Book Review: Skin Deep by Ajay Monga

Skin Deep
Author: Ajay Monga
Publisher: Rupa Publishers
Rating: 4/5

Oscar Wilde once said that fashion is a form of ugliness that is so intolerable that it has to be altered every six months. Skin Deep proves this right-both metaphorically and literally. The story traces the lives of four young and ravishing women who can go the extra mile to become successful in their respective fields. While the majority of the story is set in the fashion industry, one part of it also exposes the stark reality behind journalism and the compromises that come along in that field as well.

A probing look into the ever-evolving fashion industry, ‘Skin Deep’ is a compelling read that exposes the truth behind the facade of struggle, beauty and passion. Known to be an industry that never fails to top the ‘trending’ charts, the Fashion industry is an industry that always has the largest number of controversies associated with it. The story begins with Simran, a hard-working journalist, who tries to concoct a scheme that aims at exposing the truth behind a beauty pageant. She meets several contenders who have a story of their own- all fighting the same battle but using different lifelines. Highlighting the obscenity and scandals in this field, the author brilliantly brings forth the factors that act as a cog in the machine. Also, the story showcases how tactical the fashion industry can be and how it contributes to changing the status quo of any individual. But that’s not all, for this industry is like a swamp that swallows a part of you as you climb each stepping stone.

Four girls, each one having a different definition of success, play a game of chess in which there is only a king and no queen. Losing their self-respect, dignity and honour at the hands of the big shot people, these four protagonists succumb to the pressures of life. Inspired by true events and mimicking the events from renowned movies like Fashion and Corporate, Skin Deep is candid yet dismal. Even though there are errors in the printing, the taut narrative doesn’t allow the attention to divert.

Overall, Skin Deep is brutal in terms of a reality check. Though some of the parts are fictitious, the strong narrative does justice to the purpose of the book.

Best wishes to the author!

Buying Link: Amazon

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