This story gives a new meaning to the phrase “I can read you like an open book”.
Leora, a sixteen year old aspiring Inker, is part of a community that lives in the hope of an afterlife where one forever remains amongst the greats as a collection of tattoos acquired over a lifetime, preserved in a skin book on display for all to see in the museum at the heart of the town.
Although Leora is grieving her recently deceased father, the upcoming ceremony validating her father’s honourable life lessens her sense of loss somewhat, and knowing that he will have his place amongst others in the museum brings her comfort as he will remain close.
However it appears Leora’s father’s may have had a mark removed from his skin casting doubt over his irreproachable life. And while Leora has to reconcile this new event with the man who raised her, the prospect of getting the best grades in her chosen field is also adding some pressure.
Sadly this is nothing compared to what is to come, as Leora’s life is about to change in ways that she has not anticipated and her ability to read people skin deep, may not be enough to help her adjust and accept her new reality.
Ink is an interesting take on a coming of age story. The not quite fitting in teenager going through changing life events on her way to self-discovery is a tale that has been told many times, however “Ink” brings in a fascinating layer to the genre.
The making of skin books, the prestige it bestows and its sacred associated rituals are a solid foundation to the main character’s community, and any threat to it, will be met with the harshest punishments, even though no real crimes has been committed and the only driver is fear itself. Fear of anyone who happens to be different.
If you are looking for YA that is a little different, you will enjoy this.
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