I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Ink is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding
Also by this author: , Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys)
on December 3rd 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Love & Romance, Family, Parents, Alternative Family, Siblings
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Intriguing, romantic, and wholly original, Amy Spalding's sophomore novel is the perfect blend of humor and heart. Find out why Trish Doller called it full of "compassion, humor, love, and pitch-perfect authenticity."
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 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.
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.
Ink Is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding is a book that sat unread on my Kindle for longer than necessary. Seriously, every time I finish an Amy Spalding book I am all, wow that was good, I should read the rest of the books I have by her. But then I always take forever to getting around to the rest of her books. So, Ink Is Thicker Than Water is the third book I’ve read by Amy Spalding and yes, I quite enjoyed it. Yes, I still find myself ready to jump on the next book I have by Spalding which is The New Guy.
Amy Spalding’s Ink Is Thicker Than Water is about Kellie Brooks, this girl who is super funny but struggling to find her way in the world. The book opens with Kellie and her best friend Kaitlyn at a popular people party. Kellie is not a fan at all of the party, but goes because Kaitlyn wants to hook up with this guy named Garrett. Eventually, they end up meeting up with Kellie’s sister Sara and her boyfriend Dexter. Oh yeah and Dexter’s brother – Oliver – whom Kellie definitely has a past with. So, anyways, eventually the story goes into this plot where Kellie’s best friend Kaitlyn drops her from her life. Also, Kellie’s sister Sara meets her birth mom and also becomes distant. Meanwhile, Kellie begins to see Oliver again.
Of course, Kellie is the kind of main character we can relate to — or at least that I can relate to. She sees herself as not being as good as everyone else. She’s got this lack of confidence and vulnerability that I know I had as a teenager. I liked that as she began joining in with this school newspaper, she began to find her voice. She finally begins to really believe in herself and that she does have talent, even if she’s not an academic superstar like her sister Sara or in the in crowd like Kaitlyn.
As for the romance in Ink Is Thicker Than Water, the summary lead me to believe this would be one of those abusive sorts of romances. Let me just say it is not. Instead, we have boundaries that are explored. Kellie learns what she is and is not comfortable with when it comes to pacing. I liked Oliver and Kellie as a couple. They have some pretty good banter and chemistry. I also liked how the book addresses some not so great things about Oliver’s history. Let’s just say there is communication and things are addressed in a realistic and healthy manner.
The other best elements in Ink Is Thicker Than Water are that of family and friendship. So, Kellie’s mom and stepdad Russell run a local tattoo parlor. They are pretty much the parents we all wish they had and written so, so well. Kellie’s dad is a lawyer and he isn’t that great but eventually is redeemed. Also, there’s Kellie’s little brother who gets pirates and ninjas confused, but is generally wonderful too. Most important is the complex relationship between Kellie and Sara and the growing pains it endures.
When it comes to friendship though, I liked that this book shows how people occasionally outgrow friendships. Yet, you can still care about those people even when your lives have gone in different directions. I also loved how Kellie gets this core group of friends with the newspaper staff and the role this girl Adelaide plays. There’s a whole lot of learning and growing that Kellie does which makes for a good character arc.
Other reviews of Ink Is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding:
- The Midnight Garden – “a natural and honest voice“
- Pinkindle – “it took me forever to finish“
- Slatebreakers – “The characters are fascinating“