Book Blurb:IN HER SKIN by Kim Savage
Pub. Date: April 17, 2018
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Sixteen-year-old con artist Jo Chastain is about to take on the biggest heist of her life: impersonating a missing girl. Life on the streets of Boston these past few years hasn’t been easy, and Jo is hoping to cash in on a little safety, a little security. She finds her opportunity in the Lovecrafts, a wealthy family with ties to the unsolved disappearance of Vivienne Weir, who vanished when she was nine.
When Jo takes on Vivi's identity and stages the girl’s miraculous return, the Lovecrafts welcome her back with open arms. They give her everything she could want: love, money, and proximity to their intoxicating and unpredictable daughter, Temple. But nothing is as it seems in the Lovecraft household—and some secrets refuse to stay buried. As hidden crimes come to the surface, and lines of deception begin to blur, Jo must choose to either hold onto an illusion of safety, or escape the danger around her before it’s too late.
Genre: Mystery, Teen--
I think this would best be called a YA psychological thriller, because I was super confused, with my mind blown continually repeating WTF. I had no idea what the book was really about, obviously, and the synopsis did not prepare me for the twists that Kim provided. I can't 100% say that I really liked the book, but I was enthralled, captivated, and horrified by the story. If that is the effect that Kim was hoping for, then she succeeded. I feel so much inner turmoil after finishing the story, not really clear who was the villain in a world where everyone is either evil or complacent with the evilness. Don't expect an easy read, don't expect rainbows and unicorns, and done hope for a happily ever after wrapped up pretty in a bow. Yep, this is not the book for you if that is what you want. The best way I can explain this story is a teen version of a Gillian Flynn novel, where everyone has a secret and nothing is as expected.
The writing style used was really interesting. The whole book was narrated by Jo, a hardened homeless girl that is willing to do almost anything to escape her current situation. Jo is telling the story to a person, a person we come to find out is Temple, the girl who is now like her sister. But their relationship has nothing sisterly about it. Jo tries to do everything she can to become this other missing girl, the perfect version of who she thinks she should be, all the while wanting to please Temple, her new obsession. And even when she learns some truths, she still wants what this life has in store for her. It was very hard to get to know, like and empathize with a girl who is pretending to be someone else. But hands down, she was interesting (and messed up- but not as much as some of the other characters).
I had so many questions while I was reading this story, that is a fact. Sorry but this review will be pretty short for my usual ramblings because I don't want to inadvertently give something away and ruin the path the plot took. In Her Skin was the first book I read by Kim and it was intense and surprising. I would be interested to see what other crazy mysteries she can bring to life.
I am voluntarily reviewing an advance, complimentary copy of this book.
I was born and raised in Massachusetts, on the South Shore, which sounds beachy, even luxe. Think Winnebagos and chicken coops. My three brothers, 16, 10, and 8 years older, were teens by the time I became a person. Happiest around adults, who often forgot I was there, I spent days eavesdropping on gossipy moms in lawn chairs and nights listening under the table during tipsy Scrabble parties.
My dad read to me nightly. Eventually and early, I read to myself, everywhere. On top of an enormous freezer chest stuffed with meat. On drives until I grew nauseous. In bed until my eyes gave out. I read anything I could get my hands on. V.C. Andrews and Dickens. Black Beauty and the Bible. The Economist. Madeline L’Engle and Margaret Atwood. National Geographic.
I got a bachelor’s degree in English from Stonehill College and a Master’s in Journalism from Northeastern University. For a while, I worked as a business journalist. Instead of waiting for the Federal Reserve to release the Beige Book, I pitched story ideas along the lines of “Stigmatized Properties: When Murder Kills Property Values”. You see where things were headed.
Today, I live with my family northwest of Boston in a town a lot like Shiverton, near the real Fells reservation of AFTER THE WOODS. Born with dysgeographica—I’m directionally challenged—the fear of getting lost in that lovely, dark forest lives close to my skin.