Book Review: UNDER MY SKIN by Laura Diamond

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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.

My Review

I didn't know how to feel about this book while reading it. It wasn't that I hated it or anything, I just couldn't tell if I loved it or not. And being that contemporary writing is my favorite, I was excited to read this book. Especially about it being about another sad, tragic physical impairment, like in How to Be Cool by Annie Carr, in which one of the lead characters has cerebral palsy. But in this one, one of the lead characters Adam has a bad heart and has a transplant later on, and it so happens to be Darby's brother Daniel, whose heart Adam has!

Pros: But there were some cute moments in this book, too. I liked Darby and Adam's first kiss in the hospital, and their little escapade in the park. I didn't like how insta-lovey their romance was. Like once they met, they had already started developing feelings for each other, and then they're already kissing 2 days after. That's kinda fast for a first meeting! But then they separated when they went home. But then Darby stopped talking to him when Dr. Shaw told him that Adam had Daniel's heart. She didn't even let him give his side; she just immediately felt resentful towards him. But when Adam had a full-blown mental breakdown at the end, she forgave him, and herself and they helped each other out to live better lives.

And I enjoyed Laura Diamond's writing for what it was. She doesn't have the poetic style of most contemporary authors, but more of a heavily sarcastic tone, which is different. It's different but necessary because both characters relied heavily on dry wit and sarcasm.

Cons: I really didn't like Darby in the beginning. She was rude to her parents, she was rude to her brother, who was nothing but sweet and protective to her even before he died, and set up to do a photo scandal with her then-enemy Stephanie and her boyfriend. But then when Daniel died, Darby heavily blamed herself for his death. She'd thought that it was all her fault; that if she hadn't been so petty trying to get Stephanie back, then Daniel would have still been alive. But when she met Adam in physical therapy, she began letting herself in and paint again. Also, Dr. Shaw helped her become more of herself.

What I also didn't like was both sides of Adam and Darby's parents. I understood that Adam's mother felt very protective of him, and wanted him to be well again and safe. But I got the feeling that she wanted an unrealistic effect for her son as soon as his surgery was over. And even when Adam tried so hard to tell him his thoughts on Dr. Shaw, his mother turned a blind eye and kept telling him to trust the doctor.

And Darby's parents just didn't like her lol. They just flat-out didn't like her, and they loved Daniel more. Darby kept saying that over and over that they wished it was her who had died instead of her brother. Even her dad at one point asked her, "When will you realize we love you?" and in my notes, I wrote, "DO YOU? DO YOU THOUGH? DO YOU LOVE HER?" It really felt like they tolerated her rather that loved her, and it just felt very exhausting to see Darby in pain and her parents not be there for her.

And let's just discuss Dr. Shaw for a second!! I could never tell if she was really for the kids or not. Mostly because with Adam, she seemed so conniving, sneaky, always had an agenda to bring him down, and untrusting. But with Darby, Dr. Shaw was more open and honest; she even told Darby about her mother's death and her heart being donated and that's why she became a therapist. She never told Adam that until the last end of the book. And she always made his parents believe that he was suicidal, until he himself started feeling that way. He never thought about killing himself; but he was depressed.

So that was my review for Laura Diamond's UNDER MY SKIN. I give this book a 3.5/5 stars. I would have given it higher rating, maybe even a 4 if it wasn't so hard to get through. But I still enjoyed it for what it was.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Have you read this book before? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments below. 

Thanks for reading! :) ♥