Friday, 7 March 2014

Ink is Thicker than Water by Amy Spalding



Ink is Thicker than Water by Amy Spalding
Published Dec 3, 2013 by Entangled Teen
Source: the publisher via Netgalley and I received a signed copy from Maggie
Rating: 5 stars

From the blurb:  For Kellie Brooks, family has always been a tough word to define. Combine her hippie mom and tattooist stepdad, her adopted overachieving sister, her younger half brother, and her tough-love dad, and average Kellie’s the one stuck in the middle, overlooked and impermanent. When Kellie’s sister finally meets her birth mother and her best friend starts hanging with a cooler crowd, the feeling only grows stronger.
But then she reconnects with Oliver, the sweet and sensitive college guy she had a near hookup with last year. Oliver is intense and attractive, and she’s sure he’s totally out of her league. But as she discovers that maybe intensity isn’t always a good thing, it’s yet another relationship she feels is spiraling out of her control.
It’ll take a new role on the school newspaper and a new job at her mom’s tattoo shop for Kellie to realize that defining herself both outside and within her family is what can finally allow her to feel permanent, just like a tattoo.

Ink is Thicker than Water by Amy Spalding is set in Webster Groves, St Louis. Sixteen year old Kellie Brooks is convinced that never being excited about anything is the way to go, that is until she joins the school newspaper and starts seeing Oliver. She feels out-shined by her older and adopted sister, Sara; yet she holds nothing against her, but does feel slighted by her biological father’s reaction. She adores her younger brother Finn and can’t wait to start working at the tattoo shop owned by her mother and step-father, Russell.

I read and loved Amy Spalding’s debut novel, The Reece Malcolm List, and after reading this it's clear that Amy is skilled at writing about families and friends. She can write a quirky main character, but not one who is trying to be different on purpose. Kellie isn’t interested in sneaking into bars or the latest fashion but her best friend, Kaitlyn, is suddenly changing and she and Kellie start to drift apart.  Luckily for Kellie there are some awesome kids at her unconventional high school, ones that will help her with her newspaper column and bring her vanilla hot chocolates (yum!)

On the family front I have to say it makes for such a nice change to have parents present throughout the entire story and not just one pair, three individuals! Kellie regularly visits her biological dad and lives with her mother and step-father. Her mother is pretty relaxed and so loving. Russel was such a positive example of a step-father who loves his step-kids as much as if they were his own.

The book touches on mental illness with an event from Oliver’s past being revealed to Kellie via his brother, and her new friend Annabelle also contributes to this topic. It was handled well showing that you don’t have to overreact to someone’s past and that people can change.

A couple of other positives: Kellie spends a good amount of time deciding if she is ready to have sex with Oliver, there is talk of contraception, and there’s no pressure on his end. Also, there is plenty of communication between the characters in this bok. Kellie is lucky to have two parents who are always there to talk with, even if she doesn’t enjoy talking about sex with her mum. Kellie sometimes finds it hard to talk to Sara, but their willingness to help each other out was admirable.

On a personal note, I loved the many, many vegan references due to Russell being a vegan. Sure, Kellie doesn’t always appreciate the vegan bacon, brunch, or donuts; but I am ready to move to this town and have Russell adopt me.

Overall this was such a sweet, funny, heart-warming read. Kellie’s narration was captivating, I loved her family, and her life was enjoyable to read about.

Thank you to the lovely people at Entangled for my Netgalley copy, and to Maggie for my signed paperback.


I love the front cover of this book but the back cover was more inspiring to me nail art-wise!


I used 2 coats of China Glaze Four Leaf Clover as the base of this manicure.


I used a fine brush and acrylic paint to do the birds -  I really enjoyed painting these birds, they're so sweet.


This green actually matches the cover perfectly but I could not get it to photograph accurately, d'oh!





46 comments:

  1. Those birds turned out amazing! So much detail to them :)

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  2. The Reece Malcome List is on my TBR, I hadn't realized this was the same author. Glad you enjoyed it =) I love when books have a big family aspect to them! Those birds must have taken forever, so much detail.

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  3. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Mandee! I loved the depth and complexity of the family relationships in this, though the romance didn't entirely work for me. LOVE the nails though - so detailed! :)

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  4. I enjoyed this one, too, although I definitely liked Reece Malcolm better. My favorite aspect of this book was the way the family was portrayed. I loved the tattoo parlor setting and also appreciated that she had three parents who were all present. I wanted to shake her sister even if I did understand her distance.

    I love those nails! That blue is such a pretty color, and those birds are so pretty.

    Great review and nails!

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    1. The family was fantastic, I was so impressed!

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  5. Wow -- the birds are stunning! I enjoyed Reece Malcolm, so I definitely want to read this too!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

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  6. I love the birds! This is such a cute mani! I have issues photographing polish too it's sooo annoying! especially blues and greens!

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  7. I've seen so many mixed reviews for this story, but I'm glad to see it worked for you, Mandee. I think I'd have problems with the sister from what I've read.

    The shade of your nail polish looks like sort of a Robin's egg blue, I actually love that color, but I do like the green of the book. The manicure is gorgeous, as usual. I wonder how long the manicure lasts before you have to re-do. If I don't do gel manicures, mine do not last for more than like two days. But I have to wash my hands constantly for work.

    Wonderful review and manicure! :)

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    1. The sister was a little frustrating, but I could understand her actions :) Thanks, Rach!

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  8. I am reading mixed reviews on this one, and I can't believe that I didn't realize this was the author of Reece Malcom, I read that book last year and liked it. Knowing that, I am more apt to try it despite the reviews especially seeing a five star rating from you! I am always so impressed with your nails. You are truly an artist. Impressive!

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  9. so wonderful nails design! Thanks for review!

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  10. Aah I love those nails so hard! And this book sounds really good and touches on 2 things that really catches my attention t read a book - family and mental illness. I'm always fascinated by the latter. It sounds like a well written book and with the whole sex thing you mentioned it sounds like it's very realistic, too!

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  11. I LOVE birds and I would so want nails like the ones you did! They are so pretty! This sounds like a great read. I have to agree I like it when the parents have a bigger role in the book than most. I don't know why but it makes the book feel more real I guess when their is a relationship with the parents. Oh an added bonus that she is a vegan! Gotta love that! This sounds like a really realistic book and I want to read it after your review! :)

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  12. Ahh I don't think I've read a single negative review for this one. My luck with Entangled basically sucks which is why I've been a little vary about picking this one up but when families are present and relationships well developed, it's pretty damn hard to resist.

    Great Review, Mands! :)

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    1. Ha! Well I hope you have better luck from now on!

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  13. You know... I think this might be the first time I have seen a physical copy from Netgalley!! WOW! Love your nails. I wish I had longer nail beds to paint. A friend of mine had nails like yours ... I would be so jealous of her!

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    1. I received an ebook from Netgalley and a physical copy from a friend (as mentioned up top) ;)

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  14. I loved the authors' debut and I like the sound of this. Maybe one day I'll get round to if! Lovely review and gorgeous nails!

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  15. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Mandee! the family dynamic and the relationships sound like they were done well and I love your nails, they look amazing! :)

    I still need to read The Reece Malcolm List, both books sound great.

    A lovely review.

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  16. I'm so happy you loved this book! Very nice that you received a signed copy too. I liked the vegan references as well :) Gorgeous manicure (love the green) and excellent job with the birds- wow!

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  17. This sounds great! Love your mani too

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  18. These are gorgeous! You're such an artist. And the book looks interesting. I'm always a bit iffy on books that touch on mental illness (it's often done terribly) but I think I'll take a chance on this one. :)

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  19. Thanks for reviewing this book for us darling!
    I really like the manicure ;) You're soo creative ;)

    Xx Julia

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  20. wow, this nailart is breathtakingly cute <3

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  21. I really loved the Reece Malcolm List too, and I can't wait to read this! It's amazing that this has two functional, present parents (and a stepparent too). I also love that there's realistic, frank talk about sex and contraception, you don't often see that in YA. Gorgeous nails, I love those colors!

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  22. Wow this mani is just so perfect, your detail in the birds is spot on. Beautiful!

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