In the Skin of a Monster – Children’s Book Week review

Children’s Book Week is less than a month away!

My next review of a book from the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year Notable and Short Lists is from our Young Adult (YA) collection.

In the skin of a monster  by Kathryn Barker is from the Children’s Book Council of Australia – Older Readers Book of the Year 2016 notable list.

intheskinofamonster

The blurb on the back of this book really appealed to me –

Three years ago, Alice’s identical twin sister took a gun to school and killed seven innocent kids; now Alice wears the same face as a monster. She’s struggling with her identity, and with life in the small Australian town where everyone was touched by the tragedy.

I thought it would be about the main character’s struggles with life in the town and the way that other people viewed her. But I clearly missed the part that said

Alice soon discovers that she has stepped into a different reality, a dream world, where she’s trapped with the nightmares of everyone in the community

because I was not expecting a story filled with monsters in an alternate reality/dreamscape.

I found In the Skin of a Monster quite confusing and had to force myself to finish it.

I quite liked the final chapter but the rest was not enjoyable for me, and I usually like ‘weird’ books. A couple of weeks after reading it, I did begin to feel a bit differently and was able to appreciate the author’s work more than I did at the time.

Looking at other reviews online, it seems that some people felt the same way about this book that I did whilst others thoroughly enjoyed and recommend it.

I would love to know what other Cockburn Libraries borrowers thought about this book! Did you agree or disagree with my opinion? Please post your thoughts in the comments section below.

 


Michaela

Author: Michaela

I'm a Library Officer at Cockburn Libraries. My favourite things are my family, Thermomixing, binge-watching TV series and reading (of course!!) Most recent library loan: Flame in the mist by Renée Ahdieh.

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1 Comment

  1. Lawley

    Michaela,

    It seems I enjoyed the book more than you did, but I can see where you are coming from, as it took me a while to get into the swing of the chapters alternating between the two different, and not totally reliable, narrators, with Alice’s chapters being in second person, and the Lux chapters in first person. And I did have a bit of trouble, at times, matching up events between Lux’s and Alice’s narratives. But I did like the ‘monsters’ and the dreamscape/alternate dimension that most of the book occurs in. I think the author does a good job of describing the dreamscape world, as I was able to vivdly picture it in my head (which, I guess, is pretty appropriate).

    I initially decided to read In The Skin of a Monster after seeing a review of it on the of ceiling wax and other things blog which included this: “The story reverberates through my synapses and won’t leave the darkest corners of my subconscious. I can almost touch the unbearable sorrow seeping from every character.” I didn’t quite get to that point, but a worthy read nonetheless.

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In the Skin of a Monster – Children’s Book Week review

by Michaela time to read: 2 min
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