Secrets of Skin and Stone by Wendy Laine
Release Date: June 5th, 2017 (tomorrow!!)
Okay, to tell the truth, I wasn’t expecting much from this novel. It seemed intriguing, I had never read a gargoyle novel, and the cover was pretty cool. But did I expecting to really enjoy it? Nooooo, but it’s exactly what happened!
Something is wrong in Hidden Creek. The sleepy Alabama town is more haunted than any place fiend hunter Grisham Caso has ever seen. Unearthed graves, curse bags, and spilled blood all point to an evil that could destroy his gargoyle birthright. The town isn’t safe for anyone, and everyone says fiery Piper Devon knows why.
Piper wants to leave Hidden Creek behind. She’s had enough of secrets—they hide in the shadows of her room and tell her terrible things are coming. Too-charming city boy Grisham might be her only chance to save herself.
To survive, Piper and Grisham have to shed their secrets and depend only on each other. But what lurks in Hidden Creek still might take everything away from them, including each other.
First and foremost, I want to say that this book deals with self-harm. It can be a very triggering topic, and it does get pretty detailed. I wanted to let you know up front that it does include cutting. This book also deals with mental illness – OCD in particular as well. BUT HEY. THE BOOK TELLS YOU STRAIGHT UP. I will admit that it got a bit lost in the eARC format, but the trigger warning was there which was super A++++!
Okay, I really, really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the characters; I enjoyed the ship; I enjoyed the world building; I enjoyed the setting; I enjoyed the grittiness of it; I enjoyed so much.
I lovedddddd the setting. I loved the whole small town Southern atmosphere. It was amazing. It gave such a cool feel to the whole novel, and it made it even that more interesting. Perfectttt setting.
The whole premise was awesome as well. I loved the gargoyles and fiends. It was such an interesting idea, and I kind of want more gargoyle books in the world? Like, now? It was dark and full of cool fight scenes, mysteries, and some decently gory scenes (which I wasn’t a super fan of it, but I accepted due to the gritty feel of the novel).
I also loved Gris and Piper. I loved them as a ship, but truthfully, I loved them as individuals. Gris was your average main character, but he was sweet, had humor, and character. His characterization was deep, and I enjoyed him tremendously. He felt very realistic (even though he was, um, a gargoyle).
I loved Piper a bit more, though. I thought she was wonderfully done. She was OCD, and while I can’t speak to the authenticity of the representation, I thought it was well done. It wasn’t one of the mental illnesses in YA that is mentioned and then just magically disappears. It was there and a main fixture when, you know, not hunting evil fiends. BUT STILL. I super liked her as a main character, and I super rooted for her.
The ship was cute as well. I super enjoyed Gris and Piper together. There was only one time that the story moved back into the questionable romance paranormal stage circa 2009 time. But other than just one time, it was super cute and I loved them together. I thought it was pretty realistic as well, and Piper just didn’t trust Gris right away. Definitely enjoyed the swoons.
As you can tell, I really enjoyed the book. So, you’re like, why do I feel like there is a but coming? There was just one little issue, and I’m not even sure where it went wrong. I was really enjoying the novel, really enjoying it, really enjoying…and then I wasn’t. At about 80%, I just wasn’t feeling it anymore. There was a mystery behind the whole novel, but it just felt that it was dragging out far more than it needed to be. I just wanted it to hurry up and reveal the mystery, and even the cheesy, cute moments between Gris and Piper couldn’t hold my attention. That was the only issue I really had for it.
Overall, though, it was a really good read. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this so much, but it turned out to be really good. I mean, who thinks a story of gargoyles and mental illness would mix? But Laine did such a good job, and I will totally be looking out for her books in the future. There was only the lag at the end, which knocked this down a crown for me. So four crowns, and an Ariel rating!
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