Post Script: Summer Skin – Kirsty Eager

Summer Skin

Summer Skin
Kirsty Eagar
Allen & Unwin Australia
ISBN: 9781925266924
RRP A$19.99

Description:
Jess Gordon is out for revenge. Last year the jocks from Knights College tried to shame her best friend. This year she and a hand-picked college girl gang are going to get even.

The lesson: don’t mess with Unity girls.

The target: Blondie, a typical Knights stud, arrogant, cold . . . and smart enough to keep up with Jess.

A neo-riot grrl with a penchant for fanning the flames meets a rugby-playing sexist pig – sworn enemies or two people who happen to find each other when they’re at their most vulnerable?

It’s all Girl meets Boy, Girl steals from Boy, seduces Boy, ties Boy to a chair and burns Boy’s stuff. Just your typical love story.

A searingly honest and achingly funny story about love and sex amid the hotbed of university colleges by the award-winning author of Raw Blue.

“Taking a keen look at modern day intimacy in a hook-up culture, Summer Skin expertly shatters notions of slut shaming and the pull of sexual desire. Realistic, modern and moving, the story of Jess and Mitch is as smart as it is hot. Kirsty Eagar has written the feminist love story that girls have been waiting for.” Clementine Ford.

 

 

My View:
This New Adult/Mature YA book took me completely by surprise. The writing is fresh, bold and honest and the characters are written without self-consciousness but with a healthy dose of self-awareness. This is new age feminism at its best.

Realistic (well I cant vouch for the university pranking/drinking /hook up culture – I was a very mature age uni student when I completed my degree, studying part time, working part time with no experience of living in a boarding school – so this is all new ground for me but other reviewers have remarked on its accuracy) but the traumas, the sexual harassment, the friendships, the attachments and the exploration of self as an individual and sexual person all shout truth to me. One of the really interesting and honest parts of the book that stand out for me is Jess discussing with her aunt that she has a libido. How many books (or sex education classes) speak to this subject? It’s about time women were allowed to have a libido and to own those feelings.

Despite that that I am not in the age group of the targeted audience for this book I was really engaged in the narrative and liked the characters. Some of the rawness and sexual explicitness did surprise me but I did not feel it was gratuitous or did I feel like a voyeur (which I have noticed is often the case when I occasionally read an adult romance narratives). The only negative for me was most of the music references meant nothing to me – but I realise they will do to the target audience, however I do recall how important popular music was to me when I was a teenager. Somethings haven’t changed a lot.

This is a fun, smart, sassy and empowering read. I am recommending it to my (adult) daughter.

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2 thoughts on “Post Script: Summer Skin – Kirsty Eager

  1. I do like a strong narrative voice, Carol, and it certainly sounds like that’s what we have here. And it’s an interesting premise, too, for the target age group. Add to that a solid narrative style, and it sounds like a strong story.

  2. Pingback: Childrens and Young Adults: Round Up Four – 2016 | Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog

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