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Red Ink


Red Ink

Written as Julie Mayhew’s debut novel in 2013 in the UK, RED INK is finally getting published in the U.S.  It follows Melon Fouraki, a teenager who’s never been close to her mother but is very familiar with The Story: how her mother was young when she became pregnant with her and that she had to leave her home in Crete, Greece due to her father’s disgust. Melon’s been told about her mother’s tough life over and over again --- how she had to move to a brand new country, learn a new language and try to support a toddler and herself.

Melon never thought much about The Story, but when her mother is crushed under a bus, it’s all that Melon can think about. Although Melon shows no signs of grief, she’s forced to go see therapists and counselors until she finally discovers a method that will help her “cope”: writing. She writes about The Story anywhere and everywhere until Paul --- a man who claims to have been her mother’s fiancée --- sees it and tells her something she would’ve never expected.

A good read for readers searching for a book with some soul.

RED INK was an okay read for me. I found the topic interesting, but it didn’t really suit my taste. It’s a realistic fiction novel, which I generally find boring/too slow-paced, so that could’ve been a possible reason for my dislike. I also found that the novel was a bit confusing to follow as it switches from present to past tense between some chapters. This helps readers gain a sense of background information, but it makes it difficult to remember what’s happening in the present time because of the long chapters.

However, I really enjoyed how Mayhew managed to tie everything together by the end of the story. She gave readers a mass amount of information throughout RED INK and she managed to make it all connect for readers. The ending was definitely a bit of a shock to me, but it was definitely the thing I liked most about the book. For any readers that are looking for a more serious, realistic fiction story, this book is for you. It touches on topics like bullying and grief and is definitely a good read for readers searching for a book with some soul.

Reviewed by Alyssa L., Teen Board member on February 5, 2016

Red Ink
by Julie Mayhew

  • Publication Date: February 9, 2016
  • Genres: Loss, Young Adult 12+, Youth Fiction
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick
  • ISBN-10: 0763677310
  • ISBN-13: 9780763677312