Monday, July 2, 2012

"Under My Skin" by Charles de Lint

Release Date: March 6, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 408

From Goodreads: "From "one of the world's leading fantasists" comes an exhilarating new series that will thrill teen and adult readers alike.

For the past six months, something has been happening to young people in Santa Feliz. Week after week, there's news of another teen changing shape, transforming from human to wild animal and back again. The federal government has stepped in, running public service announcements calling for affected youth to turn themselves in for "orientation and training."

Josh Saunders has seen the news reports, but he is still unprepared when it happens to him. One minute he's arguing with his mother's boyfriend and the next, he is looming over the man, blood dripping from his claws—he has transformed into a mountain lion. When he switches back to his human body, he knows his life has changed forever. He has become a Wildling.

Trusting only his best friends Des and Marina with his secret, Josh tries to return to regular living. But an encounter with Elzie, another Wildling, brings him unwanted attention from the authorities. And when an accidental betrayal reveals Josh's secret, his carefully constructed cover is ripped apart, forcing his friends to intervene. They must grudgingly put their trust in others, including other Wildlings—and, most challenging, in each other—if they ever hope to save him."

When I first read the premise of this book I was instantly excited, I was excited by the prospect that shifters would finally get their long-deserved chance in the spotlight (I find that while there have been numerous books about werewolves there have been few on their cousins, the shifters, those who do not necessarily shift into wolves, but a whole range of different animal species- in fact, I can personally only recount two other series which deals with shifters, Rachel Vincent's aptly named "Shifters" series and Kelley Armstrong's "Darkness Rising" series), coupled alongside the fact that this book was written by world-renown fantasy author Charles de Lint I knew that I was in for a treat.

This book was successful for a number of reasons, one being that it was a high-octane action and adventure that literally kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time while reading it. Another being its memorable cast, from oblivious Des to Chaingang, a big and burly outlaw with a teddy bear kangaroo mouse residing within him, to passionate and selfless Marina and Josh, a boy trying to find his place inner beast in the world.

That being said, there were a few things that irked me about this book, one being the change in POV (one chapter was told in Josh's POV, the other told in Marina's)- typically I LOVE a book being told in multiple POVs, but with this book I could have taken or leaved it. I found that it didn't enhance the story in any way (say unlike how the crossed out words in Tahereh Mafi's "Shatter Me" did). Furthermore, I disliked the Elder/ Otherworld aspect of the book (I think that this can be attributed to the fact that when I read this book I had just finished a book whose central focus had been on the Otherworld and I found that the other book had done a much better job with it than this book did)- Like the multiple POVs I don't think that this aspect enchanced the book in any way, it just added an unnecessary level of complexity. Additionally, I disliked the love interest, Elzie- clearly there is a better option out there for Josh (or better yet, a better option right in front of his face), he allowed himself to be swayed by a pretty face rather than someone deserving (I found Elzie to be far too selfish and far too flaky for my liking). 

All in all, despite my complaints I do think that this is a successful book primarily because of the aforementioned likeable characters and the fast plot. I feel like this is exactly the sort of book that can get hesitant teen boys to not only read but actually care about what they are reading. I am looking forward to seeing what Charles has in store for us in the next book in this series.

Rating: 8.5/10

I received this book from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.


  1. This sounds like a book I would enjoy! This is YA? So, it's perfect for an entry into our Reading Challenge! Just Sayin... ;D

    1. Already linky-ed it! But thanks Melissa! :D

  2. Woot Thanks for participating!!!! :)))
    I loved how you mentioned the crossed out words in Shatter Me! They definitely added to the whole emotion of the book!
    Sad, that you didn't like the multiple POV's in this book. I'm also often confused - it was to be really awesomely done to make me love it. "From What I Remember...." is a perfect example where multiple POV's work!

  3. Thanks for your honest thoughts...I like to see what people did and did not like in a book. It's always interesting to see what worked for you and might not work or even work BETTER for someone else. I don't think I've really read any books with shifters...besides an adult series, that is. That's cool they are becoming more prevalent in YA.



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