonic possession as the result of a tattoo. I thought that the horror and scary aspects of this novel were so well written, especially one scene in particular that I think I will be seeing again in my nightmares! 

James Dawson has written the plot of this novel and executed it perfectly. The plot was the perfect balance of character growth, scares and gripping twists. I would definitely recommend this novel and will be reading it again in the future. Chapter 28 was so well written and emotional that I cried! 

The characters were so well written, I loved them- even the villains! The book opens with our protagonist Sally as she auditions for her schools musical production of Little Shop Of Horrors. Sally was such an endearing character that I loved from the very beginning. She was extremely shy and introverted. She hated standing out from the crowd. She was such an honest and relate-able character.

 I really liked her relationship with her two best friends Stan and Jennie. Jennie was such a lovely character and a great friend to Sally. Another character I loved was nerdy & quiet Stan. Both Sally's neighbor and best friend, I thought their relationship was so cute and heartwarming. 

Melody was the perfect love to hate high school queen that is typical of YA novels but in this novel I thought she read as a character that would be a lot more realistic for young girls in secondary school to encounter. 

I liked how James Dawson brought in some pop culture references as this made the teenagers feel more realistic as they talked about "OTP"s (One True Pairing), GIFs and were completely obsessed with a TV show called Satanville, which sort of reminded me of Buffy The Vampire Slayer or Supernatural. I feel like this made the reader connect more with the characters and made them leap from the page. 

Another character I both loved & hated was Molly Sue, the demonic tattoo that becomes part of Sally's body. I thought Molly Sue's voice at the beginning was hilarious. I loved her one liners, her feminist views and how she gave sally the push she needed to become confident. Molly Sue definitely helps sally to love herself and be confident and comfortable in her own skin. She also gave her the strength to stand up for her friends when they needed her, although Sally may have had that strength all along deep down inside. Molly Sue was evil and extremely manipulative and immoral but she was such a great villain to read about. 

Overall an excellent fast paced read that will both inspire you and scare you! I am definitely picking up more James Dawson novels in the future. 

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