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Under My Skin Kindle Edition
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|Length: 690 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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I'm a rather stranger to LGBTQ issues. I was reading a witch/warlock fantasy, and volume 2 suddenly turned into a lesbian novel. After that, I thought I would give "Solve for i" a try. That lead to this gem (hmm, should I have saved "gem" for "Solve for i" review?) As an expatriate, I could totally empathize with Min's identity issues. Boy, don't I know about Korean parents. There were some parts where I thought it could have been shorter. But within some pages, I forgot all about that. Perhaps just before things started to fall part (or come together) author wanted to stretch a bit? The prose, the internal monologue, and emotional nuances and little physical gestures were so well described, I can hardly fault some extra icing on the cake. Somewhat neurotic and introspective first-person narrative vaguely reminded me of Crime and Punishment. (only, far less gloomy and far more engaging for the 21st century readers)
I liked Bree just fine. Ages ago, my friend's brother rear-ended another car, in front of the whole school. And he chose to speed away. Of course, Police come knocking on his door. On his 18th birthday, he totally went overboard with hard liquors he never had before. At dawn, I woke up to gurgling sounds. It was him gurgling on his own vomit. If I didn't freak out and turned his head to the side, we could have found him dead. I was only a couple years older. But boy, was he totally clueless. He was more fictional in real life. Having seen people like that, yeah, Bree was far more believable and more importantly, lovable.
A repressed introvert whose life was controlled by expectations of people who supposedly love her + a rambunctious extrovert whose life was ruined by people who never quite loved her for her ditziness? Min would get a free spirit, Bree would get a real protector. I would say a clever match for a desperate attraction.
Very well done, Ms. Dooland. P.S. I haven't touched DA since our dog died 2 years ago because the last pic was of his silly face. But Min reminded me to get back to doodling. So, thank you.
Ming Lee is a Korean/Australian woman living in Sydney. She has a great job in the marketing department of an international mining corporation, a boyfriend who is almost too perfect, and a comfortable home that she loves.
But underneath the surface, she is restless and unsatisfied. She has extreme body issues, almost no social life, and has been drinking too much. When she paints a portrait of herself as a man, it sets off a series of events that will change everything in her life.
Part of the power of this novel is the main character. I was in love with Ming from the start — not just sympathetic or interested — head over heels in love. Then comes her best friend at work, Sarah, her incredibly perceptive (except where it really counts) boyfriend Henry, and Bree — a troubled schoolgirl force of nature who finds Ming’s paintings on Deviant Art and storms into her life like a hurricane. All these characters quickly became friends that I cared about and rooted for.
As Ming’s life spirals more and more out of control, there were parts of this novel so intense I had to put the book (ok, the e-reader) down — and then I just continued to worry about the characters and be anxious about what would happen to them until I went back. It’s kind of a cliché to say a story made you laugh and cry, but this one did — and hit just about every emotion in between.
So, even though this is a long book, I never once felt bored or thought that it went on too long. I didn’t want it to end.
The mysteries about individual characters added to their personalities and the plot, and I loved how things kept progressing as more was uncovered.
At times the book seemed a bit melodramatic or unrealistic, but it definitely tied in with the characters well.
Min was a fantastic narrator, and while I don't much care for first person stories, I fell in love with Mom as they narrated the story.
I also loved Min's relatable-ness. Their insecurity and uncomfortable questioning of gender really gave the story a realistic feel and I could relate immensely.
All in all, this book was great and I'm glad I read :-)