Review: Under My Skin by Shawntelle Madison

November 19, 2014 5 stars, Book Review 19 ★★★★★

Review: Under My Skin by Shawntelle MadisonUnder My Skin by Shawntelle Madison
Series: Immortality Strain #1
on December 9, 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Science fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 340
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

Everyone wants to either be a member of the Guild or work for them. Little does the populace know that the Guild hides sinister secrets...

For Tate Sullivan, life in her small, coastal town is far from glamorous. The affluent lives of the Guild members and their servants isn't something she has ever wanted. But all sixteen year-olds must take a simple test, and Tate's result thrusts her into the Guild's world, one where they hide horrible plans for those they select. Tate must fight the relentless General Dagon for control of her mind, body, and soul to keep the one precious thing she has always taken for granted: herself.

Her only ally is the same handsome boy she is pitted against in General Dagon’s deadly game. Quinn desires nothing more than to end the life of General Dagon who has taken over Tate's mind. While romance blooms between Tate and Quinn, General Dagon plots to eventually take over Tate's body, and love might end before it even begins.


UNDER MY SKIN WAS SO DAMN REFRESHING. Hands down, best Dystopian SciFi I’ve read all year. Ignore that cover. Ignore that blurb. Under My Skin has like 4 pages of sweet Romance, the rest is just juicy awesomeness of body snatching, political intrigue, manipulation, warfare, power, friendship, and sacrifice.

When you go on a date you try not to expect too much. I mean you’ve already been through some really terrible dates and a few good ones that eventually lead to nowhere…I really thought this book would fall under one of those categories. I certainly never thought I would have found “the one”.

First date:

Oh wow, you’re really good-looking. I mean that cover really suits you and the blurb is shouting all forms of romantic fantasy. I’m in the mood, I guess. I can roll with that. I mean, you’re not usually my taste and I’ve had too many bad experiences with beautiful covers and shitty insides. But you’re not a shitty inside, are you? I mean you took me to the Cheesecake Factory. That means you’re not cheap and you already know somehow by some cosmic force that it’s my favorite restaurant. Maybe you’re too good to be true…you must be a typical YA with a special snowflake or a mary sue or filled with all sorts of senseless drama and romance. But you’re not. And that goodnight kiss was magical.

Second date:

I learn more about you. I learn about the genuine love you have for your family and friends. I know that you’re a vegetarian, that you have a strong sense of will, that you never start drama–that you’re nonconfrontational for a reason, and that you are the most selfless person I have ever met. Yes, you may be self conscious about the large scar on the lower part of your face, but you don’t let that consume you. In fact, there’s another character that loves your scarred face and deems it beautiful even so. You may not be badass, but you have a cousin that makes up for it. The bond you two share shines through and makes me really enjoy your company all the more. I know that you’re struggling to ascertain information on how to steal back your own body from a despicable dictator using it to gain immortality. I see the pain you go through every day feeling helpless over the things he’s done in your name. The things that all of these corrupted generals have done in other people’s name. You want to fight back, but it’s more difficult than anything you’ve ever encountered especially when one threatens your loved ones. I want to see where things go between us. *wonders* Is it slutty to sleep with someone on the second date?

Third date:

I am at awe, because each day you grow stronger. I love that you were given a choice to either stay and have your happily ever after or return to save the people you care about. You chose family over some boy. You made a sacrifice for the sake of your loved ones. I can’t stop smiling, when I’m with this book. I miss it when it’s gone, I want to cuddle with it at night…The worldbuilding is all sorts of wonderful, the storyline enchanted me, and the characters were absolutely riveting.

Book, will you have my babies?

**Sidenote: The problems people may have is that there isn’t really any scientific plausibility, but I didn’t care, because the story was THAT amazing. There are also some convenient plot devices, but again…I DON’T CARE. Someone complained about insta-love and I have no idea where they got that from. The MCs meet at 30-40% and they don’t even talk about “their relationship” until 77% and like I said before, there was literally only 4 pages of romance. That’s it. I counted! The main problem that I feel needs to be address is the fact that not all of my questions were answered–this is a series, so I gave some leeway–but if they aren’t answered in the next book, I may reconsider my rating. I feel like these questions must be answered: View Spoiler » There are a lot of little holes here and there, but I’m hoping that it will all be fleshed out in Book 2.


POVERTY: ”Even thought I didn’t want to leave home yet, I couldn’t deny the obvious. Dad needed medication, medicine we couldn’t afford on Mom’s salary”

SELFLESSNESS: ”Even if we were leaving our families behind, at least they’d get the money we earned.”

SACRIFICE: ”’for Zoe and Tyson, for anyone else I can help through the Resistance. But even if I make this gamble to win back my body, I have to make sure Zoe and Tyson are safe first’”

MANIPULATION: ”The teacher continued. ‘With the introduction of a new, organized government, we’ve seen a drastic increase in peace and prosperity. There are no more food riots or forced migrations caused by past problems of population control and hunger’”

FOOD: ”The breakfast they provided was delicious: fluffy pancakes and fried potatoes. They’d even left me a dish of fat sausages–which I refused to touch” <–she’s vegetarian, I wasn’t kidding.

FAMILY: I missed my parents and the conversations we used to have before school. I bet they’d eaten breakfast already, Mom left the house by now to tend our garden. I often help her pull weeds before..”

NONCONFRONTATION: ”…but I held my tongue.” “I bit my lower lip. My mom had cut my hair. Even if my hair wasn’t as easy to manage as hers, she had done a great job, thank you very much”

POLITICAL INTRIGUE & CONSPIRACY: ”Everything here is not what it appears: The Water Bearers, the Guild. It’s a front. I want to throw up every time I think about it”

A SCARRED MC: ”Mesmerizing brown eyes and a prominent scar that would accompany me to my cattle call.”

WHO’S NOT TSTL: ”I wouldn’t survive if I left this place alone with no food or proper clothing”

WITH FLAWS: ”I wanted to weep. I wanted to cry. But I couldn’t anymore. I wasn’t in control right now”

WHO DOESN’T TRUST CUTE BOYS: ”And I refused to like a boy I couldn’t trust”

AND: ”When it came to my parents, I refused to put them in danger”

19 Responses to “Review: Under My Skin by Shawntelle Madison”

  1. Melliane

    I’m really curious about this one but I didn’t ask for it because I wasn’t sure I confess even if I really enjoy the books from the author. Well maybe now I should try. I’m glad you had a good time.
    Melliane recently posted…Giving Him Hell by Jamie QuaidMy Profile

  2. Danya @ Fine Print

    I feel like most people would run screaming if you wanted them to have your babies after the 3rd date…but that’s why we have books, amirite? They always love you and never think your fangirling is weird hahaha. You know I was planning to avoid this like the plague but your review is pretty persuasive…I may have to change my mind about this one!
    Danya @ Fine Print recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday: Vol. 22My Profile

    • Kat

      Awe thanks so much 😀 I thought it was unique.

      TSTL = Too stupid to live

      For the heroines that do really dumb shit.