Release Date: December 3, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Review Source: Netgalley
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
For Kellie Brooks, family has always been a tough word to define. Combine her hippie mom and tattooist stepdad, her adopted overachieving sister, her younger half brother, and her tough-love dad, and average Kellie’s the one stuck in the middle, overlooked and impermanent. When Kellie’s sister finally meets her birth mother and her best friend starts hanging with a cooler crowd, the feeling only grows stronger.
But then she reconnects with Oliver, the sweet and sensitive college guy she had a near hookup with last year. Oliver is intense and attractive, and she’s sure he’s totally out of her league. But as she discovers that maybe intensity isn’t always a good thing, it’s yet another relationship she feels is spiraling out of her control.
It’ll take a new role on the school newspaper and a new job at her mom’s tattoo shop for Kellie to realize that defining herself both outside and within her family is what can finally allow her to feel permanent, just like a tattoo.
I adored The Reece Malcolm List, Amy Spalding’s first book, and I am happy to say that I loved Ink is Thicker Than Water just as much.
I found the book to be so lovely, mainly because I loved the main character, Kellie, and related to her. Kellie is at the point in high school where she has to start figuring out her future. She’s been making personal changes in her life, figuring out what she likes and who she wants to be. Throughout the book Kellie has to deal with a new relationship, friendship problems, and her sister disappearing from her life.
In some books bringing so many issues together would make the story seem too busy, but Amy Spalding brings multiple issues together beautifully. Beyond Kellie, I also loved her big blended family, especially her mom and stepdad who are tattoo artists. Amy Spalding can write nuanced characters like no one’s business. Kellie’s dad and her sister are characters who you really dislike at times, but you can also empathize with them in a way that even Kellie can’t. Kellie’s love interest is also complicated: a lovely guy, but a character whose secrets may be troubling. I liked how he wasn’t the cookie cutter perfect guy.
Basically, if you like contemporary YA books about family and friendship, about navigating relationships of all kinds while at one of the most confusing times of life?--Definitely be sure to pick up Ink is Thicker Than Water. I adored every aspect of it.
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