Review: Under My Skin

Author: Judith Graves
Series: Skinned #1
Format: Kindle Ebook 
Publication Date: March 5, 2010
Pages: 326 pages
Source: Won


All her parents wanted was for Eryn to live a normal life... Redgrave had its share of monsters before Eryn moved to town. Mauled pets, missing children. The Delacroix family is taking the blame, but Eryn knows the truth. Something stalks the night. Wade, the police chief's son and Redgrave High's resident hottie, warns her the Delacroix are dangerous. But then so is Eryn--in fact, she's lethal. But she can't help falling for one of the Delacroix boys, dark, brooding--human Alec. And then her world falls apart. A normal life? Now that's the real fairytale.

~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Eryn was moved to Redgrave because it was a town with no paranormal activity. She was told to lay low after her parents sudden disappearance. However, that's a bit hard when she seems to be a magnet for the paranormal. As soon as she appears in town, the paranormal happenings of Redgrave seem to be popping up everywhere. And while all of this happens, Eryn begins the struggle against her inner she-wolf while balancing a love triangle between one that is evil and one that is kind. A normal life? Yeah, that's Eryn's dreamed fairytale.

The plot of this book isn't much different than the average young adult paranormal novel, besides the fact that it's incredibly light-hearted at times. If you've read C.C. Hunter's Shadow Falls Series, you can compare the way that Eryn thinks to the way that Kylie thinks. Serious, but laced with little, sarcastic sayings that make you shake your head.

 Our protagonist is of half-paranormal descent, but she fought off her paranormal lifestyle with the help of her human fathers drugs. With his disappearance, the medicine that kept her inner wolf at bay vanished, only to let Eryn know that instead of helping her, her father's medicines had separated her from all other wolven of her kind. Somehow, someway, she was different, powerful, and incredibly sought-after. She struggles to keep her secret at bay while uncovering the secrets of the town of Redgrave and fighting off an odd love-triangle that doesn't take center focus of the novel. The characters and mystical beings brought to light in it may be unique, but the plot is pretty self-explanatory, though it was full of some surprises that are too juicy to reveal.

The beginning of the novel was a little slow. There was a lot of world-building. Redgrave is so full of the paranormal that there had to be an explanation behind it all. Plus, this is the first in a series. If the world-building didn't happen now, it wouldn't happen at all. After the world-building is over, the plot thickens, secrets come to light, and mysteries unfold before your eyes. And at the end there's some action that will blow any action lovers mind. It's paced well.

I was totally shocked when I began turning the pages of this book on my Kindle and realized that pictures were incorporated every now and then. There were possibly only a total of 5 or 6, maybe more for a paperback than a Kindle, but they were all so interesting. Val Cox is a beautiful illustrator and it was a pleasant little surprise that helped you visualize the characters the way the author intended you to do so. I've never come across pictures in a young adult novel before.

The characterization in the novel was unique. Eryn was very stubborn and strong. She struggled to keep her identity a secret while coming into her powers, but never let that get in the way of things. She was focused and driven--the type of girl who sprints headlong towards danger instead of away from it. She faces her biggest fears in the form of werewolves without a second though. All of the other characters had odd quirks about them that would come to light as the book continued. You met them and began to speculate on what exactly they were, only to be completely shocked about their true identities and actions. There's an entire assortment of the paranormal in here.

If you're looking for a book full of romance, this isn't it. The romance in this novel was odd to say the least. There's one kiss, and one kiss only. Alec and Eryn had this heated passion coursing through them ever since the very beginning of the book. I liked how they met, it was unique. They're running in the woods, racing, trying to outrun each other because they welcomed the challenge of finding someone who could even come close to matching their speed--all while being accompanied by a beautiful wolf. It bonded them and began to churn their curiosity about each other. Alec is beyond protective of Eryn, even going to extremes for her at some times, but he's quiet and laid back. He asserts his authority when needed, but he doesn't pounce on her and drive her mad. The romance is slow-moving.

Then there's Wade. Once his true identity comes to light, Eryn and him form some kind of dark bond that nobody can know about. He unravels a lot of the dark secrets going on in Redgrave. Eryn so badly wants to run away from him like everyone tells her to, but the bond is too powerful for her to turn her back on him. He knows of her true nature, and he welcomes it.

With everything being said, I am giving this book 3.5 stars. I enjoyed it, despite the slow beginning and the slightly unoriginal plot. Many of the twists and turns involving the secrets of Redgrave took me completely by surprise and kept me reading until the last page. A lot of the characters in the book are full of surprises that will leave you wanting more. Graves finishes off the book with a huge, climatic fight scene that will leave any action lover satisfied. I will be reading the rest of the series whenever I have the time. I want to know what happens with the bond forged between Wade and Eryn and whether or not Alec will be more straightforward with his feelings, though it seems that Eryn has no problem with the silent, strong type. Most of all, I want to know what side Eryn takes. The end of this book will leave her with a life-changing ultimatum that makes you crave the next book.


I really like this cover. Keep in mind, this is the cover for an ebook. The cover for the paperback is a little different. It looks like this:

I don't know about you, but I like the e-book cover way more. It's eye-catching and the slogan on top, "A normal life? Now that's the real fairytale." sums up the book perfectly. The paperback cover is nowhere near as interesting and I think that it could be much nicer. The cover of the ebook seems to be more similar to the other books in the series, too. It boggles my mind that Graves wouldn't allow the ebook covers to be the covers of any format of the book.

3.5 stars



1 comment:

  1. I have not heard of this one before but it sounds interesting enough. I like that there was a drug that the MC was taking that repressed the wolf gene. That may not be all that unique, but it isn't used on a consistent basis, so it is still interesting. I am not sure about the rest of it though. Especially the stinkin love triangle. Ugh!