Friday, April 3, 2009

Review: Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

The very definition of compulsive reading for me are these stinking books. Melissa Marr has created a world so dark, yet compelling that I get totally sucked in. I do things like listen to Evanescence in my car and feel all moody. I also find that the book has a permanent place in my hands...I can't put the darn thing down. So in short, I love them. I love them in that passionate, "don't care if they're not the finest literary masterpieces, they capture my imagination and consume my thoughts" sort of way. I didn't expect to. When I first read Wicked Lovely, I thought I would only tolerate it. A book about faery? I thought. How good can it be? Well the answer is...very, very good. Some kind of spoilers (but not really) for Wicked Lovely below.

Ink Exchange is the story of Leslie, Aislinn's friend. It continues the world we were introduced to in Wicked Lovely, Aislinn is now the Summer Queen and adjusting to that role. Leslie is broken and feels very alone. She has been violated in that way which is the worst for us as women by the people who should love her most, and has no one to talk to about it. She decides to get a tattoo as a way of asserting her independence and autonomy over her body. She chooses what she thinks is the perfect tattoo.

But the tattoo she has chosen has consequences. It links to her the King of the Dark Court. In exchange for feeding through her, she receives numbness from all feeling.

This is a powerful story about addiction, about the necessity of pain and all things in balance. It's about choice and choosing to hold onto yourself, to live through the pain of life.

I loved Leslie and felt so much for her. I also really liked Irial, the Dark King, and felt for Niall. I could live without Keenan.

I guess a lot of people liked this book less than Wicked Lovely, but I adored it. I think it's a powerful story with an ageless theme. I'm almost hesitant to say this, but I recommend this book to Twilight fans who might be looking for a new read. The main reason being that Marr does that angsty teenage relationship thing well, but without compromising the strength of her female characters. In fact, part of why I love these books so much is that the female characters are wonderful and strong, willing to self sacrifice in ways that make sense, and make tough decisions without compromising themselves.

I have Fragile Eternity waiting here for me, and I can't wait to dig in!

Rating: 4.75/5
Things You Might Want to Know: This is a dark book, with a little bit of strong language, smoking, drug references, and sex references. Nothing is really described, though.



Literary Feline said...

Wicked Lovely was one of those books that I would pause by when browsing in the bookstore, month after month. I finally brought home a copy but haven't managed to read it yet. I do enjoy reading books about the fae, it's the YA label that makes me hesitate. I'll get to it though. I can't resist. :-)

I am glad you enjoyed the second book in the series as well!

Amy said...

You know, Wicked Lovely was actually the book that made me realize I could still passionately love YA! I hope so much that when you read it, you like it, Wendy!

Kailana said...

I really like this trilogy so far! Lucky you that you have book three all ready! I have to wait until it comes out...

Beth F said...

I skimmed your review because I'm so paranoid about spoilers! But I plan to get to Ink Exchange before I read Fragile Eternity. Both you and J. Kaye liked this one better than WL. Hard to believe because WL is up among my top reads for the year.

S. Krishna said...

I skimmed your review, but it made me really want to read Wicked Lovely!!!!

Jo said...

Great review. I love Melissa Marr, I think she's fantastic. Ink Exchange is such a dark but powerful book. I loved it, but found the things that happened in it really affeted me. I'm going to add a link to your review from mine :)

Amy said...

Kailana...hmmm, I pretty much begged for it. :)

Beth...can't wait to hear your thoughts! it! It will only take you about 5 minutes!

Jo...thanks! I'm so glad you enjoyed the book, too!

samantha.1020 said...

I haven't had the chance to read this series yet but have Wicked Lovely requested from the library. I'm glad to hear that you enjoy it so much!

Amy said...

Sam...I can't wait to hear what you think when you get a chance to read it!

Alix said...

I've had Wicked Lovely sitting on my shelf for ages now. I don;t know why i haven;t read it yet. I think it looks so that I'm waiting for a time when I can read it without interruption but I should probably just start :) The whole series sounds great, thanks for the review.

Debbie's World of Books said...

I need to pick this up. I read Wicked Lovely and Fragile Eternity but skipped this one since it said it wasn't a sequel to Wicked Lovely. After reading Fragile Eternity I realized I missed a lot not reading Ink Exchange first.

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