Title: Skin Deep
Author: E. M. Crane
Publisher: Random House
Reading Level: Young Adult
Summary (from emcrane.com):
What’s underneath when you scratch the surface? If all the world’s a stage, Andrea Anderson is sitting in the audience. High school has its predictable heroes, heroines, villains, and plotlines, and Andrea has no problem guessing how each drama will turn out. She is, after all, a professional spectator. In the social hierarchy she is a Nothing, and at home her mother runs the show, All Andrea has to do is basically turn up every day, and life basically plays out as scripted. Then Andrea accepts a job. Honora Menapace, a reclusive neighbor, is sick. As in every other aspect of her life, Andrea’s role is clear: Honora’s garden must be taken care of and her pottery finished, and someone needs to feed her dog. But what starts out as a simple job yanks Andrea’s back row seat out from under her. Life is no longer predictable, and nothing is what it seems. Light is dark, villains are heroes, and what she once saw as ugly is too beautiful for words. Andrea must face the fact that life at first glance doesn’t even crack the surface.
Ah, I fell in love with this novel. It just has this soothing, calm, and sweet feeling to it. I knew when I first started this novel, it would be a soft, light, and easy to read novel. And, yes, it was. But it was also deep and heart warming. The style of the book, where it referenced a stage and acts, was sweet and just look at the cover. It's gorgeous and totally appealing. I thought the title was a pretty accurate title for the novel also.
Andrea Anderson has only had one friend in her life, and that was only for a few months before he moved. Andrea lives with her lonely mom, who likes her television shows more then socializing with her daughter. So, when Ashley, a cheerleader at school, starts talking to her and seem to want to be friends with her, and when she starts taking care of her sick neighbors dog and gets into her neighbors, Mrs. Menapace (Honora), life and her mom starts dating a huge guy the size of a Clydesdale, it seems as her life has turned around. And it has. Andrea's mind is beautiful (strange phrasing, I know. ), I loved seeing things through her mind, she was unsure of her self and of things and that brought a gorgeous, fresh look in the story, and it was amazing.
Ms. Crane's writing is striking, and magnificent. The plot of the story wasn't huge, no, but the writing and the characters were amazing. The ending was brilliantly put in words. I laughed, and I cried, this novel was bravura, exceptional, marvelous, and stupendous, and honestly, I could go on and on with adjectives to descibe this novel, but I think you get the picture. This novel is a great and soft, but meaningful read, that I think everyone should take a break to read. It's not on any big issues, and topics, so it was very refreshing and I highly recommend it. For the readers still unsure think of Beth Kephart and Joan Bauer, and you'd get E. M. Crane.