Book Review: Under My Skin (Zoe Markham)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Carina UK

Release Date: March 31st 2015

Summary (from Goodreads):

Inside we are all monsters…

Chloe was once a normal girl. Until the night of the car crash that nearly claimed her life. Now Chloe’s mother is dead, her father is a shell of the man he used to be and the secrets that had so carefully kept their family together are falling apart.

A new start is all Chloe and her father can hope for, but when you think you’re no longer human how can you ever start pretending?

A contemporary reworking of a British horror classic, Under My Skin follows seventeen-year-old Chloe into an isolated world of darkness and pain, as she struggles to understand what it really means to be alive.

Set against the familiar backdrop of everyday, normal teenage worries, Chloe’s world has become anything but…


I read and enjoyed White Lies by Zoe Markham earlier this year so was really excited when she offered me this review copy. I’m a big horror fan and couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

Under My Skin is like a modern version of Frankenstein, which I have to admit, I haven’t read, but I know the story generally (who doesn’t?!) It’s quite a slow burner and not really the make you jump or afraid to sleep at night kind of horror either. This is more of a body horror, with a big focus on how Chloe feels about her new predicament and the effects on her body – eating copious amounts of meat to fuel her, worrying that she must smell like death etc.

I loved that a lot of the focus was really on every day life and Chloe trying to fit in and regain what she had lost. It may be hard to understand at first, and in the beginning I was on her dad’s side: when there’s so much at stake and you’ve risked so much, why would you throw it away by being careless or for little whims like going to the library. But the more the book went on, the more I agreed with Chloe as she tried to get back to normal. Her dad may have bought her back to life, but what’s the point of being alive if you’re not living a life? With her stuck in the house, miserable and isolated, it felt like it would have been a waste of the second chance she’d been given.

The science stuff was played nicely too. There’s was enough detail to explain the events, without going into it so much that it got too technical or unbelievable. I also loved that for a lot of the beginning, Chloe didn’t overtly say what had happened to her; there were just lots of clues. As I’d gone into it not really knowing what it was about, I liked being able to work it out from the hints she dropped.

When I was sent this, Zoe mentioned it ‘never made the grade for paperback’ and I think that’s such a shame. I really enjoyed it, and it has some fantastic reviews on Goodreads too. I hope this book can find the audience it deserves.


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