Ink by Holly Hood
ORDER A COPY: Ink
Publisher: Self Published
Publishing Date: August 19, 2011
EBook: 348 pages
Rating: 3 stars
Hope didn’t ask for so much change in her life. She was happy living in Georgia for the rest of her life. Focusing on the things she loved the most: singing, dancing, and her best friend Karsen. This was effortless, she had no worries.
But all that changed when her mother decided to leave her dad for Pete, the Tae Kwon do instructor. And now Hope had to choose between staying where she belonged or moving far away to Cherry, California with her dad.
After making the choice to move far away, to protect her father, Hope realizes Cherry is nothing like the hometown she’s used to. Everyone is rude, high class and she doesn’t fit in. Not until Slade comes along. He has never fit in and he is okay with that. And Hope is fascinated by everything that Slade is. All the way down to his tattoos and bat wielding rescue the first time they meet.
She knows she should stay far away from him, but it proves tricky as she discovers dark secrets about the town and people in Cherry, California. Hope doesn’t know who to trust as her life takes a turn from ordinary and depressing to dangerous and wild.
Hope moves with her soon-to-be divorced father and two brothers to their new home in Cherry, California. They move into their grandmother’s beach house so they can start a new life away from her cheating mother, and so Hope can go to a High School for the musically gifted.
She doesn’t really fit in with the snobby and odd kids in the school. The Mayor’s son, Tucker, is very interested in getting to know the new girl in Town, and tries to seduce her.
Hope is more interested in the gorgeous and tattooed Slade when they meet at a concert by the Evil Kings of Ink. Slade isn’t so interesting to everyone in the Town. Several think that he is responsible for the death of a local girl last year and want Hope to stay away.
Hope knows there is more to the story than anyone is saying and she comes to believe in Slade’s innocence, but she knows that there is something very odd going on in Cherry, California, and that Slade is hiding something very important.
I so hate to give a bad review, but in fairness to all the wonderful stories I have been reading lately, and since the basic purpose of this blog was to point out books that you should read and books that you should pass up, I have decided to post this blog.
I was terribly disappointed with this book. I was very excited to give it a try and when I started, I had high hopes for where the story would go. I will say in this case, this self-published book would be improved by a very good editor.
This story had great potential, but there were too many story plots going on, including the malevolent spirit of Slade’s former girlfriend who didn’t show up until almost the end of the book. This would have been an interesting plot if this was the plot of the book, and it worked well with the ending of the story, but since she literally pops in near the end, it was just distracting. We already spent the majority of the book dealing with the history and who did it of last year’s dead girl, a secondary Tucker vs Slade as Hope’s love interest and a whole third plot of the oddities of the band and the weird happenings at their concerts, then tossed in at the end is the fourth plot of the dead, jealous ex-girlfriend (different dead girl then the murdered girl).
There were also several issues and characters which were not needed, which faded to the background and/or really didn’t add anything to the story. For example, Hope is to attend this special high school for her music and dance. Except for the first day of school, and specific introductions to two of her classes both of which are pointed out as odd, we don’t really go back with her to school. There is a whole set up about the odd sociology teacher, who says to call her “Mrs. Legs,” which seems to be setting the story line with a “what’s up with her?” and then we never hear about her or her class again. We also never hear about Hope dancing and except for once singing for the guys in the band, we never hear about her singing again. So what was the point of a special school instead of just sending her to a regular school, and since she doesn’t sing with the band, why does she even need to sing at all?
The fact that she had two brothers and a third little brother who stayed behind with the mother added nothing to the storyline and could easily be removed from the story.
My last complaint would be that several of the characters, including Hope, did a lot of flip-flopping in their personalities. For example, no matter what others said about Slade, Hope’s father kept an open mind and didn’t pre-judge him and even welcomed him for dinner and then at one point he must have drank the Town Kool-Aid and suddenly it was “Stay away from Slade” and “Why aren’t you going out with that nice boy Tucker.”
This story definitely had such potential, Slade was a great character, but the book as a whole needs to be tweaked and tightened up to be a really good story.
Received courtesy copy from the author. Thank you.
I dropped my head, picked at my nail polish, at a loss. I wasn’t the girl who knew how to do any of this stuff. But I knew when I found someone interesting. And Slade was interesting.
“You could be a really famous singer someday. Well, I actually can’t believe you’re not already.” I admitted, looking away. I was sure I looked like some silly fan.
“I’m happy right here,” he said, his body moving quicker to the music as it picked up.
“I thought someone like you would love tours and girls going crazy for you.”
“I’m happy right here. I get to sing and do what I love,” he said again. I sighed, going back to the music below us.
“Do you do what you love?” he asked, turning to look at me now, his lip ring flashing in the moonlight.
“I try,” I answered, trying to give a short explanation, one as short as his. If he wasn’t willing to divulge any more information I wasn’t going to either.
“Well, let’s hear,” he said, turning to face me now.
I touched my face, feeling bashful. After hearing him sing I really didn’t feel too confident.
“I wouldn’t even know what to sing about,” I told him, my face on fire.
“Whatever you want. It can be what you sing in the shower. I just want to hear your voice.” He waited again, his hands gripping his knees.
I stared at him. He seemed serious, but maybe too serious. Finally, after a long silence, he jumped up. “Give me two seconds.”
I swallowed, watching him hop back off of the roof. I waited patiently, wondering what it was he was going. He had already impressed me with his voice. What more could he do?
“Hope!” Slade called out from below. Seconds later the head of a guitar popped up. “Grab that.”
I did as he asked, bringing the guitar on the rooftop. Slade did a quick shimmy coming up. He took the guitar from me, taking a seat, his legs crossed Indian style. I sat down in front of him, my stomach in knots. He slowly plucked at each string, looking at me now. “Fast or slow?”
I bit my lip. “Slow,” I told him, clearing my voice. I took a giant breath, praying I didn’t mess it up. I didn’t want to look like a fool in front of him.