‘Skin’ is the follow up to the hilarious personal memoir, ‘44 Chapters About 4 Men: A Memoir’ and is the story of BB’s journey with Knight, her first love. Although I couldn’t wait to read Easton’s next novel, I’ll admit that I wasn’t really sure that I wanted to know more about Knight. He seemed so weird to me, and I couldn’t see what the angry skin head or ‘Skeletor’ could offer. However, I have to say that I just loved this unique story that touches on…well everything really. It is edgy, gritty, angry, raw, and kinky as hell. At the same time, it is sweet, romantic, and beautiful. Definitely darker and deeper than the previous one, it was still told in Easton’s very unique writing style with her natural, witty, and ‘from the hip’ humor. BB and Knight’s love for each other was completely crazy yet real and true, and they were just two young and misguided kids who loved each other the best way they knew how. This was such a touching read, and somehow this truly talented author made me fall in love with a totally crazy and complicated man!
Knight…Oh dear sweet psychotic Knight. He looked like a skin head (although he wasn’t), and he was so misunderstood – intimidating, angry, and hated everyone. However, there was such a sweet, passionate, and artistic man hiding underneath all his many layers of armor. Knight decided that would open up and share that side of himself with BB whether she wanted him to or not and became fiercely protective and loyal. He adored her and would have done anything for her, and was amazingly sweet and gentlemanly with her. There was a slow build to their relationship which grew from a strange friendship into and even stranger love. Knight definitely had some kinky fetishes, but It spoke a lot to his character in that he wasn’t only looking for sex and trying to take advantage of BB. The problem was with his violent temper… he could be absolutely freaking crazy. Scary. Mean. I’m talking crazy with a capital ‘C’. He didn’t want to hurt BB – he didn’t really want to hurt anybody- that’s why he tried so hard to keep all of his demons hidden inside and pushed everyone away. Their relationship was completely nuts, but somehow, BB saw through all his crazy and still accepted him. Maybe she was naive and misguided herself, but she was able to see the artistic, beautiful, sweet, and caring man deep within his soul. She CHOSE him, and that’s something no one had ever done before.
One of my favorite things in Easton’s writing is her talent in pulling you into her stories and making you feel and understand her crazy characters enough that they are relatable on some level. Ok, maybe I shouldn’t say crazy, because they are based on her real-life experiences (sorry Mrs. Easton), but even though I couldn’t imagine this story happening to me, I could still totally relate to so much of it. Everything from growing up in the public-school system, home life and family, feeling self-conscious and trying to fit in as a teenager, friendship, first love, sex, drugs, alcohol, suicide, and loss – this touched on all of it. I knew the struggles were all out there and how choices and consequences could have some seriously life changing effects. I remember feeling overwhelmed and so out of control sometimes and just having to dig really deep to deal with everything. My daughter is 15 (the same age as BB in the story) and is dealing with the exact same things which just shows that we will always be affected on some level and really don’t ever grow away from it. None of the situations were taken lightly in the story, but I was glad that Easton also combined their seriousness with her quirky touches of character and humor to lighten the mood at points. The clothing, hair, makeup, and music – such a flashback!
I did have a little bit of a hard time getting into the story in the beginning. There were a lot of new characters to introduce, and It also could have been that I knew from the previous book that Knight was kind of a jerk and what would ultimately happen. Life is tough enough and I’m not a reader that signs up for sad, but after the first few chapters I couldn’t put it down.
At the end of the day, Easton is an incredible storyteller, and ‘Skin’ just felt real. It was a journey of sexual awakening and soul searching. I could feel Knight and BB’s love, passion, and pain. I understood their darkness and rooted for their broken characters and hoped light would shine on their souls and for their love to win out. It was so heartbreaking how Knight was so haunted and what he could have been with a different upbringing. I was so touched that BB was able to give him that one moment of his life where he was loved. I think everyone deserves to have that, no matter how awful they seem to be. BB was so strong whether she knew it or not. She stumbled, she fell, and she eventually found her way. I can see how she would want to study psychology and counseling because of her relationship with Knight. The man was completely intriguing and like BB, I wish she could have fixed him too.
It’s pretty incredible for a book to hit me like this. It totally took me outside of my comfort zone and gutted me with its’ hard dose of reality. It left me trapped me in the feels for days, but that only made me love it all the more. This story was completely captivating and such a beautiful and deeply emotional love story. Definitely a ‘Must Read’ for 2017!
*** 5+ Stars for me! ***
*** ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange of an honest review ***
Also by B.B. Easton:
’44 Chapters About 4 Men: A Memoir’
✿༻ Facebook ༺✿*
✿༻ Twitter ༺✿*
✿༻ Instagram ༺✿*