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Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr
Review by Gayle Surrette
HarperTeen Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061214684
Date: 01 May 2008 List Price $16.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Set in the world of Wicked Lovely, Leslie is a friend of Aislinn, the new Summer Queen, however, she knows nothing of Aislinn's new responsibilities, fairies, or courts. Aislinn has kept it all a secret from her school friends. But, Leslie has secrets of her own--her brother sold her for drugs, her father is a drunk, her job is not for spending money it's to pay the household bills. Leslie life is all about survival and control. She desperately wants control of her life and to never feel fear or shame again. Her first step is to get a tat. The artist is one she's been watching but she doesn't know that the tat will do more than decorate her flesh, and when she learns the truth it may be too late.

More Melissa Marr:
Wicked Lovely

Leslie is a normal teen with, I sincerely hope, a very abnormal family life. Once out of school, Leslie has to spend her time protecting herself. The consequences of a slip up are too dire and one in the past has shaken her to her core. She feels that in order to take control of herself she must first claim her body, and she sets out to find a good, clean tattoo parlor and artist. Then it's a matter of finding the right image for her. Unfortunately for Leslie, the parlor is owned by a member of the Dark Court and the image once inked and completed will change her life forever.

There's an old say -- be careful what you wish for -- the end is usually because what you wish for might not be what you want of need. Leslie wants to never feel fear again. But we know we're alive because we feel: pain, love, hate, shame, and all the others. What twist could fairy put on a wish like that? If you read fantasy, I'm sure you could imagine some very horrible twists. Well, Marr came up with her own twist on the problem and the story plays out with its own twists and turns.

Just as Aislinn managed to find a middle ground for her dilemma in Wicked Lovely, Leslie must reach deep inside herself to find her own solution. These are strong women and would be, no matter what their age. If the message is that there is no problem so bad that you can't find a way to stand on your own and set your own limits, then the message comes through very clearly. But, don't think for a minute that this story is about a message. It is first and foremost, an engaging tale that will keep you reading from first page to last.

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