Ink: beautifully written story about the importance of how we remember people.
“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 tells the story of Leora, who lives in a society where your ink is your life. Your ink tells the story of your life: the good, the bad and the ugly. Your ink is the thing you are judged on when you die. Your ink tells your story. Your family get to keep your ‘skin book’ when you’ve been ‘judged’. You’re judged by your ink.
As you can well imagine when Leora’s dad dies she wants him to be justly remembered and she wishes to have his skin book, just as the rest of her ancestors have. They have their skin books on display in the houses. The skin books are read and it’s the way you remember those who have passed. Unfortunately Leora’s dad’s book isn’t as simply delivered, this isn’t a normal case. His book isn’t complete, his book isn’t true to him. His book has been changed. Leora wants justice. She just wants to be allowed to remember her dad. She misses him. She loves him. His ink should show he’s a good man, right?
I loved this story. I loved the idea that your ink, your skin tell your story. Essentially those of us who are inked that is what we are doing. We tell our story through our ink. But what if our ink had more of a meaning? What if our ink was the thing people judged us by? Throughout the story you are exposed to the importance of people’s ink to their living memory. It is very much impressed on you that the ink is the important thing. People were not allowed to be remembered if their ink didn’t reflect a good life. Imagine that? Not only that but there’s the Blanks to contend with. People without ink. Rebels. Outcasts. Shunned away from Leora’s city for not conforming. Blanks become pretty important in Leora’s life.
I loved the characters. I instantly took a liking to Leora. She seemed gutsy and likeable. She wasn’t naive. She knew what she wanted. She had internal conflicts. She doubted. She questioned. She pushed. But she knew where to stop. She has a complicated relationship with her mam. I really enjoyed watching this relationship go from cold, to trusting, to deception. Secrets always make a story more interesting. Big secrets, the one that Leora’s mam is hiding changes everything. Leora’s best friend shows beautiful loyalty and conflict so well. Do what’s right or do what benefits your friends? An important dilemma that I think everyone goes through at some point. You come across characters who’ll make you angry, characters who make you question everything. Characters who reassure you that appearances are deceptive, in a good way. I despised the Mayor. When you meet him you’ll find out why. Repugnant man.
The one thing that stands out to me throughout my whole reading was this concept of “remembering people”. In the book Leora is only allowed to remember people who have been judged as good people, but surely everyone is remembered in some way? You can’t forget someone just because they’re “bad”. I loved this concept. Remember people who are no longer here however you wish. People make an imprint on your lives for a reason. People deserve to remembered in any way you wish to remember them.
My goodreads review of Ink read:
“Incredibly woven with narrative interspersed with fairy tales. A beautiful story about the power of remembering people as they are or as they were. Should we only remember their good? Should we be judged? The ending is something special indeed.”
Thank you so much Scholastic for sending me a copy!
Have you read Ink?
What did you think of it?
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