secrets of skin and stone proved to me that you can write a compelling story about a gargoyle.
grisham "gris" caso is a watcher, the youngest in his bloodline he's sent to the town of hidden creek on his first solo assignment. he expects it to be an easy, boring kind of job, and that soon enough he'll be back on the road to atlanta. but from his first approach into the town, he senses an unusual amount of fiend activity. so much that at times he worries that he's in over his head. but when all the danger seems to surround piper devon, he wants to be the one to save her.
piper has had her fair share of sadness and dark thoughts and demons. sometimes the only way she finds relief is by cutting herself open and bleeding away the pain. she hides her scars from her family. she hides her pain from everyone. but gris can see it. his watcher superpowers render him especially attuned to darkness. it's how he finds the fiends that are torturing piper. and the more he investigates the town of hidden creek, the more obvious it becomes that piper is a target for some reason.
gris is certain that all the strange happenings in the town are connected and even more concerning, that they are also connected to his watcher background. so it becomes his mission to protect piper from all of it, but he can't protect her without opening himself up. because she won't trust him without him offering her his trust in return.
there's this one scene, where she sees him in his watcher skin and it's the first time he's ever let anyone see him that way, and it is so intimate and poignant and beautiful. they touch each other's skin and scars and stone it doesn't matter, it feels right. and it's just an absolutely lovely moment.
this book doesn't shy away from hard topics, the author and the main character have a history of self-harm that is difficult to read about. at the same time, the author's personal struggles really inform the narrative and add a depth and a level of understanding to piper's mental health problems.
**secrets of skin and stone will publish by june 5, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (entangled teen) in exchange for my honest review.