Review: Skin Deep by E.M. Crane

Skin Deep by E.M. Crane
Hardback, First U.S. Edition
Release Date: March 11, 2008 from Delacorte Press
Pages: 288
Best Enjoyed by: Females, Ages 13 and Up
Rating: B


Andrea Anderson is an observer amongst her chaotic high school peers. She watches, not participates, uninterested in the predictable schoolyard drama. Her house isn’t much of a comfort either, with an overbearing single mother and frozen meals as dinner, so she finds relief by walking through the woods and longing for a dog.

Her life alters when a neighbor Andrea doesn’t know goes to the hospital, leaving behind one of the few things Andrea loves, a dog. She slowly forms a bond with the dog, Zena, and her neighbor, Honora, who has cancer. Through these relationships, Andrea learns many things about life, death, love, and happiness.


I thought this was a brilliant coming-of-age tale, with great characters and a simple plot that was delivered with as close to perfection as one can get.

Andrea was a great character, full of depth, as she struggled through her high school life. It was easy to relate to her look on life and question those around us. She changes tremendously throughout the book and I even felt a bit proud for her at the end.

There are so many different topics in this book, but one of my favorites was the different types of death and how people respond to them. E.M. Crane wrote beautifully and was able to clearly capture all her characters and bring them to life. This book was heartwarming, occasionally sad, meaningful, definitely a short but well deserved read.

I think most will enjoy Skin Deep, but I will say that if you’re looking for a romance novel, look elsewhere. Impossibly, E.M. Crane has steered away from hormonal teenagers and their first loves.


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