Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway ~ Ink Is Thicker Than Water

Hey guys! Welcome to my stop on the Ink Is Thicker Than Water Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Click here to follow along with the blog tour schedule. 


Author: Amy Spalding
Publication date: December 3rd 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary
Pages: 320

Find it: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads


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.

My Thoughts:

My Rating: 5 / 5  

INK IS THICKER THAN WATER was such a pleasure to read! Kellie is the kind of character who not only reminds me of myself when I was in high school but will also stick with me for a long time to come. She has a fresh unique voice and is a master at throwing out witty barbs - nothing that ever hurts anyone but will make them laugh in a feel good kind of way. It's as though she doesn't have to try to be funny; she just is. She listens to the 60's, and one of her all-time favorite songs is "Bus Stop" by The Hollies, which is a song I swear by. That's one of the songs from back then that I've made all of my friends listen to whether they wanted to or not. ;) So our shared love of music from that decade really endeared her to me even more.

The story is so well done - I really felt like I was back in high school again. Kellie and her best friend, Kaitlyn, begin growing apart, which can happen often during those years. It was painful to read because I can identify with how much it hurts and how much you wish you could stop it from happening but you know there isn't anything you can do. Once it happens, it happens. You can't force a friendship, especially when two people begin growing and changing into new people. What Kellie and Kaitlyn once shared that cemented their friendship eventually became lost in the shuffle when they each began walking a new path. That path just didn't happen to be beside each other anymore. 

Thank god for Kellie's mom, stepdad, and cute little brother! Kellie's biological father is an ass. He outright favors Kellie's sister, Sara, because she gets all A's and has several colleges courting her already. The morning he told Kellie he wanted to take Sara out to breakfast alone to talk about college with her made me so angry! I wished I could've been there to tell him off. Kellie's dad's behavior can be common for a parent of a teen unfortunately, which is another reason this story is so real. I'm glad Kellie lives with her mom and stepdad who seemed to be much more loving and supportive of who she is. Kellie's dad didn't accept his daughter for who she is - he was too busy being disappointed that she wasn't who he wanted her to be. As a parent, I think that's just plain wrong. 

Kellie and Sara seem to be pretty close, which was surprising to me because I expected an overachiever like Sara to treat Kellie horribly. They had more of a positive relationship than most sisters I know, but that relationship became strained when Sara begins forming a relationship with her biological mother. Sara explained things to her mother differently than how they really are, and Kellie was quick to defend their family. Kellie knows their parents are unusual compared to most parents, but she doesn't feel like anything about them needs to be hidden from Sara's biological mother. I loved how Kellie jumped to their defense but hoped Kellie and Sara would repair their relationship and become close again.  

I liked Oliver but also had a strange feeling something was off about him. I thought at times he could be a little too intense, especially when they about had sex the first time they met. As much as I identified with Kellie and as much as it pains me to say this, I'm a parent myself (I feel so flippin' old sometimes!) and can see potential fallout from choices young characters in the YA genre make. I didn't want Kellie to wrap herself up in their relationship so much that she lost herself, but isn't that something what often happens to us at that age? I know I lost myself for a while in a relationship because everything was so new and exciting that nothing else mattered for a while. You know, hormones raging and all that. When you're first in a relationship, that person can turn out to be someone completely different than who you thought they were, as in this case with Kellie and Oliver. 

Everything about INK IS THICKER THAN WATER is organically told, and I loved seeing Kellie's story unfold. Within her family, friends, boyfriend, and just the world in general, she was finding herself gradually changing with new interests and new friends coming into her life. Nothing about this story is over the top or forced, and I really appreciated reading a story like this that seemed so real. It's as though I know these characters. The writing is fantastic with the way the author had the characters interacting and changing subtly over the course of the novel. I was happy with the ending. With the way this story is told, it just wouldn't be satisfying if everything had been completely tied up by the end, and I'm okay with that. I'm definitely recommending this to every reader I know!   

About the Author: Amy Spalding     

Amy Spalding grew up in St. Louis, but now lives in the better weather of Los Angeles. She received a B.A. in Advertising & Marketing Communications from Webster University, and currently works as the Digital Media Planner for an independent film advertising agency. Amy studied longform improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, adn can be seen performing around L.A. 

Photo by Jessie Weinberg.

For more about Amy be sure to read the F.A.Q. 

Social Links:

(US only)

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

11/25/2013 - The Bookmark Blog Review

11/26/2013 - Donnie Darko Girl Review

11/27/2013 - Reading the Best of the Best Review

11/28/2013 - She Dreams in Fiction Review 

11/29/2013 - My Reading Room Interview & Review 

Week Two:

12/2/2013 - YA Story Teller Review

12/3/2013 - LeAnn's Book Reviews Review

12/4/2013 - Bookish Things & More Review

12/5/2013 - Bookworm1858 Review 

12/6/2013 - The Irish Banana Review Review   


  1. Congrats on your release Amy! The book sounds great!
    Nice, well written review as well!

    1. Thanks about the review, Margaret! :D

  2. Wow, there are a lot of dynamics in this story, step dad, bad dad, friend drama, boy drama, and tattoos? I like it when your mom side comes into play in your reviews. There have been books when I wanted to jump inside the book and lock the characters in a room with one of my "just be a kid" lectures. Great review, Jennifer. It sounds like a wonderful book and what an awesome cover!

    1. This book just perfectly takes all of those dynamics and makes a riveting story that keeps you engaged and loving these characters. I can't help my mom side coming out. It does without my permision, lol.

      One of the aspects I wanted to write about in this review but didn't was how much I loved the fact that her mom and stepdad aren't your typical parents. They're tattoo artists, great at what they do, and they're free spirits. I really see myself and my husband as non typical parents. We both have tattoos, we're teaching our kids to be open minded and that there are people who are different from us and that's ok. When I was their age, I had no idea there were people who are gay or of a different religion or anything about different cultures. And you know I'm all about the tattoos, lol.

  3. Awesome review, Jennifer! This story sounds like it's so well written. And I'm with you cheering the fact Kellie has her mom and step-dad. Your description of her bio-dad made my left eye twitch. I don't understand a parent not validating their child for who they are. Ugh! Sara and Oliver seem to add layers to the story. Thanks for sharing this - it's definitely going on my TBR.

    1. I love this book!! It's extremely well written, and I adore Kellie. I don't get the validating thing either. To me it's a self confidence builder when your parents accept you for who you are. If they don't, then you feel like you're less than. I loved how Kellie's mom and stepdad are free spirits. That's how I see myself as a parent. My husband and I don't rule with iron fists, but we don't let our kids run wild, either. I'd like to think we've found a nice balance. Thanks for reading! :D


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