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Some things are permanent. Indelible. 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 ...
Some things are permanent. Indelible. 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 music beat hard against Joy's ribs. She could feel the rhythm in her chest and the bass in her teeth. The Carousel spun slowly, crammed with mirrors and frantic dancers. It was dark. It was light. It was dark. It was light. Joy felt the music call to her, dizzying and loud.
"Isn't this great?" Monica shouted next to Joy's ear. They stood just inside the nimbus of carnival lights and techno grind. Behind them, the Tilt-A-Whirl roared.
Joy nodded. "It's wild!"
"Well, come on, wild child! Time for fun."
Monica loved fun. And Joy loved her for it. Despite the craziness of the past year, Monica had stuck by her, so even if Joy wasn't too sure about going to the spring fair among several dozen rabid cool-hunters prowling the Carousel on the Green, she wasn't about to ruin it. Instead of ballroom dancing classes or community theater-in-the-round, the Carousel was attempting to become Glendale's hottest indoor/outdoor scene. People pumped their fists in the air and smartphones caught the rave on glowing screens. Joy checked hers for the time.
"Well, fun better get started. Dad's only letting me stay out till eleven."
Monica snorted and smoothed the edges of her razor-cut bob. "You'd think you were the one who skipped out." Then she winced and whispered, "Sorry."
Joy shrugged. "'S'okay."
Lots of parents split after their last kid went off to college. Mom could've waited two years before running off to L.A., but by then, her twenty-six-year-old graphic artist, Doug, might have been considered too old for a cougar like her. As she'd tried to explain before she left, she had "needs." The memory still brought an embarrassed ache, but no tears. Joy had cried herself out months ago. Nowadays, she half expected Mom to reappear when her boy-toy turned thirty.
"Come on." Monica tugged Joy up the incline. "Party's wasting!"
They held hands and jumped onto the crowded dance floor. The old hardwood shivered, rotating slowly on merry-go-round gears. The Carousel was packed, but Monica nabbed a spot beneath the peeling brass ring—the only original piece left after the horses had been auctioned off. Joy edged toward the speakers as the Carousel turned. The town fair fell into purple shadow rimmed in fairy lights.
Joy moved her hips and shoulders, enjoying the thump of the music. Closing her eyes, she felt strangers' laughter bubble up inside her as if it were her own and she popped her heels to the beat. Her ponytail brushed the back of her neck, alternately sticky and cool. Hands ringed in glow bracelets and Under 18 wristbands clutched empty cotton-candy cones and miniature teddy bears. The air smelled of hot sugar, cooking oil and sweat. Distant roller coaster screams echoed somewhere out in the glow of a thousand twinkling carnival lights. It was like swimming in a dreamworld, floating in noise.
Joy wound her long arms over her head, stretching her spine. Her hipster jeans hung loose. She'd gotten a lot thinner since Mom left, her abs tight under stretched skin. Mom would have noticed and made her change clothes. The thought brought Joy dropping back to earth, feeling heavy and solid as she sank into her shoes.
No! This was not going to be like last year. Those days had been too long and the house too quiet. She'd become a total stranger. She was officially over it. This was spring, a new beginning in a brand-new year. This year, things were going to change.
Joy checked her posture and her attitude as she spun on the shifting floor. She shuffled toward Monica, who had lightly rebuffed some blond boy and was now glancing over her shoulder at the guy on her left. Joy wasn't surprised. Monica liked jocks. Or, as she liked to put it, "big strapping jocks," and Mr. Wide Shouldered Crew Cut in Tight Pants definitely fit her type.
Joy pushed away some stray hand. The floor chugged with the beat.
"Chocolate-vanilla swirl?" Joy shouted.
Monica raised her hands and whooped, "Oh, yeah!"
Monica was more the color of classic grand pianos than chocolate ice cream, but she was always game for showing off. Linking fingers, the two of them slowly undulated their hips, bending lower and lower as they sank to their knees, hanging on to one another for support and inching back up the same way, laughing. They got some applause and even a few appreciative hollers. Joy grinned. Eleven years of gymnastics came in handy once in a while. It'd been over eight months since she'd quit, but she missed it. She missed it like laughing. She missed it like this.
They slapped high-fives before going solo. Monica made her play for Mr. Wide, his large hands sliding down onto her hips. She nodded to Joy and laughed, the black lights on the undercarriage making her eyes and teeth glow an unappetizing purple. It made Joy secretly want a breath mint.
Joy turned away, gazing out at the crowd. Flashes of color and jerky movements made everybody look strangely the same—no one was boy or girl, black or white, freshman or senior. They were all one big glom. Joy usually avoided the Carousel's Under 18 scene, but Monica had said that there was a new DJ and Joy had to admit that he was really good. The guy was backlit in the gutted central pillar filled with concert notices and band stickers, the giant headphones over his ears making it look like he wore a Viking helmet. Her eyes skipped over faces, trying not to linger too long. She didn't want company—she just wanted to dance and forget about Mom and Dad and her brother, Stef, away at U Penn.
She turned a one-eighty, swishing her fingers as the music switched over. Joy lifted her face to the ceiling and watched the colored bands of pink and green spin. She turned counterclockwise, making herself dizzy. Searing neon afterimages blinked in her brain. That's when she saw the all-black eyes.
At first, she thought it was a trick of the light, but everyone else's eyes had that purplish glow while these stayed flat-shadow. Joy stopped, confused.
A lean guy with spiky hair stared into the crowd with his strange, dark eyes. Shaggy bangs fell forward into his face, the back cut close behind his ears and neck. The girl next to him could have been his twin—shorter, with a heart-shaped face, matching hair and whiteless eyes. They stood on the edge of the dance floor, looking like black thistles against a field of psychedelic blooms.
Goths, Joy figured, with freaky contacts.
He stared, unblinking. His eyes swallowed everything. And when they found her, it felt like falling.
The Carousel turned, but those eyes stayed with her.
Joy adjusted her feet and tried to put the boy out of her mind. The music tracks dovetailed and the view slowly changed. Lightbox signs hawked caramel apples and funnel cakes. Crayon-colored chair swings spun in and out of sight. Monica had disappeared somewhere with Mr. Wide. The music dipped and surfaced, vocals skating up and down scales. Joy's eyes flicked to the mirrors, the black lights, the brass ring, but an itch kept pulling her gaze over her shoulder. The platform circled, and she saw him again through a sea of indigo limbs.
He stared at her. Joy glanced away, pretending not to notice. She rotated in place, rolling her hips slowly as the floor crept clockwise, not realizing that she was flirting until she'd circled beyond his sight.
Joy considered him from the safe zone behind the DJ booth. The guy's shirt looked expensive and his vibe was lurkish, intense. He had a sort of animal grace, even standing still, and his serious expression was a sharp contrast to his pretty, boyish face. On the next pass, she wondered if he'd still be there, staring at her.
He was. But it wasn't a nice stare.
Joy's stomach dropped as he headed straight toward her. She looked down at her shoes, a hot, awkward prickle crawling over her cheeks. He wasn't dancing his way closer or being in any way subtle—he was marching right at her, stepping smoothly onto the rotating platform and pushing gently but firmly through the crowd. His attention was relentless. Joy backed farther into the throng.
She scanned the club for Monica, feeling those eyes on the back of her neck. She was afraid to turn around. Didn't this break some sort of dance floor etiquette? If Joy ignored him, maybe he'd get the hint. But she really wanted backup.
Joy was surprised that his soft voice cut so cleanly through the noise. It didn't sound as if he'd shouted, and she was too surprised to pretend she hadn't heard him.
He was within arm's reach—dancing distance—but he wasn't dancing. His thistle sister stood as close to him as static cling.
Joy closed her eyes, feigning boredom. She'd gotten more details in that second brief glimpse: smoky shirt, dark pants, heavy chain dangling to his back pocket—so Goth! Joy projected a pointedly obvious no.
"Hey, you," he said again in the simple way that sliced through sound. Joy glared at him. She didn't like to be rude, but she would if she had to. She didn't need this. She kept her arms moving, trying to keep things casual. Colored lights flashed off tent tops, stuffed animals and sweaty faces, making it impossible to see where he was looking with those blacked-out eyes.
He took a step closer. Joy smelled rain on the breeze.
"You can see me?" he asked.
Joy stopped dancing at the patently stupid question. "Yeah. Why?"
A strange look passed over his face, determination that looked like regret. His arm rose at the shoulder, snaking out in a short burst of speed. Bright lights licked the edge of something sharp in his hand. Joy flinched and fell down hard. She skidded on the floor and banged against knees.
Cupping a hand to her eye, she inhaled a scream, but it stuck in her chest. What had just happened? There'd been a flash. It was bright. Had he cut her? Was she bleeding? People backed away. The floor kept turning. Joy could feel it shudder.
Monica appeared beside her. "You okay?" she gasped, voicing the panic Joy was just starting to feel. "What happened? Joy?"
Her eye hurt. A lot. Every time she tried to look up, she blinked rapidly over a pinprick of pain. It felt like a splinter.
Through the blur, Joy saw the Goth girl's hand bright against her brother's shirt, shoving him back into the crowd. Her voice had that same slicing clarity.
"Well, now you've done it."
Joy wanted to get up and grab them, but the twinge in her eye and an icy fear pinned her to the floor. Slippery tears wet her palm.
"He cut me!" Joy said in accusation and disbelief. Her words caught fire to those nearby, passing quickly from person to person in the breathy excitement of a night on the Green gone bad. Staffers descended. Rent-a-cops were called. There were shouts to remain calm, shut off the music, man the gates, but by the time any of it happened, the two Goth kids were gone.
Dad drove her home from the E.R. with a neat patch over one eye and a bottle of numbing drops in her hand. The scratch on her cornea was clean, but kept flipping open, so the nurse had taped her eyelid shut. Joy's pleas to stay home for the next three to five days had not met with success. There was a text from Monica and a message from Mom. Dad hadn't called her, had he? Joy frowned and shut off her phone.
"I'm glad Monica called," her dad said. "It was the right thing to do." Joy didn't say anything as she gazed out the window. There was a long pause. "You sure you weren't drinking?"
"Dad, Monica's the treasurer of S.A.D.D., for Pete's sakes. She's like the poster girl for prevention," Joy said. "Besides, no alcohol at Under 18 Nights." She rubbed her eye patch.
"Stop that," he chided.
Joy dropped her hand. She and Monica had agreed not to say anything about what had really happened. Monica hadn't actually seen the guy and if Dad found out, he'd never let Joy out of the house again. Their story was that something had dropped from the ceiling, but it didn't explain the shaky feeling that had stayed with her hours later.
Like looking into those all-black eyes.
She picked at the tape with her fingernail. "It'll take me forever to do my homework," she complained.
"Fortunately, you have the whole weekend to do it," he said. "It's still Friday night—" he glanced at the clock "—well, Saturday morning, and there's plenty of time. Just do a little bit every few hours." He glanced left and right quickly as he ran a yellow light. "If you have a test, I could quiz you."
"No tests," Joy said. "But this totally blows my weekend."
He frowned. "You had plans this weekend?"
She didn't, but he didn't have to sound so surprised. She might have had plans if she'd had a life.
Dad seemed to sense that he'd stepped in it. "How about after the first pass at your homework, I take you to the mall for ice cream?"
Joy grimaced. "Looking like this?" She pointed at her face. "No, thanks."
Her dad sighed and kneaded the steering wheel. "O-kay," he said. "How about this—you invite Monica over since she's seen you already, and I'll pick up a pizza and then vacate the house? Girls' night in and Dad's gone out?" Joy tried not to brood over her father's idea that the greatest gift to her was being absent. She twiddled the eyedrops in her lap.
"That is my final offer," he added.
"All right, fine," Joy said.
"All right," her father agreed. "Fine."
Joy turned her head fully to study his balding profile in the window. The streetlights etched the worry around his eyes and the pinch of his lower lip. She sighed against the headrest. He was trying so hard. Neither of them were good at the reaching-out thing; they'd left that stuff up to Mom. But Mom was gone, and Stefan was at college, and everything had changed. Dad was the only original piece of her family she had left. Joy needed him to be the one thing that stayed.
She smiled. "Thanks, Dad."
He smiled back.
Not only was there pizza, but her father had left a carton of ice cream in the freezer with a Post-it note that said Study Break. Picking out the chocolate chips while dancing to satellite radio, Joy had to admit that Dad wasn't half-bad at spoiling her. She'd heard that she could expect it now that her folks were officially divorced, but this was the first time it had tasted like victory instead of leftover Chinese takeout. To Dad, dessert was love, or the next best thing. Every time he bought her a treat, Joy felt obliged to have some right away. It was Dad's way of saying "I love you" and her way of saying that she knew.
Fortunately, she liked ice cream—unfortunately, not mint chocolate chip. Mom would've known that. Stefan was the one who liked chips. Joy sighed as she made a little wet stack of brown rectangles for her brother, who wasn't there. Mom was gone, Stef was gone, but she still had ice cream and pizza and Monica. Hooray!
Joy vaulted over the couch and landed smoothly on the cushions, repositioning herself for maximum pillow access. There were a lot worse things than hanging with Monica at home watching classic chick flicks. Having Dad stick around while they watched When Harry Met Sally came to mind. She was actually glad that he was going out. He'd been haunting the house ever since the divorce papers were signed.
"I'm off," Dad called from the hallway with a jingle of keys.
"Night, Dad," Joy said, bouncing her feet in time to the music. She waved her mismatched blue polka-dot and pink-and-purple socks. "Have fun."
"You, too," he said. "Emergency numbers are on the door."
"And don't be afraid to call the cell."
Joy leaned back and enunciated pointedly: "Good. Night.
"Okay, okay, I'm going." His hand rested on the doorknob. "Call me if you need anything."
"Dad!" she warned. "Bye!"
The door clicked closed. Gone.
Posted December 13, 2013
Posted October 26, 2013
Posted September 25, 2013
Indelible was an interesting story. I'm still trying to figure out what I think of this book as I'm writing this review...
I appreciated the character of Joy Malone for being a strong female lead that dealt with insane circumstances and still held on to some of her sanity. Finding out you have the gift of the Sight by getting your eye sliced open by a complete stranger would be more than enough to freak me out!
Indelible Ink is the male half of the Scribes. Miss Invisible Inq is the other half. They could not be more opposite. While Inq seems to relish in learning about humanity, Ink has never thought much of it...until he sees Joy. When Ink realizes she can see him back, he tries to remove her Sight by blinding her. Instead, he gives her his mark and she becomes his lehman or "lover."
The innocence of Ink reminded almost of an Edward Scissorhands like character that is full of childlike wonder and that also has very adult feelings as well. Ink and Joy are in awe of each other. It is a wonderful relationship to watch grow!
Overall, this book was very well written and the characters did draw me in.
5 stars to Indelible.
Posted September 14, 2013
Posted August 31, 2013
I have trouble expressing my thoughts about Indelible. On the one hand, it’s totally “meh”, but on the other hand, it has this amazing concept…It just failed to execute.
Joy Malone sees a stranger with all-black eyes in a crowded room while going out with her best friend. But what she reads in the boys’ black eyes, is only malice. Seconds later, he approaches her and tries to cut out her eyes, but fails. The wound accidentally marks her as his property. And he is Indelible Ink, some kind of fae, a scribe in his world, and his marks are premanent. By marking her, he involuntarily thrusts Joy into a strange, wonderous world. All kinds of monsters try to contact her in an attempt to get through to Ink. For Joy, it’s unclear what’s going on, until Ink and his sister show up and try to explain. Her old life is forever shattered, but if she values her life, then she’ll make sure nobody ever finds out about Ink’s mistake – marking her as opposed to taking her eyes. That means they have to act like they’re together, even though Joy hates him for ruining her life…
Unfortunately, that very hate doesn’t last long, and before you very well notice it, you’re in the middle of cheesy paranormal romance story the likes of Twilight. Joy hates Ink at first, and God, she has every right to. He tried to cut her eyes out! And like that’s not bad enough, now she’s stuck as a numero uno target for paranormal creatures thanks to his failure. But she quickly forgives him in order to work together, and then, naturally, falls head over heels for him. Like it’s that easy to fall in love with the guy who had tried to cut your eyes out. Or are we supposed to forgive everything because he’s hot and has paranormal powers? Don’t think so!
The sad part is – the promise in this book was overwhelming. The writing style is very good, down-to-earth, and the pacing is spot on. The background story about scribes and marks and all that is awesome as well. But all that is overshadowed by the ever-present, making little to no sense, love affair between Ink and Joy. They literally go from not knowing each other and barely standing each other to falling head over heels within about fifty pages. Right. Color me unconvinced.
The story is also very confusing. It’s never really clear (until the end) what exactly Ink does, why his job is so important in this strange, new world Joy is part of, and what his actions in regards to Joy mean, not just for her, but for everyone. Sometimes the writing was so cryptic, or so uninteresting (make of that what you wish) that I had to reread entire paragraphs to figure out what was going on.
The entire book long I felt like an outsider, watching from outside the window and peeking into Joy and Ink’s world. Never once did I actually feel like I was inside that world.
All in all, great potential, decent story, but the relationship between the characters was unbelievable and rushed, and the story was, at times, confusing.
Posted August 23, 2013
There is something about the cover on this book that makes you want to pick it up. The rough lines, the colors, they make a statement and leave you wondering what the book is about and you won’t be able to put it down.
“There’s a guy and you like guys and you met a guy, this Someone-A-Guy?”
Joy gets in an altercation with a mysterious man with solid black eyes at a night club and injures her eye after he attacks her for some unknown reason. Strange things keep happening to Joy. People showing up out of nowhere and giving her weird messages for some guy named Ink. When one of her messages goes wrong she finally comes face to face with this Ink character and nobody can see him but her. As her days just get stranger and more dangerous, Joy must decide if this new life is worth living and can she live long enough to decide.
This book is one of the best books I have read in a very long time and deserves a 6 star rating. I truly hope that author Dawn Metcalf has a lot more writing in store for readers and I hope to one day see this on the big screen.*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review*
*You can view the original review at Musing with Crayolakym and San Francisco & Sacramento City Book Review
Posted August 21, 2013
Posted August 17, 2013
Since first looking at the cover of author Dawn Metcalf’s Indelible, the first novel in the Twixt series, I knew that it was going to be something interesting to read. That cover looked mysterious and beautiful which are two of the words I would use to describe Indelible. It’s one of those reads that you just get lost in and I personally fell in love with every minute I spent with Joy and Ink.
Indelible tells the story of main character Joy Malone who, after accidentally seeing a boy that she shouldn’t be able to see, finds herself being pulled into a dark world within our own. When the boy with black eyes notices that Joy can see him he cuts her eye and accidentally marks Joy to be his Lehman; a person who will have to act as his lover unless they both want to suffer the consequences of him marking her by accident.
Joy accepts that she is the boy’s Lehman as it’s her best option and learns that the boy is Indelible Ink and his sister is Invisible Inq. Both of them work for the Twixt and mark people with a specific signiturae. As Joy is brought into a world darker than our own she finds herself seeing the creatures her sight brings and slowly begins to fall for Ink. However not all is what it seems among the Twixt and one of their own is plotting something that Joy, Inq and Ink may not be able to stop.
What I really enjoyed about Indelible was that I was hooked from the very first page to the very last. I couldn’t stop reading. The way Metcalf’s writing style flow and the way the plot is perfectly paced just left me completely obsessed. I couldn’t put it down. I had to know what would happen next to Joy and Ink and I had to know if their relationship would move a bit further or if, with Joy, Ink would grow to become more human. This is one of those reads that becomes completely, take over your brain addictive and I loved every second of it.
The characters in Indelible are ones that you really grow to love while you’re reading. The characters are realistic (despite this being a novel with fantasy creatures) and also grow as you read the novel. I really enjoyed this character growth because throughout the novel the characters are supposed to change with Joy as she comes to accept her role as Ink’s Lehman. There are also a lot of relationships established in Indelible that grow in either a good way or a bad way which means: friends and enemies are formed. It’s very exciting to watch these relationships get made and broken as the plot unfolds.
In Indelible you also get to watch Joy and Ink fall in love. Oh my feels, these two characters completely owned my emotions while reading. Right from the start when Ink oh so romantically cuts Joy’s eye to the end when he and her have already established that they are more than just friends, I loved these two being together. Every single time they got cute or romantic around each other my heart would just melt and the descriptions were just perfect for each moment. Joy teaches Ink how to become more human and Ink teaches Joy things she didn’t know about herself. I loved the romance in this book and I ship Ink and Joy. If they ever get split up in future stories I’ll go insane I’ll be sad.
I would recommend Indelible to readers who are looking for a novel that will keep your attention throughout the story. Readers who want a story that had the perfect amount of romance and fantasy and action will definitely enjoy reading Indelible. Fans of male characters like Jace Wayland (from Cassandra Claire’s The Mortal Instruments) will love Ink and will love him and Joy and will love their love. All around, I would highly recommend this novel to YA readers.
Posted August 13, 2013
Posted August 13, 2013
Posted August 1, 2013
Looking for something a little different from the usual fare of YA Paranormal Romance books? Mark my words, Indelible by Dawn Metcalf IS different! Joy is human, very human, under the usual pressures of being a teen, as well as dealing with 'family' issues, but she is likeable and strong. Ink is, well, a being from the realm of Twixt. He seems almost half-formed as a character at first, because, well, he is only half-formed, he only has glimpses of humans and their behavior to mold himself after. His sister, Inq,is a little more colorful, a little more personable and a little more quirky! Through a huge error on Ink's part, Joy is bound to him and together they must act the part. Romance slowly blooms and it really is a gentle thing, as Ink learns from Joy just what its like to be human.
I did enjoy the story, loved the idea of the plot, but needed more information and world-building to better understand this other realm and its inhabitants. That said, Indelible has one of the most eye-catching covers I have ever seen!
A review copy was provided by NetGalley and Harlequin Teen in exchange for my honest review.