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.


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.