Someone To Kiss My Scars


Young Adult - Thriller
364 Pages
Reviewed on 08/30/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Someone To Kiss My Scars by Brooke Skipstone is a disturbing psychological thriller with young and elaborately developed characters. Hunter is a troubled young man who has experienced unspeakable trauma and at his father's behest, a doctor erased his memories. But now, some of his memories begin to surface with glimpses of the traumas of other people. Graphic images invade his mind, images involving rape, abuse, physical pain and more. His friend Jazz struggles to hide secrets from her past and beneath the veneer of an easy-going and witty young girl lies a darkness that isn't veiled from Hunter. A strong bond develops between the two, but can they help ease each other's pain?

Brooke Skipstone has written a novel that is psychologically strong and emotionally rich, exploring dark themes like sexual abuse and the power of friendship as a tool towards healing. The writing evokes a strong sense of pathos in readers as they follow the two young characters. The prose is impeccably good, laced with vivid descriptions that make the reading experience cinematic. Each page is filled with powerful situations and emotions that will strike a chord in the reader. Someone To Kiss My Scars is a powerful indictment of abuse and portrays with unusual clarity the damage it leaves on a young soul. It is a gripping, dark, and disturbing coming of age story that is deftly handled with characters that readers will root for and themes that are relevant and strong.

K.C. Finn

Someone To Kiss My Scars is a harrowing work of young adult drama penned by author Brooke Skipstone. Intended for adults and teens who are emotionally ready to explore the darker realities of the painful world we live in, this highly charged emotional journey focuses on teenagers Hunter and Jazz. Hunter brings a speculative aspect to this intriguing plotline, as he is a boy with no memory of his own, but flashes of other people’s forgotten memories of pain and anguish. Meeting Jazz not only leads Hunter to discover his unique gifts for helping others forget, but opens him up to the realities of her pain, and what it really means to suffer, together and alone.

This sharply graphic tale of suffering, sorrow, and self-harm is not for the faint of heart, but it does present a raw, emotional and realistic look at mental health issues, pain, abuse and a wealth of other issues which can affect either gender at all stages of life. Hunter’s unique gift is more than just a plot device, and author Brooke Skipstone uses it sparingly to develop his own sense of empathy and worth as well as to aid the uncovering of the secrets of others during his journey. Jazz, for her part, speaks for a wider representation of issues, hiding behind the typical self-preservative behaviors in the narration which is emotionally wise, but also highly engaging to read. Overall, Someone To Kiss My Scars is an exceedingly well-written book for those who are able to take its harrowing message to heart.

Jamie Michele

Someone To Kiss My Scars by Brooke Skipstone is a young adult thriller about a pair of teenagers named Hunter and Jasmine (Jazz) who, through no fault of their own and at the hands of others they should have been able to trust, must battle the emotional demons that were forced upon them. Sometimes these abuses manifest themselves physically, whether they understand why or not. Hunter's father, Joe, has had Hunter's memory erased before moving them both from Washington to Alaska, but as other people's trauma come to him as vivid, lifelike visions, he begins to suspect the memories his father has “told him” might not be the truth. Meanwhile, Jazz has memories of her own that, unlike Hunter, she desperately wants to forget.

Brooke Skipstone is a very brave author. Someone To Kiss My Scars is a wholly unapologetic, raw look at sexual assault, abuse, aggression, homophobia, self-harm, suicide and all of the terrible things that destroy lives on a daily basis. Every act is either the result of or is an absolute man-made phenomenon, and everyone is addressed with a responsible recounting in this courageous young adult novel. Driving the theme along are two incredibly convincing protagonists and a cast of supporting characters who, even when their actions make us believe they do not deserve it, make us carry a dusting of empathy for them also. Skipstone's story might be embedded in a bit of science fiction, but the subjects broached and the pain they cause...well, one could only wish that it was fictional. Highly recommended.

Jack Magnus

Someone To Kiss My Scars is a young adult coming-of-age novel written by Brooke Skipstone. Hunter felt like he was in the throes of some strange obsession as he feverishly typed story after story about people he neither knew nor felt any connection with. The story about the two guys in the dressing room was the seventh in a series of stories that took hold of and wouldn’t release him until he had gotten every detail down. First, he’d hear and feel a pounding and then a vision of himself running down a hallway would surface -- then the stories that had to be told. Hunter didn’t have any stories about himself. He had no memory of what happened during his seventeen years on earth. His dad and he were on their own, and had just recently moved to Alaska from Washington State. Hunter knew his mom and little brother had died in a car accident, but he knew nothing else about it, nor could he even remember them.

Someone To Kiss My Scars is a taut and lovely story about two tortured young adults who find common ground and mutual acceptance -- something neither of them had ever expected or even felt they deserved. Skipstone’s characters, Hunter and Jazz, are brilliantly portrayed and seeing them interact is heartwarming. The author’s plot is compelling, and the underlying message about sexual abuse, self-mutilation, and suicide reveals subjects that must be brought out into the open. Too many kids hide the scars under their long sleeves or in their hearts, and far too many get pushed past the point of no return and end up taking their own lives. This well-written story addresses social issues of paramount importance. Someone To Kiss My Scars is most highly recommended.

Kim Anisi

Someone To Kiss My Scars by Brooke Skipstone deals with a topic that is often ignored and not talked about: the abuse of children or teenagers, physical as well as emotional. Readers get to know the two main characters Hunter and Jazz. Hunter knows something terrible happened in his past, but he cannot remember what it was. His father and a therapist made sure his memories were gone. But what could be so horrendous that it had to be hidden? And how is it connected to the death of Hunter’s mother and brother? Then there is Jazz. She knows only too well what has happened in her past – and she’d like nothing more than to forget about it. Becoming friends with Hunter might just make her dream come true because, for some reason, Hunter is able to tap into other people’s memories. He then feels the urge to write them down – and once he has written the story, the person who had the memory will lose the memory forever. But how many bad memories can Hunter take? And why can he only tap into really bad memories?

Someone To Kiss My Scars by Brooke Skipstone is one of the few books I would have devoured in one sitting if life had left me the time to do so. It was really hard to put down the book, though, as I felt like I had become part of the story and I truly cared about what would happen to Hunter and Jazz, even Eric to some degree. I found the plot to be very interesting, especially the parts about the question where memory is truly stored. I often wondered whether there is something like a shared consciousness. The idea is also explored in this novel. It’s quite fascinating. Of course, the most important topic of the novel is the abuse and neglect of young people, and how it is often something that isn’t seen by many.

I loved that the author managed the fine line between not telling enough and telling too much. Unfortunately, many authors who use child abuse as a topic go over the top, go into too many details, and often it feels like they just use sex/rape/abuse as a selling point, not as something problematic. Brooke Skipstone is different. She makes sure people know what happens, but she doesn’t have to use overly graphic scenes to do so. To me, this really put the focus on the horror and the characters’ stories, their souls, their development and the true issues. It’s a compelling read with a lot of excitement. For people who never thought about the impact of child abuse, this book might be a real eye-opener.

Tiffany Ferrell

In Someone To Kiss My Scars, we meet Hunter, a seventeen-year-old boy living in Alaska with no previous memory of his life before that year. Riddled with troubling dreams and visions, he writes them down as a way to cope. These dreams and visions that he writes down as stories trouble him because they are about people he knows and involve very personal moments. Some are very wrong and sexual. Hunter’s father happens to stumble upon one of these stories that are about himself when he was younger - but how could Hunter have known it? What’s even stranger is that after Hunter taps into these memories they are erased in the mind of the person they involve. Hunter’s best friend Jazz has lots of memories that she wishes she could forget and their shared trauma brings the two friends closer together. As Hunter continues helping people erase traumatic memories, slowly he starts piecing together his past and what horrible things happened to him that he conveniently was made to forget. We find out the reason why Hunter's memories are gone. What’s strange is that Hunter's father is willing to go to any lengths to keep his memory from him.

Author Brooke Skipstone has created a masterpiece with this traumatic and emotional novel. She exposes the truth that so many people push under the rug because it’s too horrendous to think about. The fact is, though, that it happens and there are people out there who are living this pain. It was really hard to put Someone To Kiss My Scars down once I started it and I immediately became attached to both Hunter and Jazz as characters. It touched a few subjects that I myself had experienced but in a way that wasn’t triggering. Someone To Kiss My Scars has definitely been one of my favorite reads this year. I look forward to reading more of Skipstone’s work!