An Aching Novel of Connection and Survival | Review: Someone to Kiss My Scars by Brooke Skipstone

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Warning: Someone to Kiss My Scars is an achingly honest novel about survival and contains many triggering topics including sexual abuse. Please, proceed with caution.

by Brooke Skipstone

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 Scars by Brooke Skipstone 
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5 stars)

As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

Someone to Kiss My Scars is a powerful, dark, emotionally draining read that comes hand in hand with several real-life topics and trigger warnings. I highly suggest looking up a complete list of said triggers before reading it. There are many topics explored throughout this novel that are necessary to the central story and are handled with intensity, honesty and care. This is not an after-school special.

As far as plotlines go, Someone to Kiss My Scars has many layers to it that build onto the bigger picture. Nothing feels cheap or for shock value. Instead, Brooke Skipstone traces these topics and circles them with care and honesty. This isn't an easy book to read in the sense of its subject matter--it is, however, a brutal and satisfying one that will leave its audience in a pool of emotions.

Someone to Kiss My Scars has an unforgettable essence that makes its mark on readers. It is full of pain and coping mechanisms. You'll want the best for these characters and want to go after all those who have harmed them. As a reader, we often seek out honesty in fiction--honesty, healing, pain, joy--and this is one of the most honest novels I've read in my years as a reader. It takes a specific type of author to pen flawed, complex, sympathetic characters as easily as ones which stir up hatred.

Novels like this remind me why I read. Page after page, the aching sense of reality unsettles us. It shifts our focus and then it rearranges our thoughts. There's this heavy feeling to Skipstone's writing that plays into the novel's honesty; taking us on a tense journey. That's the best word I can use to describe Jazz and Hunter's stories--a journey. A journey of healing, of remembering, of understanding, of escaping. And so much more.

Heavy topics and genuine flaws, Someone To Kiss My Scars successfully tackles abuse and sex crimes and more. Skipstone pens a story that is aching and daunting and full of life and its dark side. There's so much that can be said in terms of value and its emotionally charged prose, but none of which can be portrayed in a simple review. This is a novel that has to be read to fully understand its content and quality.

Admittedly, this book won't be for everyone--but for those who do connect with it, it will forever remain special in their eyes. 

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