Since summer began, I set myself a new goal to try and read as many new books as I possibly can. This really has been difficult, as I usually just end up reading the same old book as usual, stuck in the same repetitive cycle with no way out. So to avoid this, I wondered into Waterstones and picked out a few new books. I was very strict that any book I was drawn to, I would try. One of these books I picked out was Ink by Alice Broadway, and it is wonderful.
‘Ink’, by Alice Broadway | ★★★★✩
Ink is based around a dystopian society, where every person’s life, with all its failures and achievements, is tattooed on their skin. Your truths are laid bare by your marks and you live on through your skin book, which is passed down through generations and worshiped with hope of being remembered. Those without marks are known as the blanks, and they are more dangerous than anything. Ink follows the story of a young girl, Leora, who’s father has recently passed away, as she waits for his ‘skin book’ to be realised so she can take him home. If he does not pass the weighing ceremony, where he’s morality will be judged, he will be burnt and his soul will not be able to pass to the afterlife. Though it seems like a strange premise when described so bluntly, it turned out to be incredibly interesting. Imagine being able to know everything about everyone just my looking at them. Not being able to have a single secret.
It took me a while to get into the book at first, but a couple of days ago I decided to give it another go and, somehow it suddenly clicked! The writing is beautifully poetic and I found myself wanting more every time I was forced to put the book down. Unlike most young adult fiction, the story doesn’t centre around Romance – which though is great, I find it can get dull and repetitive. It looks more at friendship and the complications of family, the secrets that are held between people and the consequences when the truth is laid bare. After I got back into it, I honestly finished the entire book in about 3 hours. It was just so good.
Leora, the protagonist, like most female leads is strong and good, but differs in the fact that she is unsure and confused. She’s at the point in life where she is growing from a student to an adult in a full time job, but simultaneously she is struggling with the death of her father. She is human. She has hopes and dreams, fears and nightmares. And when things start the change, she doubts her faith and she questions if what she was taught was true. Her fathers death is the catalyst to the storyline of the book and is always lying under the surface – it makes her question everything, bringing on an amazing ending.
All the little ends are tied up in the final two chapters, until the last page when more unravel. I closed the book today feeling completely thrilled by the ending – there must be more on the way, that can’t be the end of the story.
If you need a new book for your self, definitely try out Ink, it really is a refreshing read with a rather original premise.