Book of the Year: Older Readers ‘Notable Book’ 2016 (Children’s Book Council of Australia)

“Winner of the Aurealis Award for Best Young Adult Novel 2016.”

“Shortlisted for the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel.”


“One of the most original novels I’ve read for a long while. Great voices. Complex relationships. Just what I love to read.”

Melina Marchetta (Author of ‘Looking for Alibrandi’)


“Ms Little [Libraries ACT Director, Vanessa Little] said her pick for book of the year was actually a young adult offering, In the Skin of a Monster.”

The Canberra Times


“I have not read a book like this before, and highly recommend it to all teenage and adult readers.”

Children’s Book Council of Australia, Reading Time (Liz Derouet)


“This is Kathryn Barker’s debut novel and it is incredible. I could not put it down.”

Gateway Bookshop – Children’s Book Specialists, Australia


“A stunning and raw debut that proves that there are still original stories to be told. This exceptional book was one of them, with its mix of a contemporary and paranormal plot, with a dash of romance… It’s a must buy and a book that I’ll remember for a long time.”

Behind the Pages (4.5/5 Stars)


“In the Skin of a Monster is one of the most original, compelling and thought-provoking YA reads I’ve encountered in a while, with the added bonus of a touch of fantasy and a genuine philosophical reflection on the ramifications of our actions…and inaction.”

The Bookshelf Gargoyle, Online Reviewer


“Barker created something pretty amazing here, and I was sad to see it go after I turned the last page.”

Books for a Delicate Eternity (4/5)


“With Jellicoe Road levels of gripping complexity and a twisty, upside-down vibe of Alice in Wonderland, though [like] nothing I’ve ever read before, In the Skin of a Monster is a brilliantly woven story. Strangely wonderful and sure to keep you on your toes; recommend.”

Reading Wishes


“This is a debut novel from a promising new writer.”

The Great Raven


“Barker’s writing is beautiful and evocative, and the reader can’t help but relate to Alice… the reader will have a hard time putting this book down. I devoured it within a day.”

100 Percent Rock Magazine


“With her fantastically original setting and her deft treatment of loss and healing, Barker’s debut novel is well worth a read.”

Lizzy King, Publishing Arts Hub


“I have absolutely no idea where to start with this book! Kathryn Barker has taken two not so original ideas and created a completely original story. I am honestly blown away by it.”

The Book Kat


“In The Skin of a Monster is one of the most provoking and poignant reads I’ve come across this year. It artfully converges both the real and surreal in a creative way which makes the content that much more powerful.”

Genie In A Book (4.5/5 Stars)


“Kathryn Barker captured the minds and voices of teenagers so accurately and her ability to describe settings, feelings and the transformation of self makes the story so visual and true to life and experience. This was such an enjoyable book to read. It’s emotional, enjoyable and unlike anything I’ve ever read before. Recommended to any fantasy and YA book lover!”

Kalina O’Reilly for Gobblefunked, an online team of reviewers


“It’s originality is fantastic. The writing is fantastic. It’s very creepy and very disturbing, which is fantastic. Go into it with an open mind, and you’ll enjoy the read.”

‘Jess Just Reads’ Book Blogger (Score: 8/10)


“This book is set in outback Australia, and as I was reading it, I was able to conjure up images of a post-apocalyptic Mad Max world, with traces of The Maze Runner thrown in for good measure. It’s a strange mix to be certain, and probably not a very good indicator of how well-written the book actually is, but that’s the imagery that came to mind while reading this novel.”

Catherine Van Bergen for ‘A Comfy Chair’ Online Reviews (Rating 4/5)