Review #5: Someone To Kiss My Scars by Brooke Skipstone

“Powerful. Original. . . Deeply felt and convincing.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Fresh. . .eventful. . .with a satisfying love story underlying it all.” — Foreword Clarion Reviews

Hunter needs to remember. Jazz needs to forget. They need each other to heal in this teen thriller of survivor love.

Hunter’s past is a mystery to him, erased by a doctor at the direction of his father. But memories of the secret trauma begin to surface when Hunter sees other people’s memories—visions invading his mind with stories of abuse, teen self-mutilation, rape, and forbidden sex.

His best friend Jazz has dark and disturbing memories of her own that she hides behind her sass and wit. Hunter discovers he can rescue the victims, even though he risks adding their suffering to his own.

Hunter and Jazz kiss each other’s scars and form a bond of empathy no two teens should ever need.

This book contains scenes of sexual abuse, self-mutilation, and suicide. It should not be read by teens who wish to be shielded from such harsh realities their peers may be enduring alone. Nor by anyone who desires to remain in the dark despite being in a position to shine light. However, those who suffer in private or wish to help those who do—please read this story and share its contents.

Many parts of this book are difficult to read and were very difficult to write. But there is much truth in these pages, some profoundly ugly and some beautiful in its resilience. As one character says, “I have to believe I can still love and be loved. We can’t stay broken forever.”

And they shouldn’t be unknown forever. People need to feel the pain of others.

Someone To Kiss My ScarsSomeone To Kiss My Scars by Brooke Skipstone
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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E-ARC provided by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

TRIGGER WARNING: sexual abuse, self-mutilation, rape, pedophilia, incest, murder, violence, child pornography, suicide, homophobia, alcohol drinking. There might be others too, so please BE AWARE when you go into this book because it is VERY DARK!

PROS:
• Raising awareness about child sexual abuse. I think this is a very important book to read, mostly during our days! Brooke Skipstone is an amazing brave author because she took this extremely hard subject and put it into a book. Some might hate or disapprove her because she chose to touch some hidden scars of our society, but I think most of us will see what she tried and managed to do with this book.
• The female lead character wasn’t a breathtaking painfully beautiful girl with a slim perfect body. This thing made me so happy because we need more representation for curvy girls/women! This world might be full of slim, wasp shaped women, but also, curvy ones exist and they are beautiful and very worth loving too!
• Writing style. I have no idea if this is a debut novel or not, but I have enjoyed the writing style! It really made me feel like I was part of the book, for the most time, thing that it is rare to very rare for me.
• Shoved me in a roller coaster of my emotions. This book made me cry, smile, feel rage and anger, hate, pain, pure ravishing desire to fight and save those children.

CONS:
• Some points, mostly the ending, felt rushed. The sex scene between Jazz and Hunter, for example. I mean, they both were victims of sexual abuse, and just like that, after a couple of days and mostly after Hunter remembered what had happened to him, he was prepared to have sex with Jazz?! I don’t deny their emotional connection, but really, after all that, it made no sense and was very hard for me to believe that Hunter, with all those fresh memories, was ready for it!
• The fact that Jazz was speaking for Hunter, without even really asking him first if he agrees or not. She almost always asked him if he can take more AFTER she was saying yes on behalf of him. This thing really pissed me off! As I have said in one of my updates, I understood her pain and her desire to save others too, but in those moments where she was doing this, it made me felt that she didn’t really care about Hunter’s pain, like she was seeing him as an object to help her reach her goal.

OVERALL THOUGHTS:
• I feel the need to repeat it, even now, that this is a very dark novel! Will hit you very hard and will show you the cruel and painful reality that often, most of us, choose not to see or acknowledge it because we choose to live in our fantasy worlds. These things happen! And happen more often than we ever think! THIS IS A WAKE-UP CALL!

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