Bookish Brit Adam Gibson is one wonky heartbeat away from a fatal arrhythmia. But staying alive requires Adam to become keenly focused on both his pulse and the many different daily medications he must take in exactly the right dosages. Adam’s torn between wanting to live and knowing that someone else must die in order for him to do so. He needs a new heart.
The pressure is getting to him. Adam stops talking to his friends back home, refuses to meet kids at his new school, and shuts his parents out entirely. His days are spent wondering if can cope with having a dead man’s heart beating inside his chest, or if he should surrender to the thoughts of suicide swirling around in his head.
And then a donor is found…
Outspoken artist Darby Fox rarely lets anything stand in her way of achieving her goals . Whether it’s painting, ignoring her homework (dyslexia makes a mess out of words anyway), kissing a hot boy she doesn’t even know, or taking the head cheerleader down a peg , no one has ever accused Darby of being a shy. She also happens to be the twin sister to a perfect brother with good looks, good grades, manners, and the approval of their parents – something Darby has never had.
Darby’s always had bad timing . She picks the worst time to argue with her brother Daniel. In a car with bald tires, on an icy road in the freezing cold, the unthinkable happens. In a split-second, everything changes forever.
Review by Katy Haye:
I wanted to read Under my Skin from the moment I saw the blurb – what a concept, and what a source of conflict!
Adam was gorgeous from the start. My (fully functioning) heart ached for him. His being a big fan of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (one of my all-time favourites) didn’t hurt, either.
Darby was full of attitude, with a bit of a chip on her shoulder (it’s a twin thing), but I liked her. Her relationship with Stephanie was also great. I really felt Darby’s frustration, and the changes that came about after Darby’s accident were excellent.
The first half of the book kept me gripped – there was a lot about the emotional side of an organ transplant which I’d never considered before, and I loved getting to know Adam and Darby.
I’m sorry to say my absorption waned in the second half. Both the narrators seemed a little over the top in places. I wanted to tell them to get over themselves, while at the same time knowing how unfair that was since I’ve never been through anything like the trauma they were experiencing.
I also found the relationship with both sets of parents a little ‘off’. Surely they couldn’t both really have such catastrophically unsympathetic parents? I know it’s a classic belief of the teen years that your parents don’t understand you, but I felt it tipped too far into stereotypical territory.
And Dr Shaw. Well, I didn’t know what to think about her. I couldn’t buy her attitude to transplant confidentiality because it was just plain wrong – was she wanting to be dismissed/struck off? I wasn’t sure whether she was intriguing or simply unconvincing. In the end, I’m afraid, I came down on the side of unconvincing. I just couldn’t believe in her actions as being genuinely those of a qualified, experienced medical practitioner.
Under my Skin has a great premise and there are utterly beautiful moments, but I wasn’t convinced by the characterisation of the adults who appeared in it.
I received a copy of Under my Skin from the author in exchange for an honest review. That’s what I’ve given it.
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