March 2012, Electric Monkey
378 pages, Paperback
Themes: drink/drug intoxication while driving, life-changing event, losing & regaining confidence, being different to others, bi-polar & its effects on people, murder, suspicion, police investigations, grief for people and major change to life, life for a traveller, prejudice, innocent and cutely annoying little brother, understanding mother, teen relationships (moderately strong), occasional language, some humour, tissues needed
Summary from Egmont
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...
I wanted to read this to see how Jenna copes with the consequences of the tragic accident. I felt every tear and negative thought she had in my own eyes. I like the way Jenna refers to herself when she puts on a brave face and says the old Jenna. Using 3rd person is her way of coping with the strong, frightening emotions. It was such a pleasure to see her turn her life around enough to help someone who most people ignored. Jenna had the courage and strength within her all the time - she just needed Ryan to show her the way, no matter what happens to the two of them in the future. This 10/10 read kept me gripped long past the final sentence.
For another who has to deal with temporary disfigurement try a book of the same title Skin Deep by Malaika Rose Stanley (1st on the page)