By Holly Hood
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
I have mixed feelings about this book. It's a pretty sexy YA with some very dark themes included. That isn't my reservation though.
We have Hope, who along with her dad and twin brothers, has moved to a town called Cherry, CA. She's 17 and starting school soon at an academy for the arts. She loves music: dancing, singing. So what does she do on her first night in town? Follows the group of people she sees on the beach going to a rock concert in the park. The rock concert proves to be rambunctious and she is constantly being thrown about and almost trampled. Enter Slade who comes to her rescue.
Slade is 19, covered in tattoos, has a lip ring, wears the standard black. He's a mysterious character and remains mysterious and aloof most of the book.
Holly is trying to make it work at this new school but she's kind of an outcast already just for having hung out with Slade. The town is very judgmental. Extremely so.
The plot is great. I like the idea of what's happening and how it's solved. My reservations come with the writing. The chapters end so abruptly. It feels like they just end in the middle of something and I was left wanting more. When the next chapter picks up, time has passed and it's moved on and I'm left wanting to know what has happened in the meantime. I feel that we miss out on some important information.
A few things are left unexplained, or unbelievable to me. So the Evil Kings of Ink live in a tour bus that's parked at the park they perform at. They have shows practically night after night and they are constantly packed. How does a band have that much material to play in the same place probably to the same crowd all the time? I love music and all but I would probably get sick of seeing a favorite band performing the same songs night after night. But this is really just a personal opinion.
The character developments are good enough with a few exceptions. My problem is with Holly. She comes to Cherry young and naive in the ways of boys. Wow. She moves pretty fast and juggles a couple of boys for a short time. I was kind of surprised by that. The beginning mentions she has never found anyone worthy of her affections to all of a sudden being attracted to two different guys and getting a little bit of action. I'm not talking about having sex right away with either but still. Also, I had a big problem with how she just forgives Tucker after he was a huge dickhead. Really, he demeans her, humiliates her, has shady hidden agendas and a skeezy dad and she just forgives him?
Those reasons above prevent me from giving it more than 3 stars. Overall I did enjoy it and really like Slade and his misfit family. Slade and Holly have great page time and some pretty steamy moments. The book kind of ends abruptly with vague answers as to what just happened at the end involving the villains.
With all that said, I WILL be picking up the sequel Ink: Twisted Magic at some point to continue on with the story arc now that my curiosity is piqued.