January 30, 2016

Review: Under Their Skin (Under Their Skin #1) by Margaret Peterson Haddix


Review:  Under Their Skin (Under Their Skin #1) by Margaret Peterson Haddix

From New York Times bestselling author Margaret Peterson Haddix comes the first book in a brand-new thrilling series about twins who are on a quest to discover the secrets being kept by their new family.

Nick and Eryn's mom is getting remarried, and the twelve-year-old twins are skeptical when she tells them their lives won't change much. Well, yes, they will have to move. And they will have a new stepfather, stepbrother, and stepsister. But Mom tells them not to worry. They won't ever have to meet their stepsiblings.

This news puzzles Nick and Eryn, so the twins set out on a mission to find out who these kids are - and why they're being kept hidden.

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Under Their Skin by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers  on January 5, 2016
Series: Under Their Skin #1


This title was provided to us by the Publisher/Author. We were in no way compensated for our review(s).


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Gabby-2013Though the premise for author Margaret Peterson Haddix’s Under Their Skin sounded a bit vague, I did find the cover to be absolutely intriguing and naturally, had to read and find out what this novel was all about. I will admit that for a middle grade read, Under Their Skin was a novel that I got into with ease. Usually I find it difficult to get into middle grade novels, but Under Their Skin is a fun ride from start to finish that readers of all ages will be able to enjoy.

              When their mother reveals to twins Nick and Eryn that she plans on getting remarried, it’s a rude awakening that forces the twins to adjust inside of a new home, with a new stepfather, and a pair of stepsiblings who they have never met. Nick and Eryn’s curiosity toward their stepsiblings—Ava and Jackson— is one that is met with hostility. The twins aren’t allowed to meet them. And naturally, being told that they can’t do something only makes them want to do it more. As the twins set off on an adventure too meet this new stepsiblings, they quickly discover that nothing is what it seems, and that their entire lives might just be a lie.

              Initially, upon starting Under Their Skin, I was a bit skeptical that the story would have any plot twists that would leave me shocked. Boy was I wrong. Under Their Skin is a novel that leads the reader to think that they know what’s coming next, only to unmask a great reveal that leaves the reader reeling. The plot twists in Under Their Skin weren’t anything I expected and constantly left me flipping pages.

Everything about Under Their Skin in terms of writing is perfect for keeping the reader engaged. Haddix’s writing is easy to read and keeps the story quick-paced. I especially loved that Haddix uses the proper amount of detailing to keep the novel imaginative without overwhelming the reader. This, along with Haddix’s amazing storytelling capabilities makes this is a novel that you just can’t put down.

The sci-fi aspects of Under Their Skin aren’t what the reader might suspect. Once you reach the big reveal (which I refuse to spoil because when I read it I was left going ‘What the heck???’ and everyone deserves that experience) you can’t stop wondering what will come next. The implications of the big reveal are both frightening and intriguing. All readers who pick up Under Their Skin will know exactly what I’m talking about.

I would recommend Under Their Skin to all middle grade readers. Readers who are fans of sci-fi and want a novel that definitely delivers in terms of shock value should give it a read. Any readers who want a novel that offers moral dilemma as well as deals with familial love and family problems should also give Under Their Skin a shot. Overall, a very fun read!


About Margaret Peterson Haddix

Margaret Peterson Haddix grew up on a farm near Washington Court House, Ohio. She graduated from Miami University (of Ohio) with degrees in English/journalism, English/creative writing and history. Before her first book was published, she worked as a newspaper copy editor in Fort Wayne, Indiana; a newspaper reporter in Indianapolis; and a community college instructor and freelance writer in Danville, Illinois.

She has since written more than 25 books for kids and teens, including Running Out of Time; Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey; Leaving Fishers; Just Ella; Turnabout; Takeoffs and Landings; The Girl with 500 Middle Names; Because of Anya; Escape from Memory; Say What?; The House on the Gulf; Double Identity; Dexter the Tough; Uprising; Palace of Mirrors; Claim to Fame; the Shadow Children series; and the Missing series. She also wrote Into the Gauntlet, the tenth book in the 39 Clues series. Her books have been honored with New York Times bestseller status, the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award; American Library Association Best Book and Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers notations; and more than a dozen state reader’s choice awards.

Haddix and her husband, Doug, now live in Columbus, Ohio, with their two children.


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