Review: Ink by Alice Broadway

Ink by Alice Broadway
Published by Scholastic Ltd.
Released 2nd February 2017
366 Pages

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.


Ink was the book that I read for the Young Adult Book Club I am part of at my local Waterstones. If it wasn’t for that I would have never known about it. The first thing that drew me to it was the gorgeous cover. It’s just stunning. The colours stand out and the added shine to it just made it eye popping. Then I read the blurb and I knew that this was going to be the kind of book I wanted to read. I am a big lover of tattoos so the fact that the title was called Ink made me desperate to dive into it.

Leora lives in a society where every moment in your life is tattooed onto your skin. This creates a life story that is kept forever. When a person in this society dies their marked skin is removed and made into a book for the family to keep. When her father dies Leora is determined to have her father remembered forever. But, when she discovers her father’s ink has been edited, meaning his book is incomplete she starts to to wonder if she ever really knew him at all.

To build a unique world such as this one it does take a lot of building and that’s what I felt the first half was really about – the world building. This meant that the pacing was rather slow and at times I did feel like giving up but I loved the concept that I found the will to carry on. We didn’t really get into the main plot until just after halfway through and then that felt a bit rushed. I can understand that books like this need to focus on building up the fictional world but this can slightly deter readers who are longing to see the plot build. The ending was rather anti-climatic and although there was a big reveal I found it to be pretty predictable. I wanted more action and I felt a bit disheartened. 

Despite this, the concept behind the story really interested me. The idea of having every moment marked onto your skin is something that hasn’t been done before in YA to this standard. You can tell a lot of research was done about tattoos and the tattooing process, especially in the scenes where Leora is learning to become an inker. The detail about it made me feel like I was there sitting in the tattooist’s chair. The thought of having your skin cut off and made into a book after you die may turn a few stomachs but I could see how in this fictional world it was the best way to keep a part of your dearly departed with you. The fables that were added throughout the story was a great way to let us readers discover how the art of inking in this world began. It was a lovely touch and I throughly enjoyed reading them.

Leora, our protagonist was a character that I couldn’t connect with at first. This was mainly due to how much was being focused on the world building. However, after the first one hundred or so pages I found myself somewhat liking her. Yes, she isn’t the best female character in YA but her determination to save her father’s soul was commendable. I did want to find out more about her as a person. She was a pretty one dimensional character in my opinion. I am hoping that she will open up more in the sequel to this book.

Overall, Ink was enjoyable to a certain extent. The concept was what kept me going and the world was really unique and unlike anything in YA today. Despite this, I felt like a lot of time was spent on building up the world and not on the plot and storyline. I will be reading the sequel when it is released though, as I feel that an idea like this can go far.

Author Bio

Alice drinks more tea than is really necessary and loves writing in her yellow camper van. She hates being too hot or too cold, and really likes wearing lipstick and watching terrible Christmas movies.

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