Saturday, March 27, 2010


Author: Judith Graves
Publisher: Leap Books (2010)
Pages: 328 pages
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Publisher

Recently, 2010 debut author Judith Graves popped over to YA Literature Review for an interview. In honor of her book birthday, I am posting a review of UNDER MY SKIN.

Let me begin with revealing that my guilty pleasure is Young Adult Paranormal/Urban Fantasy. Not necessarily the really dark stuff, instead, I love stories that are filled with paranormal beasties, great characters (especially kick-butt heroines), resident hotties, and humor! Humor is a must!! So you can imagine my joy when I was reading the beginning of the story and the main character Eryn is facing a deadly werewolf and just as she is thinking she has the upper hand she slips in of all things “bunny blood”. Yes, I just wrote “bunny blood” and it will make sense when you read it. =D

Redgrave is a small town in Alberta, Canada. It is supposed to be paranormal free which is why Eryn is sent there by the Council after her parents’ death/disappearance. However, she isn’t there long when she is face to face with a werewolf, meets several teen paranormal beastie hunters, and encounters one of the high school hotties who just happen to be a vampire. Eryn is hiding her own secrets about her connection to this world and struggles with the Council’s edict to stay away from paranormal involvement and her new friends’ invitation to join their ranks as hunters.

When I first, heard of Judith Graves’ UNDER MY SKIN, I added it to my list of debut authors to read as part of the 2010 Debut Author Reading Challenge hosted by The Story Siren (Kristi). It sounded like my kind of story. After finishing it, I certainly wasn’t disappointed. The story is the first in a trilogy (SECOND SKIN, and SKIN OF MY TEETH will follow in subsequent years) and author Graves does a lot of world building with the first book, introducing her characters, and her mythology (which tends to be fairly traditional). This tends to slow the book down in places but there is enough humor, and action to balance it out.

Overall, UNDER MY SKIN had all my favorite things. I really enjoy stories where I like the characters. I hate reading books where the characters annoy me, but Graves’ has wonderful characters. Even her secondary characters are fun (Kate – a witch and owner of the a local cafĂ©, and Whip, a biker dude with a tattoo parlor). There is also the pre-requisite love triangle, and like Eryn I couldn’t decide whether I was Team Alec or Team Wade even up to the end. That alone is amazing. I usually have definite feelings about the resident hotties. And of course there was humor reminiscent of “Buffy, The Vampire Slayer”. At times, I found myself laughing out loud at certain comments or scenes.

If you are looking for a fun book that will keep you entertained, and enjoy YA Urban Fantasy, I would recommend that you pick up Judith Graves’ UNDER MY SKIN. If you are on Twitter take a moment today to wish Judith a Happy Book Birthday. Her twitter name is @judithgraves.

Happy reading,

P.S. If you are looking for UNDER MY SKIN, you won't find it at the big "A", but it is available from the Leap Book website and B & N also has it available for order.

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