Title – ‘Ink’
Author – Alice Broadway
Published – February 2nd 2017 by Scholastic
Pages – 366
Format – Paperback
Book Summary –
‘Every action, every deed, every significant moment is tattooed on your skin for ever. When Leora’s father dies, she is determined to see her father remembered forever. She knows he deserves to have all his tattoos removed and made into a Skin Book to stand as a record of his good life. But when she discovers that his ink has been edited and his book is incomplete, she wonders whether she ever knew him at all.’
*Warning – Contains MINOR spoilers*
If you ever want a book that is absolutely visually stunning then this is definitely one of those books. It was the main reason I ended up buying it… yep, a pure cover buy. Although the story did intrigue me as well, so it’s not like I bought it without the intention of reading it. Now… they say don’t judge a book by it’s cover… more often than not a cover can be absolutely stunning and then the story be a complete flop.. and visa versa. This unfortunately was one of those books, the cover is wonderful but the book left me feeling a little… underwhelmed.
Now I will say this… the story line itself shows incredible promise but for me… the way it was presented just didn’t do it justice. This book has a lot of detail and information included about culture and history and why skin books came about and why they’re important. You have to be 100% focused if you actually want to take it all in. Pretty much throughout the whole book you’re thrown snippets of history… it became quite overwhelming… I found myself skipping over some of the ‘childrens stories’ included in the later half of the book because it was just too much. If you’re someone who likes to be completely immersed in the culture and history of a story then you’d probably love this book. However if you want a progressing story line, developing characters and good sense of scene then… probably not a book for you.
This book took a long time for the story to actually get going. I was about half way through the book before the ‘main element’ of the story really started to form… that of Leora’s fathers downfall as you were. The first half was very much ‘history based’… a lot of background information and it did leave me wondering if anything was actually going to end up happening at all. This, for me, was one of the books that probably could have done with an extra 100 pages or so.. just so the ending could have really been built into something that felt… worthwhile. Because, if I’m honest, I only finished this book 2 days ago and can barely actually remember much… it isn’t a book that will stick with me for sure.
Now… going on to the characters. None really stood out for me… they were all simply… ok, average if you will. The strongest personality out of the characters we met was Karl for me… and even then I got incredibly confused by his sudden change in personality at the end of the book. He went from being arrogant and somewhat mean to suddenly giving a damn. So whilst, yes, he did have the most prominent personality… he still had a odd mixture of different elements towards the end. Leora herself was, again, average… she just didn’t strike any particular cord with me at all. She was.. pretty stereotypical. Overwhelming at points and then massively underwhelming at others. Her connection to Oscar annoyed me greatly as well…at one point she seemed to be falling for him and they seemed to growing a connection and then by the end that element of the story seemed to be completely forgotten. There were so many loose ends in this book… so so many.
Leora seemed like she matured somewhat but when you look at the bigger picture… she really didn’t grow up that much. She was much more child like throughout most of the book and only really showed a little bit of grown up courage right at the very end… and even then her getting the mark of the forgotten tattooed across her chest could have simply been seen as an element of childlike rebellion. Verity was a nice character, the loyal best friend that usually gets screwed over in some way… again… stereotypical but a nice calming addition I suppose. Obel too was… I don’t know, ok? He seemed to almost be stepping up to into that father figure role at times but… started off as too much of an ‘asshole’ for me to really fit him into that role. Again his personality seemed to be going from pillar to post… and whilst he had more of a reason than most it was… incredibly frustrating. None of the characters truly acted how I would have seen myself acting if I was in their positions… and whilst yes, everyone is different and therefore some contrast is understandable I feel like it was just too prominent in this story.
To sum up… this story is to slow to start. It’s incredibly detailed and whilst it was understandable, to a point, we were given too much in much to big chunks to fully be able to enjoy the story. You’d have information thrown at you for all corners and it really did become a little too much for me… especially when the story itself doesn’t progress with much pace or with a fulfilling ending. It’s a shame because the concept is actually really really intriguing… I just don’t think the idea of skin books and this culture and the whole concept of these ‘evil’ blanks being these simply misunderstood people was presented in the best fashion. The characters weren’t memorable for me and frankly the lack of progression… the fact it took the whole book just to get from A to B… really did me in. Again… like I’ve said, it’s a shame, the story line did hold a lot of promise… it just wasn’t written in a way, that for me, did it any justice.
Would I suggest this book to other bookworms?
If you like being thrown a lot of history and stories about a culture then yes… otherwise… no.
Am I completely in love with this book?
No where near!
Will I be reading the next book in the series?
Reading… no. If the next book has a pretty cover I might buy it for visuals… because I’m a sucker for a pretty cover.
[I rate this book 2/5 stars]