Ink by Alice Broadway, published by Scholastic on 2nd February 2017
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' is a captivating read and a marvellous debut from author Alice Broadway. The first in a trilogy, I was engrossed in Leora's story from the very first chapter. Broadway writes with an easy style which immediately drew me into the book and I thought that both her plot and characterisation were spot on. I really only meant to read a few chapters but I ended up devouring the story in one sitting.
The premise of the story is a society in which each individual tattoos their life story onto their bodies. The tattoos are a permanent record of their names, family trees and significant others. They show that they are a good person with nothing to hide. Certain people within their society are able to read tattoos, of which Leora is one. When someone dies, their tattoos stand as a testament to the person and if they are deemed worthy, are made into a Skin Book which the family are able to keep as a record of their life. At the beginning of the book, Leora's father dies and much of the story revolves around whether or not he is entitled to have his own book. In the process, Leora discovers secrets about her father that lead her to conclude that she may not have truly known what kind of person he was.
The way of life of the society is threatened by Blanks. People who do not carry tattoos on their skin. They are considered to be subversive and dangerous. Leora has always been warned against them until she begins to discover a threatening connection of her own to them.
'Ink' was a brilliant read which felt very fresh and original. I haven't come across a YA book that I've enjoyed quite as much as this in such a long time. I'm excited to see where Leora's story will take her and I'm full of anticipation about the next steps of her journey. A cracking read which I would recommend without hesitation.