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Ink Exchange (Wicked Lovely Series #2) (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

Ink Exchange (Wicked Lovely Series #2) (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

4.1 1004
by Melissa Marr

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Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Courts has altered, and Irial, ruler of the Dark Court, is battling to hold his rebellious and newly vulnerable fey together. If he fails, bloodshed and brutality will follow.

Seventeen-year-old Leslie knows nothing of


Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Courts has altered, and Irial, ruler of the Dark Court, is battling to hold his rebellious and newly vulnerable fey together. If he fails, bloodshed and brutality will follow.

Seventeen-year-old Leslie knows nothing of faeries or their intrigues. When she is attracted to an eerily beautiful tattoo of eyes and wings, all she knows is that she has to have it, convinced it is a tangible symbol of changes she desperately craves for her own life.

The tattoo does bring changes—not the kind Leslie has dreamed of, but sinister, compelling changes that are more than symbolic. Those changes will bind Leslie and Irial together, drawing Leslie deeper and deeper into the faery world, unable to resist its allures, and helpless to withstand its perils. . . .

Editorial Reviews

To 17-year-old Leslie, the tattoo is a thing of indescribable beauty, a captivating mark that she must make her own. But this subtle web of eyes and wings brings with it a transformation that no sweet young girl would ever imagine or welcome. Like its predecessor, this stand-alone sequel to Wicked Lovely plunges its youthful heroine into a faery world of almost constant peril. A tantalizing urban fantasy that won't let go.

Product Details

Turtleback Books
Publication date:
Wicked Lovely Series , #2
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Ink Exchange

Chapter One

Early the following year

Leslie slipped into her school uniform and got ready as quickly as she could. She closed her bedroom door softly, staying quiet so she could get out of the house before her father woke. Being retired wasn't good for him. He'd been a decent father before—before Mom left, before he'd fallen into a bottle, before he'd started taking trips to Atlantic City and gods knew where else.

She headed to the kitchen, where she found her brother, Ren, at the table, pipe in hand. Wearing nothing but a pair of ratty jeans, his blond hair loose around his face, he seemed relaxed and friendly. Sometimes he even was.

He looked up and offered a cherubic smile. "Want a hit?"

She shook her head and opened the cupboard, looking for a tolerably clean cup. None. She pulled a can of soda from the meat drawer in the fridge. After Ren had doped a bottle—and thereby doped her—she'd learned to drink only from still-sealed containers.

Ren watched her, content in his chemical cloud, smiling in a perversely angelic way. When he was friendly and just smoking pot, it was a good day. Ren-on-Pot wasn't a problem: pot just made him mellow. It was Ren-on-Anything-Else that was unpredictable.

"There's chips over there if you want some breakfast." He pointed to a mostly empty bag of corn chips on the counter.

"Thanks." She grabbed a couple and opened the freezer to get the toaster waffles she'd hidden. They were gone. She opened the cupboard and pulled out a box of the only type of cereal her brother didn't eat—granola. It was nasty, but hispilfering stopped at the healthy stuff, so she stocked up on it.

She poured her cereal.

"No milk left," Ren mumbled, eyes closed.

Sighing softly, Leslie sat down with her bowl of dry granola. No fights. No troubles. Being home always made her feel like she was walking on a high wire, waiting for a gust of wind to knock her to the ground.

The kitchen smelled strongly of weed. She remembered when she used to wake up to the scent of eggs and bacon, when Dad would brew fresh coffee, when things were normal. It hadn't been like that for more than a year.

Ren plunked his bare feet on the kitchen table. It was covered with junk—news circulars, bills to pay, dirty dishes, and a mostly empty bottle of bourbon.

While she ate, she opened the important bills—electric and water. With relief, she saw that Dad had actually paid ahead on both of them. He did that when he had a good run of luck at the tables or a few sober days: sent extra on the big bills so it wouldn't be a hassle later. It didn't help for groceries or the cable bill, which was overdue again, but she could usually cover those when she had to.

Not this time, though. She'd finally decided to go through with it, to get a tattoo. She'd been wanting one for a while but hadn't felt ready. In the last few months, she'd become near obsessed with it. Waiting wasn't the answer, not anymore. She thought about that act far too often—marking her body, reclaiming it as her own, a step she needed to take to make herself whole again.

Now I just need to find the right image.

With what she hoped was a friendly smile, she asked Ren, "Do you have any money for cable?"

He shrugged. "Maybe. What's it worth to you?"

"I'm not bargaining. I just want to know if you can cover cable this month."

He took a long hit off his pipe and exhaled into her face. "Not if you're going to be a bitch about it. I have expenses. If you can't do a guy a favor now and then, make nice with my friends"—he shrugged—"you pay it."

"You know what? I don't need cable." She walked over to the trash and dropped the bill in the can, fighting back the sickness in her throat at the mention of making nice with his friends, wishing that someone in her family cared about what happened to her.

If Mom hadn't taken off . . .

But she had. She'd bailed and left Leslie behind to deal with her brother and father. "It'll be better this way, baby," she'd said. It wasn't. Leslie wasn't sure if she'd want to talk to her mom anymore—not that it mattered. She had no contact information at all.

Leslie shook her head. Thinking about that wouldn't help her cope with her current reality. She started to walk past Ren, but he stood up and grabbed her for a hug. She was stiff in his arms.

"What? Are you on the rag again?" He laughed, amused by his crass joke, amused by her anger.

"Never mind, Ren. Just forget I—"

"I'll pay the bill. Relax." He let go of her, and as soon as he let his arm drop, she stepped away, hoping the scent

of pot and cigarettes wouldn't cling to her too obviously. Sometimes she suspected that Father Meyers knew exactly how much things had changed for her, but she still didn't want to walk into school reeking.

She put on her fake smile and murmured, "Thanks, Ren."

"I'll take care of it. You just remember it next time I need you to come out with me. You're a good distraction when I need credit." He looked at her calculatingly.

She didn't reply. There wasn't an answer that would help. If she said no, he'd be a prick, but she wasn't saying yes. After what his druggie friends did—what he let them do—she wasn't going anywhere near them again.

Instead of rehashing that argument, she went and grabbed the bill out of the trash. "Thanks for taking care of it."

Ink Exchange. Copyright © by Melissa Marr. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Melissa Marr is the New York Times bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series of young adult novels: Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange, Fragile Eternity, Radiant Shadows, and Darkest Mercy. She currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area with her family. Graveminder is her first adult novel.

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Ink Exchange 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1004 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really did enjoy Ink Spell, don't get me wrong. I love the writing, I love the darkness of Melissa Marr's writing. But I didn't find this book to be quite on the scale of Wicked Lovely, I felt like the writing seemed forced and didn't flow as easily as it did in the first book. I enjoyed Leslie's character but felt that maybe she was a little TOO dark. I guess it made sense with the plot, but I thought that she needed more substance than that.
I missed Asylinn and Keenan's characters, they were barely mentioned and given the circumstances I thought that they should have held a larger role in the plot.
Still, a very good book. Great book...not so much. But that's just my opinion. If you like Melissaq Marr, this one will be great for you too.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Torn up inside after her drug-dealer brother betrays her in the most horrible way, Leslie puts on a brave front with her friends, pretending her drunken dad isn't letting the bills pile up and hiding all her pain. Hoping to take back control over her body, she decides to get a tattoo, and picks out a special design at the tattoo parlor she often hangs out at. Unbeknownst to Leslie, that tattoo is the symbol of Irial, the king of the faerie Dark Court, designed to allow him to filter the unpleasant emotions that feed his court through her into him and his people.

As Leslie finds her vision changing and her feelings shifting in unpredictable ways, Niall, a faerie of the Summer Court who has always admired her, steps in, hoping to help her and keep Irial away. He has his own tangled feelings about Irial, whom he once counted as a friend. But as Leslie sinks further under Irial's thrall, enjoying the escape from the hurt and fear she'd been living with, only she can decide when to pull away--or whether she would rather stay with him, after all.

INK EXCHANGE is a darkly imaginative novel set in the same world as Marr's first novel, WICKED LOVELY. Readers will enjoy exploring the lives of some of that novel's minor characters and seeing more of the shadowy side of the faerie courts. They may find Leslie, Niall, and Irial less engaging than the spirited and perhaps more sympathetic narrators of WICKED LOVELY, but the trio still make for a fascinating "love" triangle as each deals with conflicting emotions and tries to decide what is right both for him or herself and for those who are counting on them.

The imagery is striking and evocative, and the politics of the different faerie courts is intriguing to explore. A great book for dark fantasy fans.
Tidbitsofscott More than 1 year ago
INK EXCHANGE is the second book in Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely Series. Where the first book dealt with the Summer and Winter Faerie Courts, this one opens readers to the Dark Court and its faeries. Peace between Summer and Winter Court has weakening the Dark Court for they feed on the negative emotions. Peace doesn't exactly bring on those emotions. Irial, King of the Dark Court, works with Rabbit, a tattoo artist to find the right human to strengthen them - a human who will filter the emotions to Irial so that he can feed his court. When Leslie, Aislinn's friend, makes up her mind to get a tattoo as a way to reclaim her body from the abuse she has been subjected to, it's one of Irial's enchanted design she elects to have. Little does she know this symbol will bind her to Irial and a fate will be far worse than before. Leslie ends up caught in the dark world of faeries and sandwiched between a rogue who wants to save her and one who wants to possess her. The bittersweet ending stays true to the dark theme Marr has portrayed in this emotionally addictive story. I recommend it highly.
cryptaknight More than 1 year ago
I really liked Marr's first, Wicked Lovely, and while I liked this, too, it just didn't grab me in the same way. I loved the first half/ two-thirds of Ink Exchange, once the ink exchange took effect, I felt like the story got convoluted.

The story focuses on Leslie, a close friend of Aislinn, the main character from the first book and the reigning Summer Queen of the faery courts. She has a very unhappy home life, complete with druggie brother and absentee father, and one of the few things that gives her pleasure is hanging out at the local tattoo shop. She desperately wants a tattoo, which she feels will give her ownership of her own body, and help her feel some control amid her chaotic life. Unbeknownst to Leslie, Rabbit, the shop's owner, is the half-fey son of the Hound of the Dark Court. He has an agreement with Irial, the Dark Court's king, to use a special faery ink with certain tattoos as part of an ink exchange. The ink exchange allows Irial and the rest of the Dark Court to feed on the dark emotions of mortals, which have grown scarce since the peace made between Summer and Winter in the first book.

Leslie ends up picking the tattoo that represents Irial himself. As she begins to get the tattoo, her friends from the Summer Court notice that she's attracted the Dark King's attention, and Niall, who is Keenan's (the Summer King) right hand man, is asked to guard her more closely. Niall is also interested in Leslie, and he and Irial struggle over Leslie's mortality and her role in the faery world.

Leslie, having been kept in the dark about all this, completes the tattoo, making her Irial's Shadow Girl. Once she is a part of his court, she struggles to maintain her sense of self, even as she witnesses atrocities against mortals. Eventually, she must make the choice between remaining with the Dark Court or breaking her tie with Irial.

I did like that the story wasn't just about hooking Leslie up with the hottest faery out there, but about her making choices about her own destiny. I also liked seeing the POV characters from the other book from another perspective. I think my favorite aspect of the book was that the various faeries and faery courts are not depicted as good/bad, black/white entities. The reader can find Irial sympathetic, and Keenan distasteful. Gabriel (the Hound), who I initially thought was going to be very one-note, actually ended up being a dynamic character with depth. Niall, like Leslie, has to make tough choices about his own path, and it's always nice for me when an author doesn't go easy on their characters.

I think what I didn't like was that I didn't have a firm grip on Leslie as a character- the faeries were much, much more fully realized- and thus when she was with the Dark Court and time was passing in a haze, the plot got very hazy for me, too. It seemed almost like it took too long to get Leslie there, and then things were rushed and not fully explained. I also found it a little convenient that it was one of Aislinn's closest friends who happened to choose Irial's mark. I could understand her catching faery eyes because of her closeness to the Summer Queen, but it was little too coincidental that she ended up being the Shadow Girl. I just wish Marr would have spent more time on developing Leslie as a character, and devoted a few more pages to explaining what the hell, exactly, was going on at the Dark Court.

That said, I would read another book set in this world. I loved the first
xxarial21xx More than 1 year ago
I want to say this first: I did not like this book one bit. The story had a lot of potential, but I did not connect with any of the characters. The author could have done things a lot different to help you hate/love the characters more. For example instead of reading about what happened to Leslie, she could have made us experience it with a flashback maybe. The characters actions also made no sense. I felt I was starting a whole new series without reading what happened before, like a continuation which this was supposed to be. Instead it felt like a whole new series which it isn't. I don't know about you but in a series I like to follow the story of the first main characters, not be thrown in to the middle of another character's story. There were a lot of loose end as well, like the whole conversation with Rianne, pointless. I was not thrilled about the first book but I read on thinking it would get better but it does not. The only good parts in this book is when Leslie takes an interest in Niall, that's about it. None of her actions made sense nor did the author do well explaining the reasoning. Also too many points of view, the author tried to do too much in a short time. I will not be reading the rest of the series.
houseofnight14 More than 1 year ago
Ink Exchange was a great follow up for Wicked Lovely. Even though it wasn't about Aislynn and Seth I found the new characters interesting and real. I also liked how the main character was a small character in Wicked Lovely and now you get to know her more. Overall a great book!!
ekaler82 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this one. Being the 2nd book in the Wicked Lovely series, Ink Exchange continues the story and broadens it as well. Unlike vampire and warewolf stories, there are no pretenses or "rules" for what we think of or associate with faeries. Melissa Marr makes the whole fairy world come to life. She makes the story dark and beautiful and the characters fierce yet volunerable. Its vivid and emotional. The Wicked Lovely series is the ultimate Fairy Tale. I anxiously await the next one.
Brooklyn86 More than 1 year ago
considering this was the first book that i read (it was a gift so i didnt think it was a series) i went out and got the rest. but i read this book and fell in love. I dont really have alot of time on my hands to read but i actually made time for these books. great job
Josilene_Areck More than 1 year ago
This is the sequel to Wicked Lovely. Tells the tale of Aislenn's best friend Leslie and her desent into the world of faerie, the darker side of it with Niall. Ink Exchange is much darker than Wicked Lovely and aside from the faery part very realistic in terms of what some teenagers face and the impact it has on thier life and every day decisions. The story is amazing and the plot develops exquisitly. Aislinn, Keenan, Niall, and Seth are all back and as awesome as ever. Great description and tone. Creative and riveting, I could not put Wicked Lovely down nor could I concieve have putting this one down. I flew through the book. A highly recommended read.
_Dark_Dreamer_ More than 1 year ago
The moment I finished Wicked Lovely I was hooked, and no sooner did I finish Ink Exchange did I demand Fragile Eternity. The characters are great and surprising, I found that my favorite character after reading the first book changed after having finished the second...So I am anxious to read the third.
The_Shadow412 More than 1 year ago
great story. leslie gets a tattoo that links her to the dark king, Irial. niall wants her, but must fight the temptation because of what he is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
EXCELLENT ! enchanting story you never know whats going to happen next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a good series. I wasn't sure if I was gonna like it but it turned out to be one of my favorites. Nice job.
moonlightfairyprincess More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in Melissa Marr's series that starts with "Wicked Lovely" and it is not nearly as captivating as the first book. In fact, the connection between the two books is very narrow and many of the characters that are so likable in the first book are literally just part of the background in this book. While the story is interesting, it is lacking because the characters and plot from "Wicked Lovely" are not transitioned or placed well within this book. This book could almost be its own entity apart from "Wicked Lovely" if references hadn't been made to the first book. I am hoping that the third book in the series "Fragile Eternity" will do better at tying everything, both characters and plot, together. The first book is intriguing enough that I will read the third book even though the second, "Ink Exchange",is disappointing. The third book, "Fragile Eternity" is not scheduled to be out until May of 2009. Hopefully, it will be a better story and bring all the pieces together.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ink Exchange wasn't quite as good as Wicked Lovely, but it was still highly readable and addictive. I think the thing lacking in the second book was deep character connection. I felt like I knew the characters in the first book better than the ones in the second book which isn't a huge problem, but I think that if anything could be improved in Ink Exchange, that would be the one small thing I would fix. Other than that, the rest of the aspects of the story were on par with the first book and I finished it satisfied. In Wicked Lovely, some of the details of the other faery courts were skimmed over and this book gave us an opportunity to look at the dark faery court from a different view point the view of someone who has no idea what she is getting herself into. I think the best part about the book, for me, was how all of the tattooing tied in. I've never thought about getting a tattoo myself, but after reading about the whole art and history of it, I think I have a deeper understanding of what drives people to permanently mark their bodies. I would never go through with it as I have a very low pain thresh hold, but I like the idea of claiming your body as your own, as Leslie did. I think Melissa Marr put a lot of effort in to that part of the book and it definitely paid off. I was a teensy bit disappointed by the ending of the book, but I think the contrast of the endings between Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange was needed and overall, the end fit the book even if I didn't particularly like how things were tied up. I am looking forward to a possible third book because there is one (maybe two) faery court(s) that haven't been told about yet, and I think the last one, Sorcha's court, should be the most interesting of all. Let's cross our fingers that a third book is one its way!
Anonymous 5 days ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy reading for pleasure , this book is a breeze. At first I was hesitant about reading a story about Leslie, but you eventually get to see things from her world and understand the way she is. She is potentially an even stronger character than A from the previous book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Favorite book in the series!
MyndiL More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the 2nd book in the Wicked Lovely series. At first I thought it was going to be one of those series that has a different set of characters in each book, so I was pleased to see Seth, Keenan and Aislinn in this book as well. This time we get to see more of the "Dark Court" of the faeries and we get to know one of Keenan's "friends" better and one of Aislinn's friends better. We also meet some new faeries and some half-fey. The idea of the Ink Exchange is rather horrifying to me as a lover of tatts, but I'm satisfied with how it all turned out in the end...even if I can't use the word happy. I'll definitely keep reading this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A twist on the fairy tail world that keeps you wondering what is going to happen next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was okay. The writing itself wasn't too bad, but I felt like it dragged at parts. Overall, I would say it had a really strong beginning, I got super bored in the middle and forced myself to finish it, and the ending kinda just...fizzled out. The plot was quite trite.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters didn't have the same vibe as her first. Lesley wasn't likable and I found myself being turned off because of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago