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In Her Skin

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  974 ratings  ·  232 reviews
Sixteen-year-old con artist Jo Chastain is about to take on the biggest scam of her life: impersonating a missing girl. Life on the streets of Boston these past few years hasn’t been easy, and Jo is hoping to cash in on a little safety, a little security. She finds her opportunity in the Lovecrafts, a wealthy family with ties to the unsolved disappearance of Vivienne Weir, ...more
Hardcover, 293 pages
Published April 17th 2018 by FSG
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Ashlyn The beginning sounds like a few other books, but once the family's last name is revealed as Lovecraft, you just know there's going to be something dif…moreThe beginning sounds like a few other books, but once the family's last name is revealed as Lovecraft, you just know there's going to be something different about it. (less)

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Average rating 3.36  · 
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 ·  974 ratings  ·  232 reviews

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Elle (ellexamines)
Let me try to explain what reading this book is like - it’s like throwing your mind into a fucked-up, manipulative, scary world, and not knowing which character to empathize with. But knowing all the while that you can’t put it down, that you’re totally engaged in the writing and the narrative.

The compelling thing about this story is that it is about a girl who has lied to an entire family, saying she’s their long-lost child, but you still can’t help but hope she won’t be caught. Jo is
I read this book in one sitting on a train ride. And that’s about all I can definitively say at this point.

That train ride took place in November, which is to say two months ago. As I’ve said before, kids: Learn from my mistakes!!! Don’t tell yourself you can write a review later when you haven’t taken notes!!!!! Because then you’ll be forcing yourself to write about a book you can’t remember after sixty-plus calendar days have passed!!!!

I had pretty high expectations for this. It’s got a 4.52
S.M. Parker
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Okay, this is dark. Really dark. The thing is, I *love* dark YA so page one felt like coming home for me. I suspect I didn't breathe during the short time it took me to inhale this book. I guess I did, sure, but my inhales were jagged, ragged things because THIS BOOK. Not only are the mystery and con brilliantly executed, but the writing is spectacular. The voice is so damaged and beautiful it made me ache. The story is rich and layered and so filled with the ache of existence. Oof.

Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach
3.5 stars rounded down to 3 because I think the book had so much unused potential.

I think the story idea was great, the characters were great, but the book as a whole was just OK for me.

Ruth Lehrer
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
IN HER SKIN is Savage’s third novel and she just gets better and better at dark suspense. Jo Chastain has an identity disorder of her own making. She is trying to morph into a girl who was lost at the age of nine. When she thinks she’s succeeded in integrating herself into that girl’s seemingly lovely life, everything starts to spin off course. The reader knows that things are not as they seem, but all my guesses were wrong. It’s not until the very end when we figure out that Jo has one more car ...more
Meaghan Shea
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! The plot twist really caught me by surprise and wasn't something I was expecting. The story kept me so on edge that I couldn't put it down (I read it in one afternoon!). ...more
Bridget Hodder
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
Five stars, for a read that kept me up late to finish, then kept me awake after the light was out! Unforgettable characters and shocking twists to satisfy the most jaded thriller addict!
Victoria Coe
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
WOW! I could not put this book down. Kim Savage's masterful story IN HER SKIN is creepy in the most delicious ways. Highly recommend for mature readers.

I received an advance reader's copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Erin Dunn
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Thank you to Farrar, Straus, and Giroux for provding a free copy of In Her Skin By: Kim Savage in exchange for an honest review.

Omg, I loved In Her Skin! This is my favorite Kim Savage book so far. Everything about this book is so well done. The story, the characters (Especially Jo and Temple), the writing, and THAT ENDING! The entire book is fast-paced and the pages just flew by as I raced to the end to see what would happen. I definitely recommend this
Megan ❀
I keep picking up mystery thrillers with gay girls not realizing it has gay girls, and @the universe I'd like to keep this sixth sense going thanks ...more
Nemo (The Moonlight Library)
This review was originally posted on The Moonlight Library

In Her Skin is the third novel from YA author Kim Savage, and centres on the story of a young homeless girl who takes on the identity of a missing schoolgirl in order to live with ‘family friends’ and get off the street. But her new home life may be more complicated than she imagined.

At first I thought In Her Skin was going to be a magical realism book, because it opened with the suggestion that Jo, our homeless con, could ‘take on’ the p
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

Well, well, this was a deliciously messed up book! And I am going to give you a list of reasons why you too would like this book! (Because look, reviews for mystery/thrillers are hard, because spoilers, and you definitely want to go into this one blind!)

It's a quick, addictive read. I read it in just a couple hours, in one sitting in fact. It isn't even super short (nor is it long, b
Rachael (RedRchlReads)
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads, arcs
4 stars!

Julie Kingsley
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I fell into this book headfirst, and it was a good long time before I came up for air. Kim Savage, vividly and wickedly, takes the reader on a wild ride, where nothing is as it seems, and the divide between good and evil is as thin as a gossamer curtain flickering in the wind.
Mar 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads
3.5 stars

In Her Skin is a kinda dark book with almost all the characters trying to emotionally manipulate each other.

I went in thinking Jo, our protagonist, would be a genius con artist but she wasn't exactly that. Jo is a damaged and broken 16yo girl who used to help her mother con people, and she's been on her own for the last year since her mom died. Jo lies to a family and pretends to be someone she's not and yet you can't help but root for her and pray that she doesn't get caught. I didn't
Kim Savage
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Lots of stars, because: mine.

But really, if you liked In Her Skin, I'm here to tell you where you can find out other cool stuff about the world of Jo, Vivi, and Temple.

Want a guided tour of the locations in In Her Skin? Check out my video on and I'll show you the Boston Public Library, the Public Garden, and King's Chapel Burial ground, among other creepy/cool places!

Want a peek at the images I used to ground me while I was writing? Check out my In Her Skin board on Pinte
Samantha (WLABB)
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, ya
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I knew from the synopsis, that this was going to be a darker, grittier read, but wow! This was quite a twisted tale of a con that didn't got exactly go according to plan.

•Pro: Savage's writing in her last book was quite beautiful, but the style she employed here was very different, and perfectly fit this story being told from Jo's point of view. She was not refined or polished, and the writing reflected that, which I thought did a fantastic job of painting a complete picture of
Mar 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
What does it take to assume a person's identity so even their family is fooled by your act? That's the question raised in this book when Jolene (Jo) Chastain, a chronically homeless teen, hits upon a scheme to lift herself out of poverty. The well-dressed teen that Jo sees at the library doesn't suspect a thing when Jo steals her identity information, but after Jo researches the details of her life, she finds potential for a deeper kind of identity theft. The Lovecraft family has a turbulent pas ...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

Jolene Chastain is homeless since her mother’s murder at hands of her boyfriend. She decides to become Vivienne Weir, a girl kidnapped at age nine. Jo, now Vivi, can’t believe how easily she fits in with the Lovecrafts, almost too easily. Something isn’t right. New sister Temple cryptically let’s Vivi know something is very wrong.

I held my breath the entire time while reading IN HER SKIN. Jo/Vivi was easy to embrace as an imperfect heroine. I didn’t blame her for wanting off th
♛ Garima ♛
Oct 06, 2017 marked it as to-read
This gives me 'Here Lies Daniel Tate' vibes! ...more
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Incredible! Hauntingly beautiful. I was in a mood for a thriller and this one delivered.
Vicky Again
Akin to thrillers such as E. Lockhart's Genuine Fraud, Kim Savage's In Her Skin details a teenage con artist who impersonates a girl that went missing nine years ago.

There's always a lot of potential in these books for suspense and action, but it ended up falling a little flat for me. Although it wasn't as bad as Genuine Fraud in the sense that things actually happened and it wasn't just detailing how this girl got into the con, I couldn't help but be a little disappointed by the result.

Not a
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don’t want to write too much because of spoilers but I LOVE this book! Dark, very dark and although I really like Kim’s other novels - this is my favorite by far. My recommendation is for you to get your hands on this book and read it today!
Jeanne Ferruolo
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Make sure you have some time when you pick up IN HER SKIN by Kim Savage because once you enter Jo Chastain's world you will be hard-pressed to leave it. I read this book in one sitting. Dark, creepy, gripping. Savage gently navigates the reader through unfamiliar worlds -- the Tent Cities of Boston to the Brownstones of the elite. The reader experiences the lives of the cons and their targets -- only we're never quite sure which is which. Savage's writing is gorgeous and ethereal. Jo's story is ...more
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
*I received a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

I thought I could trust you. You conned me. You conned me. You conned me.

What a dark ride this was. Kim does a fantastic job with these characters. Jo and the Lovecraft's are well developed and will surprise you with their past and present actions. Nothing about this story is convenient and that's what makes it so great.

This is the second book I've read by Kim Savage and will continue to check out her books.
”I’m going to teach you something that my momma taught me. The only thing we have to fear in this whole wide world is not remembering. I didn’t remember who I was for a while, and it got me in trouble.”

Who says YA mystery/thrillers can’t be just as every bit as fucked up and twisted as their adult counterparts. This book is the answer to that statement, and it does so in style.

All Jolene Chastain ever wanted was a normal family. But when you have a drug addicted mother who died of an overdos
2.5 Out Of 5 "twisted af" STARS

This was really weird, it had this vibe to it…that felt very un-YA, and really rather risqué.  I feel like I both disliked and liked it…well, sorta liked it.  The premise of the con didn't seem to be believable…but as the story plays out, it becomes more believable and twisted…fairly f*cking twisted.  I flew through this, thanks to the narration.  Despite listening to the last hour of the book two times, I still feel like that ending left me confused, maybe somethi
Nicole M. Hewitt
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

What a twisty ride this book was! Kim Savage knows how to take you on a journey with her books—and you’re not always sure you’re going to end up somewhere pretty. That was definitely the case with this one.

What Fed My Addiction:

Life hijack. I don’t know what it is, but I’m always fascinated by stories where the main character takes over someone else’s life. In this case, Jo sees an opportunity to pretend to be Vivienne
Katherine Moore
**My full blog tour review post can be found at

Wow. That will be the first word that comes out of my mouth (and therefore, my fingers) in response to how this book made me feel.
In the same way that this book left me feeling like the wind had been knocked out of me a few times, it also left me feeling so desperately sad. I'll get back to that..

Jo Chastain, a young homeless teen, who basically wants a family of her own, assumes the identity of a missing girl (who
Ally (book__ventures)
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
In Her Skin is a book everyone will want on their list for 2018. Kim Savage hit this one out of the park.

Jolene Chastain is a girl who has learned how to survive. She grew up conning with her mother and many boyfriends. But, after her mother’s last boyfriend killed her, Jolene had to go on the run. She finds her way to Tent City in Boston, Massachusetts where she lives with Wolf. But, Jolene has always wanted more. A family, safety, love. Jolene has been watching Temple Lovecraft at the local l
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Con artist impersonates a missing person. [s] 11 85 May 01, 2019 05:54AM  
Here Lies Daniel Tate? 3 11 Jun 19, 2018 10:03AM  

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KIM SAVAGE is the author of three critically acclaimed young adult novels, After the Woods (Kirkus, Booklist starred), Beautiful Broken Girls (Kirkus star, Kirkus 10 Best YA of 2017), and In Her Skin (YALSA Best YA 2019), all with Farrar, Straus, Giroux/Macmillan. Her novels have been published in Spain, Brazil, and Turkey, and have been optioned for TV. Kim presents at conferences and book festiv ...more

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