Review: Skin by Donna Jo Napoli

SkinGenre: YA Contemporary
Published: August 6, 2013 by Amazon Childrens Publishing
Length: 352 pages
Source: Amazon Childrens Publishing (ARC)

My lips are white.

Sixteen-year-old Sep stares into the bathroom mirror. It’s not some weird lipstick (she never wears lipstick). Her lips are just — white.
In a panic, she digs up an old lipstick and smears it on her colorless lips. But soon, more and more white spots begin to bloom, spreading their chalky tendrils across her olive brown skin. Does she have a disease? Is she turning into some kind of freak?

Sep is usually the one who knows all the answers. With a quicksilver mind and a supple body, she’s happiest when she’s delving into the mysteries of animal biology or giving herself over to sweet, hot moves in Jazz Dance Club. Unlike her best friend, Devin, she’s never been in a rush to get a boyfriend. But as the white blotches spread, her dating days — like the endangered species she studies — seem numbered. So when Joshua, a boy she’s always liked, makes a flirty advance, she wonders: why not grab pleasure while she can?”


Skin was an interesting and easy read. At first I thought it was a YA paranormal book, but turns out it’s a contemporary. It is about the main character, Sep, who has vitiligo. Vitiligo is a skin disease, and it gives your skin white patches. I really like the author’s writing style because the story flowed smoothly. Though it was a quick read, I think the author covered everything nicely. There is family involvement, friendship, and relationship. Skin is told from 1st person point of view of Sep. I really like that although Sep’s condition is serious, the atmosphere of the story was light and not depressing.

Sep was an okay character for me. I found her relatable sometimes because she’s flawed. What I did not like about is her family. I didn’t like how her mother didn’t really care about Sep’s condition and she kept putting off Sep’s doctor’s appointment. I also did not like how her brother gave her “slut” as a nickname. If I were her, I would have slap her brother’s head because you shouldn’t call a person a ‘slut’ and you have no right to judge a person. Those were just some minor issues I had with the book, but it didn’t prevent me to continue on.

The romance was okay as well. It was sort of an insta-love, but I found it interesting. The romance just needed more development to make it more believable. Joshua, Sep’s love interest, is the captain of the football team, but I really like his character! He wasn’t one of those “I’m too cool for you” football players. He used to be Sep’s best friend, and in this book, Sep and Joshua are kind of “starting all over”.

I think this book is mainly about romance and how Sep overcomes her skin disease. I have never read a book about someone who has vitiligo so it was a fresh and interesting read for me. Overall this book was an easy read. I recommend it if you’re up for a light and quick read.

3.5 of 5

8 Responses to “Review: Skin by Donna Jo Napoli”

  1. 1 Becca @ Nawanda Files September 30, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    I would not be able to get over the fact that her brother calls her a “slut” as a nickname. That is just… so wrong. The family does sound awful, but I’m glad you enjoyed the writing!

  2. 3 Francoise September 30, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    It seems like an interesting read and a very interesting concept. I’m not sure whether I’m rushing to read it but I think I’ll certainly read it one day. Yeah the whole family situation is awful and really…slut??? I’m not too sure whether I’ll like the whole insta-lovey thing though.

  3. 5 Rachel @The Readers Den September 30, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    This sounds like a great story in spite of the romance not being quite up to expectations. Wonderful review! 🙂

  4. 7 glass October 4, 2013 at 3:27 AM

    Uh, uh, it’s not paranormal? Now I’m disturbed…:/

    Glass @ Way Too Hot Books

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