Oops, I read another book in a short time frame! Skin Deep by Liz Nugent is a book which will stick with me for a long time to come. It is thought-provoking and intriguing to see how you feel about the main character, Delia and how the other characters treat her. Skin Deep by Liz Nugent will be published on 5 April 2018 by Penguin Ireland.
…is long and complicated! Basically, when Delia’s family all wind up dead on their little island where she grew up, she is an orphan being adopted by a lovely older couple. Delia can never quite relax and embrace anyone the way she did her father, so she plays people off one another and causes lots of disruption.
The disruption, without spoiling anything, happens to her boyfriend, his family, and leads to her facial disfigurement. This leads to her having to use her brain to get her through life, which isn’t easy for someone who has always had things come easily. All around her is death, pain and destruction, but she just moves on to her next life until eventually she cannot avoid it any longer.
What I liked
I actually liked Delia most of the time; she’s raw, real and tells it as it is to the reader at least. I enjoyed the turns the story took, as she is faced with multiple crazy situations, constantly being kicked out of homes, having money and resources taken from her and being shunned by everyone for being selfish. I understood why she was cold and used people, as I couldn’t trust people if I had been through what she had.
The characters I liked best were Peter, Elizabeth and Chiara. Peter is not perfect, but he tried his best and gave it his all until he couldn’t manage it anymore. He does many questionable things for Delia and only wants love in return, but he tries to be honest with her along the way.
Elizabeth is one of the only characters who, I think, would have accepted Delia into their lives despite everything. She is the one truly forgiving character in this book and she makes the narrative more interesting, as you can really see where Harry and Peter get their forgiving and loyal nature from.
And who couldn’t love Chiara? She’s the perfect nanny, doing Delia’s job and allowing her to take credit regardless. She absolutely loves James and wants nothing more than to care for him, which makes her wholesome and pure.
What I didn’t like
Since I’m on the topic of Chiara, I hated Peter’s treatment of her! I thought he was cruel to take away James’ nanny like that, when she was the only real parent he’d ever known. I believe it made James turn out the way he did.
I also didn’t like the slight confusion caused by the sheer amount of characters in the book; I felt that at times, this could have been stripped back a little more. Also, there was a section where Delia talks about a nightclub fire which I don’t remember happening at any point in the book, so there are a few inconsistencies scattered about.
Overall, I thought it was an excellently-written, well thought through plot with great characters who you’re not sure whether to sympathise with or hate. This book would suit most readers. It combines a multitude of genres in my eyes, as it has elements of romance, psychological thriller, family, self reflection and drama. The constant plot changes and dramatic twists make for an unputdownable read and I would encourage most people to give this book a go! I received an ARC of Skin Deep from NetGalley and Penguin Ireland in exchange for an honest review.