Skin After Skin by Jordan Castillo Price

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4stars

“Look at you, all angular and pissed off.”
Yeah, a diet of ramen and disappointment will do that to you.

Title: Skin After Skin
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Series: PsyCop #8
Number of pages: 387 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: How Crash becomes the Crash we know is interesting.
Bad things about this book: Quite long and the part with Jacob was too long in my opinion.
Do I recommend it? Yes, read the PsyCop series, I can’t recommend it enough.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I have been postponing this review for days and it’s not only because I started re-reading the entire series from book one; I suspect it’s because I am angry a little bit about the truths in this book. I have read of Vic having impure thoughts about Crash and about Vic’s memories of his time with ex-boyfriend Stefan, but none of that had made me as angry as seeing first-hand how Jacob and Crash met each other and how they were together. Seven months worth of anger. I was scowling the whole time. I couldn’t help it, it just felt wrong.

“You know what they say about regret. That and fifty cents will buy you a cup of who-gives-a-shit.”

When Crash was introduced I didn’t like him very much. Not because he flirted a lot with Vic (maybe it was also a little because of that, though) but I didn’t really like how he behaved, how he doubted and diminished everything. I didn’t know much about him, his backstory, but what I saw was something I could have lived easily without. Things changed little by little and then Crash became an important friend to Victor and a valuable character who contributed plenty to the story.

For all that Vic has the self-esteem of a teenage girl at fat camp, the minute he wants something, he becomes the center of the universe.

I have to admit that it was kind of nice, different, seeing things from Crash’s pov: his stylist career, his misadventures, the Sundays with his mother, what is going on inside his head, how he start seeing and feeling his talent. Seeing him with Jacob, though, that was hard for my heart because I love Victor to the moon and back and Jacob with someone else was really painful to read. The after Jacob bit was of course better and it was Vic’s appearance that got me going until late at night, or early in the morning, to see how things were going to end. I’m all about Victor Bayne.

Who was I to rob him of his hard-earned discomfort?

Vic from Crash’s eyes was everything I imagined and more; all his anxieties, his many mood swings, all of what makes Vic the man we all love, the man that I adore! Crash feeling Vic getting a “vibe” every time he does some flirting and Vic backing up because he is not on the market was just what I needed after those wrong lovey-dovey chapters. Oh my, those really messed up with my head. I wish I had skipped them altogether. I will now have those images in my head and I won’t be able to unsee them. Just like Victor after finding that camcorder that I now know where Jacob got. Some things are better left unknown. Now it’s just too late.

I’d suspect it wasn’t really Vic and just some bizarre pre-death hallucination if not for the look on his face, the same petulant scowl he gives me whenever I offer him a hand-job, a gemstone cleanse or a veggie burger.

As much as I love Crash as the shop owner, without a shop for now, I really liked him as a stylist. I saw how he understood what the person wanted and he was able to give them that and so much more. A whole experience, not cheap, but that could really change someone’s day or maybe someone’s life. I like people who are like that: they do so little but it changes so much. Like a compliment on a very bad day and a cheer when you feel like everything you do is wrong. I can’t hate Crash, I just can’t. I will just erase those images from my mind and I will pretend that they didn’t happen.

The one that got away, not that’s a plot line that I’m willing to explore fully. We didn’t get much; at first there was attraction for this mysterious new colorist called Red and it didn’t go anywhere. Crash was smitten, that was obvious, but there was more to the story and it didn’t end with the “all sweaty in bed happily ever after” I was envisioning but knew from the other books that it wasn’t going to happen, not yet. Crash wasn’t a stylist anymore, he was broke and in search of the one thing that’d change his life for the better. One bad thing after the other and we get to see how Crash came to be the person I hated at first and liked later on.

“Apparently my Saturn is fucked.”
“And you wish it was Uranus?”

(This made my laugh so hard I can’t barely still keep it together!)

There was so much more to him but he is cocky and stubborn and it was hard for me to relate until I saw how much of that was appearance to hide his fragility and self-doubt. I knew he had potential but he kept kicking himself down, declaring defeat before even trying. It dragged his bad luck; he could’ve had more chances if things weren’t left unspoken, if he had given people the time to explain themselves. He just gave up easily and it made me mad. I was glad when he woke up because I was almost trying to reach inside the book and slap him real hard!

No, Gaydar wasn’t one of the six official psychic talents.

There are so many parts in this book that were merely mentioned in the other Psycop books and it was wonderful to see, for example, how awful Vic types on the computer, how is it to be on the other side when Vic speaks to ghosts, how Caroline is around Crash and some margaritas, and the involvement of Constantine Dreyfus in everything! The guy was literary everywhere. I was surprised, pleasantly surprised, by how things were so much clearer now that I got this other point of view to analyze. Things make so much more sense now.

I now realize that this review is more about Vic than it is about Crash but when there is Victor Bayne there is me, crazy about him, not being able to reason when he is around, even for a short amount of time. I’m not even sorry it turned out this way. It is what it is.

Long story short, this book was really nice even with the hard parts that I’m already pretending to have forgotten. It was refreshing and different from the other psycop books. I’m glad we got to see this much about Crash and I wish him only the best. Now, please, can someone kindly tell me when the last book of the series is going to be released? I’m not ready to say goodbye but I’m missing Victor so badly it hurts!

firmablog

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