Welcome to the blog tour for Ink is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding! This tour is hosted by Rockstar Book Tours and will be running from November 25th to December 6th. Be sure to check out the other tour stops by clicking the banner above or following the links at the end of this post. Also, enter the tour-wide giveaway below!
Ink is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding
eARC: 320 pages
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publishing Date: 3 December 2013
Age Level: Young Adult
Source: Provided for tour in exchange for an honest review
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.
review in which I stated one of the reasons I liked the book so much was because it was quiet and didn't make a bid deal about itself. The same really goes for Ink is Thicker Than Water. This book is such a great example of what life as a normal teenager really can be like. Kellie goes through so many things in this book, but it was all handled quite realistically. There's drama and family issues and all that, of course, but it doesn't slap you over the head with it and the drama isn't blown out proportion. I really found myself relating to the themes and characters in this novel. I think it's a true testament to the talent of the author when a story can speak to a reader on more than one level. Ink is Thicker Than Water definitely rings true with the good, the bad and the ugly parts of growing up.
Kellie is a pretty cool girl and I loved getting to hear the story from her point of view. She's a loving sister, a pretty good friend, a responsible daughter and a fairly decent student. She's pretty level-headed and kind of rolls with the punches, too. Another bonus, she loves old music. Specifically 60's music. I say, heck yes! Her relationship with her Mum was really nice to see. They are really close and you can tell how much they love one another. They're also a fair amount alike. I also love just how much Kellie adores her little brother - he's so stinking cute! Kellie might not totally get along with or understand her father, but she still loves him and wants his approval. It was also nice to see a sister relationship be portrayed so well. It hurt my heart when her sister started to pull away, but once things get explained, it made me feel a little better. I still don't think her sister handled it well, but I can understand why she acted the way she did. I also love that the author portrayed a step-parent in a positive light. Kellie and her step-dad get along pretty dang well, which was most refreshing to see. I simply love how the family plays a big role in this novel. In essence, I think this novel is about family. You can love them to bits or want to rip your hair out with how annoying they are, but they're family. I loved how, though they're definitely far from perfect, Kellie's family is also very real. Again, this book is so realistic!
One little story bit I thought was unnecessary was the fallout between Kellie and her best friend, Kaitlyn. One minute they're best buds and the next, her friend wants absolutely nothing to do with her. Then again, I kind of had the same experience. I had a friend, just like Kellie, who I grew up with, but one day didn't want to have anything to do with me because I wasn't popular and didn't care to be. I've never been one to chase popularity, so this sudden distancing really stung. We became friends again later, but we were (and are) still not even half as close as we used to be. It's sad, but then again, that's growing up, right? People learn and experience and change and sometimes grow apart. It's sad when it happens, but that's just how things are. As a plot device, I'm not so sure it was needed. Then again, as I'm typing this, I realize it does make it just one more thing for our poor, already overwhelmed Kellie to have to deal with. Speaking of relationships, I'm still on the fence about the love interest, Oliver. For one, he's already in college. For another, they had a near sexual interaction the first time they ever met. Then he comes back into her life and they almost pick up where they left off, being all intense and stuff? I don't know. Maybe it's because I never had a teenage love, but I just didn't buy it. Their relationship never sat well with me. Oliver, as stated before, is a really intense guy. I sometimes worried that he might have something wrong with him and I worried for the safety of our girl, Kellie! Some things are explained later, but I'm still not quite satisfied. So much happens to her! I remember thinking that there's only so much one person can take on before they explode. Thankfully, Kellie has a much more solid head on her shoulder than most.
I was really glad when Kellie started to discover herself and what she's good at a bit more after joining the school newspaper. For a student who just kind of wants to skate by unnoticed, without much fuss, it was really good to see her start to participate. I know, I probably sound so old by saying that, but still. I remember wanting to find my place at about the same age, so I could definitely relate to that as well. I liked her newspaper friends a lot. They're all really quirky and driven and I think they're a good influence on Kellie, for the most part. Again, they all have their flaws, but they're quite decent kids. And realistic... can't forget that.
Overall, I am so happy I was able to add Ink is Thicker Than Water to the list of amazing books I've read this year. I feel as though it might have been a little rushed at the end, but it's still a pretty dang solid story. This is my first Amy Spalding novel, but it's definitely not going to be the last. If you're looking for a heartwarming, realistic coming-of-age story with a great focus on family relationships, I highly recommend this book. Give it a shot. You won't regret it.
A favorite quote: “The lesson I take from this is that love is finding someone who thinks everything about you that's weird is actually hot.”
And just because I think it would be fun to share - and I'm a sucker for music anyway - here's Kellie's favorite song, Bus Stop by The Hollies! Happy listening!
Amy Spalding grew up in St. Louis, but now lives in the better weather of Los Angeles. She received a B.A. in Advertising & Marketing Communications from Webster University, and currently works as the Digital Media Planner for an independent film advertising agency. Amy studied longform improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, and can be seen performing around L.A.
2 Copies of Ink is Thicker Than Water (you want one, trust me!)a Rafflecopter giveaway
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