Published: 5 March 2012
From Goodreads: Ugly people don't have feelings. They're not like everyone else. They don't notice if you stare at them and turn away. And if they did notice, it wouldn't hurt them. They're not like real people. Or that's what I used to think. Before I learned...
After the car crash that leaves her best friend dead, Jenna is permanently scarred. She struggles to rebuild her life, but every stare in the street, every time she looks in the mirror, makes her want to retreat further from the world. Until she meets Ryan. Ryan's a traveller. When he and his mother moor their narrow boat on the outskirts of a village, she tells him this time it will be different. He doesn't believe her; he can't imagine why this place shouldn't be as unwelcoming as the rest. Until he meets Jenna. But as Jenna and Ryan grow closer, repercussions from the crash continue to reverberate through the community. And then a body is found...
I have to admit this one completely took me by surprise. I'd heard a few whispers that it was good - and if definitely sounded good - but it had so much more depth than I was expecting it to.
The story is told as a dual narration so we get both Jenna and Ryan's point of view. I love stories told this way as I really enjoy getting both perspectives and getting to know the characters really well. It is done really well here too as both voices are distinctive - I knew exactly who was narrating - and I really warmed to them both.
The story starts with Jenna and the accident, and then jumps to eight months later. Jenna is trying to deal with the aftermath of what has happened, but is reminded of it everyday through the scars it has left her with. Ryan is a traveller with problems of his own - but when to two meet they can't help being drawn to each other...
Jenna is such an amazing character. She is obviously devastated by what has happened and by the scars she is left with as a result - but while she is having issues overcoming what has happened but I never felt she was self absorbed or self pitying. She still cares about others and puts them first - I'm not sure how I would react if I were in her situation. I adored the scene where she helps with Ryan's mum - even though she hates being stared at - it shows a great strength to her character as well as a reflection on how much she cared for Ryan.
Ryan is such a lovely character too - I really loved him. He is very protective over his mother and is a nice guy (even if he doesn't always to nice things!) and you can see how he genuinely cares for Jenna. I loved their relationship - how it develops and how the two have an obvious friendship too.
I also found the family relationships interesting too. Jenna's brother doesn't seem to care about Jenna's scars - he just wants her back to being herself. But her parent's seem to find it harder to accept - sometimes I felt they were making it harder for Jenna to accept too. Ryan has a lot on his plate with his mother, plus he really misses his mum's ex-boyfriend Cole. You can also see how much he wants to lay down roots and finally stay in one place.
The are a couple of events I didn't see coming at all and they really add to the story. I expected a romance but got much, much more. I am really looking forward to seeing what Laura Jarratt comes up with next.
Thanks to the lovely peeps at Egmont I have a copy of this to giveaway. It's open to everyone and the closing date is 16 March 2012. Just fill in the form below! Good luck :D
This giveaway is now closed.