Under My Skin

Apart from her singing voice, Sally Feather is average: average hair, average clothes, average social ranking. She secretly desires to be more, but can hardly admit it even to herself, never mind anyone else. When she gets a tattoo of a 1950s pin-up girl called Molly-Sue on her back, Sally’s found a way to get what she wants. Molly-Sue may be a tattoo, but she’s alive and she’s determined to help Sally achieve her ambitions and her desires … no matter if she has to take control – and no matter how fatal the cost.

James Dawson became the reigning Queen of Teen in 2014, and his star has been steadily rising since his debut with Hollow Pike. This is one of the best teen novels I’ve read that accurately portrays teen friendships. I didn’t cringe at his use of teen slang at all through the novel, a rare feat indeed! Dawson has shown talent with atmosphere and horror in his previous novels Cruel Summer and Say Her Name, and the growing sense of dread in Under My Skin makes it difficult to put the book down.

I was also impressed with Dawson’s use of online fandom, shown through the characters’ obsession with a fake TV show called ‘Satanville’, which will appeal to readers who loved Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl. I also loved the casual references to diversity and sexuality running throughout the novel (he has also released a non-fiction title for teenagers last year called How to Be Gay).