Author: Dawn Metcalf
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Format: Digital ARC
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: July 30, 2013
Recommended Reading: 13+
Contains no spoilers. Received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
THE GIST: I consider Dawn Metcalf’s novel Indelible YA Perfection. I often struggle with urban fantasy, but THIS is what I hope for all those times I’m disappointed. Indelible contains all the elements that I love in a young adult novel. The characters were great, the love story was super sweet, and the author preserved a youthful innocence in an authentic way without sheltering the audience from more mainstream, mature issues. The story is solid, engaging, and never lags. It’s a great read that doesn’t disappoint on any level. If you’re looking for a young adult urban fantasy with magic, danger, and young love, check out Indelible.
SYNOPSIS: Some things are permanent.
And they cannot be changed back.
Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room—right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye. Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world—a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep, and a life that will never be the same.
Now, Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one—his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future…and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both. Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.
Somewhere between reality and myth lies…
THE TWIXT. (Goodreads)
BREAKDOWN: Indelible follows 16-year-old Joy Malone, an average girl with a not-so-subtle chip on her shoulder. Joy is swept into a magic “otherworld” after an encounter with a boy whom no one else can see. Suddenly, she’s continually approached by beings from a world she never knew existed, and worse, some of them are violent.
When Joy learns that she’s been claimed by Indelible Ink, a member of the Twixt, her life and Ink’s depend on the two of them posing as lovers convincingly. As Joy journeys further into Ink’s world and attempts to continue functioning in her own, dangers rise and Joy becomes closer than she ever expected to her supposed “master,” Ink.
What I love most about this book are the senses of wonder and youth. Many YA books lately are quite mature and heavy, and while I appreciate that young readers are not naïve, I think Metcalf understands that you can expose your readers to things (like sex, drugs/alcohol, and homosexuality) without the main character necessarily experiencing them. I like Joy’s innocence—she’s refreshing. I also respect her anger with her mother, her confusion over her brother, and her distance from her father. These are real problems, but none overshadow the real story here, which is a journey into a world where magical creatures walk unseen alongside humans.
This is my first time reading Dawn Metcalf, and I’m quite pleased that I gave this novel a shot (despite it being outside of my preferred genres). Metcalf’s writing is refined and skillful, but unlike other “seasoned” writers, she does not sacrifice the youthful voice and wonderful style that make this book so enjoyable. I can’t remember the last time I was this enamored by an author and her word choices. I’m not even sure I could explain why, you just have to see for yourself.
Indelible is a love story, but as I’ve said, it’s a sweet one… an innocent one compared to its more hormonally charged counterparts. There is violence but nothing I would call grotesque or over-the-top. As mentioned before, the book contains references to sex and drug and alcohol use but it’s all witnessed by the main character and doesn’t condone or involve her. It’s mostly a clean book that I’d happily recommend for young and less young readers alike.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Indelible is a sweet, imaginative, and fun read that draws the reader in—a great story told beautifully and skillfully. An easy recommend!
(Review originally posted on GliteraryGirl.com)