Thursday, April 21, 2016

BLOG TOUR REVIEW, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY - Under My Skin by Laura Diamond


Laura Diamond

PUBLISHER: Swoon Romance
Publication: April 12, 2016
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult


Bookish Brit Adam Gibson is one wonky heartbeat away from a fatal arrhythmia. But staying alive requires Adam to become keenly focused on both his pulse and the many different daily medications he must take in exactly the right dosages. Adam's torn between wanting to live and knowing that someone else must die in order for him to do so. He needs a new heart.

The pressure is getting to him. Adam stops talking to his friends back home, refuses to meet kids at his new school, and shuts his parents out entirely. His days are spent wondering if can cope with having a dead man's heart beating inside his chest, or if he should surrender to the thoughts of suicide swirling around in his head.

And then a donor is found…

Outspoken artist Darby Fox rarely lets anything stand in her way of achieving her goals . Whether it’s painting, ignoring her homework (dyslexia makes a mess out of words anyway), kissing a hot boy she doesn't even know, or taking the head cheerleader down a peg , no one has ever accused Darby of being a shy. She also happens to be the twin sister to a perfect brother with good looks, good grades, manners, and the approval of their parents - something Darby has never had.

Darby's always had bad timing . She picks the worst time to argue with her brother Daniel. In a car with bald tires, on an icy road in the freezing cold, the unthinkable happens. In a split-second, everything changes forever.

This is my first read from Laura Diamond and let's say it will not be the last. This is a beautifully written story about two teenagers who are stuck in the worst circumstances. Both characters who feel misunderstood by the people who surround them daily. With his heart condition, Adam Gibson worries about death each day. Is he scared of death? Will he suffer less? Will he be less of a burden to his parents? With the worst track record at school, Darby Fox feels like the black sheep at school and at home right next to his perfect brother. Will people see her for who she really is? Will they continue to doubt her abilities? When one event unfolds, these two people are thrown together...with the unexpected outcome of friendship, love and possibly happiness.


PLOT LINE - The story takes you on an emotional roller coaster. Broken up into three parts, you get a full range of emotions from each main character. The smooth transitions between different events creates a great flow. It really helps you get into the story and you forget about the time that flew by. Since it does include dual POV, you get to experience emotions from both characters.

CHEMISTRY - Although they are both in very unfortunate situations...the moment Darby interrupts Adam's therapy session is the moment Adam's life turns around for the better. It only takes one person or thing to change your mindset on life. Every glance and contact between Darby and Adam builds an unspoken connection. A connection which helps them realize the importance of living even though they may feel dead inside.

PSYCHO ANALYSIS - I love how the author incorporates the psychological aspects of both characters. Any traumatic events or dramatic changes in one's life can affect one's mindset. Although there is always two sides to every story...which one is more believable? Can you take one person's word over the other? What happens if you analyze something differently than expected? The book makes you question what is truly unfolding. There will be some moments when you say: wait, what just happened? It can be surprising at times.



Right now, I’m nothing more than a sixteen-year-old in a physical rehabilitation room with ancient relics who could probably beat me at arm wrestling. Hell, they could probably beat me in a competition of mall walking.

A layer of sweat creeps across my upper lip. Damn mask. I tug it under my chin and take a deep breath of real air. Relief floods me, though my heart continues to pump faster and faster. My pulse rushes in my ears.

I close my eyes, but nothing can dull the competing scents of stale body odor, cleaning fluid, and overused equipment.

This place sucks.

I keep pumping my legs. What would it be like to ride a real bicycle in a park on a summer day? How serene it would be to glide past pastures of green grass, to skim under shade trees, and a pause at a pond to catch the sunset. I almost feel the wind dragging through my hair. All of a sudden I feel lighter, freer. I’m normal. Healthy.


“I’ve never seen someone so happy to be excercising.” A girl’s voice tears through my fantasy.

My eyes fly open. I’m face to face with a petite girl wearing a plastic collar around her neck. Her baggy black t-shirt and gray sweatpants are covered in paint stains. Her crystal blue eyes study me with curiosity, a striking compliment to the cobalt streaks in her black hair.

I stop pedaling, struck by the clarity of those inquisitive eyes. I open my mouth, but have no idea what to say so I close it again. Lamest of the lame.

The right side of her mouth ticks up. “The silent type. I like it.”

I blink.

She slides her fingers along the machine’s center console then rubs them together, testing for dust. “Okay, Mister Tall, Dark, and Quiet. You got a real name?”

“I, um…” I clear my throat.

“Um is not a name.”

We’re face to face with me sitting and her standing, yet it’s like she’s peering down at me from a tower. “A-Adam. My name is Adam.”

“Adam. Like Adam and Eve?”

“No, I mean, I guess.”

“Is that a yes or no?” She laughs. It’s one of those wow-this-bloke-has-no-idea-how-to-talk-to-girls laughs.

Heat builds in my cheeks. A bead of sweat slides from my temple down my cheek. My hold slips on the bike’s handles. “What’s your name?”

She shifts her weight. “I’m Darby.”

Laura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist currently specializing in emergency psychiatry. She is also an author of all things young adult—both contemporary and paranormal. An avid fan of sci-fi, fantasy, and anything magical, she thrives on quirk, her lucid dreams, and coffee. When she’s not working or writing, she can be found sniffing books and drinking a latte at the bookstore or at home pondering renovations on her 225 year old fixer upper, all while obeying her feline overlords, of course.

Win a $10 Amazon gift card and eBook copy of Under My Skin.

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