Title: Under My Skin
Author: Laura Diamond
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count and Format: 195 pages, Ebook
Published: April 12, 2016 by Swoon Romance
Source: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher for the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.
Blurb (from Goodreads):
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.
This book was intense. I mean, it had a lot of elements. It’s about guilt, self blame, accepting reality and finally moving on- all of these facts were executed neatly and pretty well.
Adam has an acute condition of fatal arrhythmia. He needs a new heart otherwise he won’t survive. But according to him, in order to get a new heart, someone has to die. He doesn’t know how to deal with this fact. Darby is a headstrong girl who is always compared with his all rounder brother. As much as she hates these comparisons, she loves her brother very much but one accident changes everything. Now the blurb gives away the story a bit, her brother’s heart is donated to Adam. How will they deal with this fact when they both come to know the truth?
I really liked how the plot was executed. I haven’t read anything like this before, so it was fresh and intriguing. Adam, as a character is pretty deep. He feels guilty for having received a new heart, he feels he stole somebody else’s life. He has kind of lived a pretended life till now because his heart could have stopped at any moment but after he gets a new heart, he doesn’t understand how to deal with everything. I could, to some extent, understand his dilemma. On the other hand, Darby is the exact opposite. Though she blames herself for her brother’s death but she’s ready for the much needed help to move on. But the very fact of her brother’s heart donated to someone else agitates her.
Adam and Darby form a connection when they meet each other in the hospital without knowing the actual truth. I liked the relationship between these two, it seemed they clearly got each other. It definitely took some time when the truth came out, but I’m glad how Darby handled the fact. I liked the family aspect of this book, though I would have loved to see if things actually got resolved between Darby and her family. The psychiatrist, Dr. Shaw played an important part. Though her technique sort of backfired for Adam, I’m glad how everything was resolved at the end.
Overall, Under My Skin was definitely a different read. I enjoyed the plot and the characters were pretty intense. The psychological dilemma of the characters were really handled well. The writing was smooth and the pace was even throughout the book.
Right now, I’m nothing more than a sixteen-year-old in a physical rehabilitation room with ancient relics who could probably beat me at arm wrestling. Hell, they could probably beat me in a competition of mall walking.
A layer of sweat creeps across my upper lip. Damn mask. I tug it under my chin and take a deep breath of real air. Relief floods me, though my heart continues to pump faster and faster. My pulse rushes in my ears.
I close my eyes, but nothing can dull the competing scents of stale body odor, cleaning fluid, and overused equipment.
This place sucks.
I keep pumping my legs. What would it be like to ride a real bicycle in a park on a summer day? How serene it would be to glide past pastures of green grass, to skim under shade trees, and a pause at a pond to catch the sunset. I almost feel the wind dragging through my hair. All of a sudden I feel lighter, freer. I’m normal. Healthy.
“I’ve never seen someone so happy to be exercising.” A girl’s voice tears through my fantasy.
My eyes fly open. I’m face to face with a petite girl wearing a plastic collar around her neck. Her baggy black t-shirt and gray sweatpants are covered in paint stains. Her crystal blue eyes study me with curiosity, a striking compliment to the cobalt streaks in her black hair.
I stop pedaling, struck by the clarity of those inquisitive eyes. I open my mouth, but have no idea what to say so I close it again. Lamest of the lame.
The right side of her mouth ticks up. “The silent type. I like it.”
She slides her fingers along the machine’s center console then rubs them together, testing for dust. “Okay, Mister Tall, Dark, and Quiet. You got a real name?”
“I, um…” I clear my throat.
“Um is not a name.”
We’re face to face with me sitting and her standing, yet it’s like she’s peering down at me from a tower. “A-Adam. My name is Adam.”
“Adam. Like Adam and Eve?”
“No, I mean, I guess.”
“Is that a yes or no?” She laughs. It’s one of those wow-this-bloke-has-no-idea-how-to-talk-to-girls laughs.
Heat builds in my cheeks. A bead of sweat slides from my temple down my cheek. My hold slips on the bike’s handles. “What’s your name?”
She shifts her weight. “I’m Darby.”
Laura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist currently specializing in emergency psychiatry. She is also an author of all things young adult—both contemporary and paranormal. An avid fan of sci-fi, fantasy, and anything magical, she thrives on quirk, her lucid dreams, and coffee. When she’s not working or writing, she can be found sniffing books and drinking a latte at the bookstore or at home pondering renovations on her 225 year old fixer upper, all while obeying her feline overlords, of course.
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