Published by Electric Monkey, an imprint of Egmont UK Ltd, in February 2012
Ugly people don't have feelings. They're not like everyone else. They don't notice if you stare at them in the street and turn your face away. And if they did notice, it wouldn't hurt them. They're not like real people.
Or that's what I used to think.
When I was younger.
Before I learned.
Ugly people don't have feelings. They're not like everyone else. They don't notice if you stare at them and turn away. And if they did notice, it wouldn't hurt them. They're not like real people. Or that's what I used to think. Before I learned...
After the car crash that leaves her best friend dead, Jenna is permanently scarred. She struggles to rebuild her life, but every stare in the street, every time she looks in the mirror, makes her want to retreat further from the world. Until she meets Ryan. Ryan's a traveller. When he and his mother moor their narrow boat on the outskirts of a village, she tells him this time it will be different. He doesn't believe her; he can't imagine why this place shouldn't be as unwelcoming as the rest. Until he meets Jenna. But as Jenna and Ryan grow closer, repercussions from the crash continue to reverberate through the community. And then a body is found...
Within the first two chapters of this book, I was crying. As soon as I read how Jenny had suffered and her struggle to come to terms with how she looked, I found myself weeping buckets full of tears. You can feel exactly how she feels as she experiences the constant staring and whispering about her. Her life has changed dramatically and she is struggling to come to terms with the way people now look at her. She can't even look at herself. In her eyes, the scarring is just too hideous to look at and all mirrors are banned from the house.
Until along comes Ryan, who has the most beautiful soul ever. Ryan is just an amazing character, who can see past Jenna's scars. To him, they were never an issue. He is very protective of her and will not stand for anyone upsetting her or hurting her feelings. I think it the way he has been brought up that makes him such a wonderful and thoughtful person. He has lived all his life as a traveller; living on a barge, with his New Age mother. He just seems to see the world differently from others.
The romance between Ryan and Jenna was just captivating. It took Ryan a while to realise that his protectiveness of her was a sign that he was falling in love with her. As their romance blossomed it was just beautiful to see how Jenna learnt to come to terms with her injuries and learnt to live with her burns. She became more outgoing and began to want to wear the makeup the hospital had provided her with. Her scars no longer defined her; with Ryan's love she became stronger. Ryan healed the wounds that scarred her on the inside, making it easier for her to cope with the scars on the outside.
Half way through the book, the plot changes dramatically and you find yourself desperate to know what happens. I think the added plot strand really helped to give the book more depth and was an excellent storyline.
I really truly loved this book and I have already convinced quite a few people to read it, who have loved it just as much as I did. The story was easily read and I found I devoured it in two sessions. The writing is so descriptive, I felt like another character in the book, watching all that was going on. I was desperate to find out what would happen. This is definitely a book I would read again. I can't wait to see what Laura Jarratt writes next.