"Under my Skin proves that Canadian YA fiction can be sexy, fun and snarky as hell."
This sentence is splashed across much of Judith Graves' promotion materials - and might be considered a bit smug if it wasn't filled with so much truth.
Under my Skin, the first in Graves' YA paranormal trilogy is everything her clever marketing claims it to be. And more.
Set in Northern Alberta, the novel features Eryn, a tough but sympathetic young girl caught between life as a werewolf and life as a human.
Before you dismiss this as another werewolf book, hang on. Under my Skin introduces a wonderful collection of paranormals - like vampires, witches, dark sprites and much more. A refreshing change from the onslaught of straight werewolf and vampire novels on the market - NOT that I'm complaining...
All Eryn's parents ever wanted was for her to have a normal life, but when they "banish" her to Redgrave, a small Northern Alberta town, Eryn quickly learns she isn't the only beastie on the block. And before long, she's swept up in an intense love triangle and a local mystery. It's a compelling plot that keeps you turning pages. All. Night. Long.
Graves is a master at character development. Eryn is strong, but vulnerable - and perhaps somewhat fragile as she struggles with her inner demons. The two Delecroix boys who have caught her attention - dark, brooding Wade and protective, Alec - are sexy, and likeable love-able. It's no wonder Eryn struggles with choosing one - I couldn't decide which danger boy to root for, either.
Under my Skin is tightly crafted, and filled with wit and humour, essential elements for today's competitive YA marketplace. And in this case, the novel absolutely lives up to its hype. I can hardly wait to get my claws into the second in the series, Second Skin.
An opportunity for young writers!
Do you know any teens (ages 13-19) that would love to learn how to write YA fiction to DIE for? At Winter WordsWorth, an Alberta weekend writing retreat for youth with the write stuff, master storyteller Judith Graves will explain how to REVAMP your work so your characters have BITE. (Rather than sparkle...)
Know a young writer that would benefit? Get the full scoop on Winter WordsWorth here.
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