James Dawson proves again why is a heavy weight in UKYA
Author: James Dawson
Publisher: Hot Key books, UK
My ratings: 4 out of 5 stars
Released: 5th March, 2015
While I have heard a lot about James Dawson, I haven’t read any fiction he has written before. Hence when given a chance to read Under My Skin about a haunted tattoo, I pounced on it.
Before I get down to the review, let me tell how beautiful the actual book was. With sprayed bright pick edges and filled with various tattoo inside and outside, it had a running theme throughout the book and it gave a clear picture what Molly Sue looked like.
The story is about Sally Feather, a shy, introverted girl who is bullied at school. With old fashioned parents and only a few friends she somehow gets tricked into getting a tattoo of Molly Sue. The tattoo make her feel rebellious and powerful but then it starts talking. That’s right. Her tattoo starts talking and moving around.
Sally Feather was a well written protagonist whom readers will be able to relate to instantly. Sally’s parents are conservative and Sally feels they don’t understand her. Her only life-line are her childhood friends. I loved how getting Molly Sue, Sally grows as a character. At the beginning when she is awkward, shy and a pushover by the end of this book she gains confidence and a personality.
|My copy. (via my Instagram Account)|
My favourite thing about this book was Molly sue. My feelings were so conflicted about her. I loved what she did for Sally, helping her gain confidence and standing up for herself. She was the little jolt of energy that Sally needed. Molly Sue helps her navigate the dangerous waters of high school and achieve whatever Sally wanted. However this is where the twist is, that Molly Sue was out of control. She takes things to another level. She was willing to go to any length to get what she wanted. Soon she was taking over Sally’s body and committing crimes which were being blamed on Sally.
I really enjoyed the sassy and mouthy Molly Sue even if she was evil. The whole thing was creepy and edgy. The concept of a haunted tattoo which spoke, moved and took over your body will stay in my psyche for a long time and I don’t think I’m ever getting a tattoo. I loved how diverse this story was and how concepts like feminism and homosexuality were addressed.
Overall, I really enjoyed my first foray into James Dawson’s fiction. Under My skin was beautiful, poignant, creepy and eerie. With a dash of romance, friendship and family, Under My Skin was highly entertaining and has convinced me why James Dawson is such a heavy weight when it comes to UKYA.
Review copy received from Hot Key Books, UK