Friday, January 24, 2014

Skin by Donna Jo Napoli

It starts with her lips, one morning Sep wakes up to discover her lips have lost all their pigmentation, turning them white.  It is a terrifying moment, and to make matters worse she has to wait to see a doctor to find out what is wrong.  The next few days pass in a worried daze of secrets hidden behind lipstick, and the sudden attention of her former childhood friend - except now he is the popular captain of the football team, and she is feeling more and more like a freak everyday.

When Sep gets the diagnosis of vitiligo she should feel relieved - it is a non fatal and non contagious disease, but Sep is not relieved because she now knows that nothing about the future is certain.  As more and more patches of her skin loose their pigmentation, Sep throws herself into a routine that she knows without doubt will vanish as soon as her vitiligo is too bad to hide.  She knows with certainty that Josh will leave her as soon as the patches of white skin show somewhere really obvious, he has to right, because that is what boys do when their girlfriend becomes a freak.  Sep is building walls to protect herself and making choices based on a future that she believes will happen - but does she really know the future and what it will bring?

Skin is an amazing coming of age story about an ordinary teenager with ordinary dreams who suddenly finds herself with a diagnosis for a condition she has never heard of before, a condition that can be hideously disfiguring and has lead sufferers to commit suicide.  As her life spirals beyond her control she starts to make choices, and not all of them are the right choices or for the right reasons.  There are moments of careless teen abandon, moments of normalcy, and times when it seems as though her heart will break.  Her journey is one of self discovery and self acceptance told with a deft touch by a master storyteller.

If you like this book then try:
  • The raft by S.A. Bodeen
  • Counting backwards by Laura Lascarso
  • Dirt bomb by Fleur Beale
  • A girl named Digit by Annabel Monahgan
  • The killer's cousin by Nancy Werlin
  • I swear by Lane Davis
  • The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen
  • Dead to you by Lisa McMann
  • Flawless by Lara Chapman
  • Locked inside by Nancy Werlin
  • I am not Esther by Fleur Beale
  • Thousand words by Jennifer Brown
  • You are my only by Beth Kephart
  • Skinny by Donna Cooner
  • Trafficked by Kim Purcell
  • Street dreams by Tama Wise

Reviewed by Brilla

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