Tuesday 28 April 2015

Under My Skin by James Dawson

I'm not good enough.
The spotlight shone in Sally's face, blinding her. All she could see was dazzling, brilliant whiteness. It was entirely possible that she'd died of fright and was now glimpsing the glory of Heaven. She dug her fingernails into her palms. Saliva filled her mouth, lubricating it, ready to...
Published by Hot Key Books in March 2015
Pages - 302
Meet Molly Sue. Once she's under your skin there's no getting rid of her...

Seventeen-year-old Sally Feather is not exactly a rebel. Her super-conservative parents and her treatment at the hands of high school bullies means that Sally's about as shy and retiring as they come - but all that's about to change. Accidentally ending up in the seedier side of town one day, Sally finds herself mysteriously lured to an almost-hidden tattoo parlour - and once inside, Sally is quickly seduced by its charming owner, Rosita, and her talk of how having a secret tattoo can be as empowering as it is thrilling. Almost before she knows what she is doing, Sally selects sexy pin-up Molly Sue, and has her tattooed on her back - hoping that Molly Sue will inspire her to be as confident and popular as she is in her dreams.

But things quickly take a nightmareish turn. Almost immediately, Sally begins to hear voices in her head - or rather, one voice in particular: Molly Sue's. And she has no interest in staying quiet and being a good girl - in fact, she's mighty delighted to have a body to take charge of again. Sally slowly realises that she is unable to control Molly Sue... and before long she's going to find out the hard way what it truly means to have somebody 'under your skin'.
I love the concept of this story. I kept thinking what an amazing idea it was. I love the idea of getting a tattoo and it talking to you. I'm not saying I would want one, but I think it's really cool. I've definitely never read anything quite like this book before. 
The plot is fast paced and full of gasping moments, when I would quickly turn the page to find out how the characters will survive each disaster. This is the first book in years, that has made me desperate to read the end before I've finished the book. I nearly had to glue the last pages together, to stop myself skipping ahead. 
I know I'm supposed to hate Molly Sue, but I can't! I know she turned really rather horrid, but I seem to have blocked my mind to that, because I really liked the idea of her. In fact, she was my favourite character in the whole book. I was definitely swayed by her Southern charm. OK, she does some really wicked things, but she also has strong views on how a girl should be treated and you have to commend her on that. Molly Sue would never be treated like a second class citizen. No man would ever walk all over Molly Sue and still be standing at the end of it. She may be gorgeous, but no one will treat her like a sex object, because of the way she looks or dresses. She is one of the toughest cookies, I have ever come across and she changes Sally for the better in the end. She transforms the shy, scared little girl, replacing her with a fearless and confident woman, who knows exactly what she wants in life. So evil aside, I love this Southern girl. I can imagine any one who  has read the book, is now shaking their head at me as though I have lost the plot. But I don't care! Molly Sue stands for identity - knowing who you are, believing  in your convictions and grabbing your dreams with both hands.
James Dawson is constantly growing as an author. Every time I read one of his books, I think it can't get better than this, and then he goes and writes an even better one. If you like your bedtime tales dark  and scary, then this book is definitely for you. 

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