Joint Review/Discussion: Indelible by Dawn Metcalf


Indelible
Dawn Metcalf
Series: The Twixt, #1
Release Date: Today (July 30th)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Rating: 2 stars
Word Rating: Ink-redibly boring
Reviewed by: Kate and Melanie

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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 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 TWIXT

OK.  So here's the deal.  I read this book and could not believe how bad it was.  I hated it enough that I decided it must have been written with thirteen year olds in mind, because younger people look at relationships differently.  Because they haven't been punched in the face by life quite as much as those of us twice their age.  Mel saw my comment and decided that, being a thirteen-year-old girl, she should give it a try.  And then we had a conversation about what she thought.  The following is our chat log.

In this conversation we may spoil some very minor plot points, and there's a bigger spoiler toward the end, but we'll mark that so you can avoid it.

Kate:
OK.  I didn't read your review for your blog because I wanted to go into this fresh.  So my apologies if we cover the same ground.

Melanie:
Eh, it's fine.  But keep in mind I skimmed the last half.

Kate:
Totally cool.
OK, let's start by talking about Joy's relationships with humans.
"No. Don't 'Dad' me," he said. "Grades slipping, quitting gymnastics may be par for the course after something like this...." Mothers leaving their families for younger men in California was apparently considered a something like this. "All the damn books say acting out is normal, and, yes, getting suspended last year for knocking over chairs is a little rough for a zero tolerance-policy school, okay, but lying, Joy? The E.R.? Police? That's not like you. And you were lying tonight."
Kate:
What...OK.  The way she interacts with her parents.  What?  I am no longer a teenager, but her family dynamics make absolutely no sense, right?

Melanie:
OH GOD.  It's rather horrifying.
I mean, sometimes I enjoyed it, but between Joy's father and herself, it was so artificial.
*cough* Cliche *cough cough*

Kate:
I KNOW.  And the thing with her mom? Mel, I 100% thought her mom was gonna turn out to be a part of Ink's world at the end because that was the only thing that  made sense to me. Like maybe she left them to be a fairy prostitute like Inq's pool boys.

Melanie:
BAHAHA! Her parents clearly are the worst.
I mean, on the bright side, at least they were somewhat present, but still really shitty and Joy's attitude towards them was no better.
"Stef's gay."
"Stef's gay?"
"Stef's gay."
Monica blinked and sent her text, dropping the phone in her purse to give Joy her full attention. "Huh," she said. "What do you think of that?"
Joy picked her nails. "I hate it."
Kate:
Right.  What did you think about how the family handled Joy's brother, Stef's, revelation?

Melanie:
Oh man, I can barely remember him, but dude, IT'S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD IF YOUR SON IS GAY.  Ugh.

Kate:
Right?  And Joy reacted as thought he had done something to her.  By being gay and not telling her the very second he found out.  

Melanie:
Like, c'mon, seriously Joy.  He can love whoever.

Kate:
I think the author thought she was being realistic.  But it's such a narcissistic reaction.

Melanie:
It's like she's the ruler of him or something.  
Joy is insufferable.

Kate:
I know.  Ugh.
And Monica.  Can we talk about Monica for a minute?  The friend?

Melanie:
Yep, the so-called "friend."

Kate:
OMG.  She ABANDONED Joy! After a dude CUT HER EYEBALL!
Oh, maybe she didn't see that happen?  I forget.  I'm gonna check.

Melanie:
She did...I believe.  LOL.  This book is irritatingly forgettable.

Kate:
Speaking of irritatingly forgettable:  Ink.
Boy, does he ever have absolutely no personality.

Melanie:
I KNOW! And he's always snarling!

Kate:
Always. Snarling.

Melanie:
I find it impossible to believe that he could "love" someone.  Ugh, the thought makes my potato chips taste bad.

Kate:
Right? This is why I thought maybe the target audience was younger teens.  Like, maybe thirteen-year-old-girls don't understand chemistry? But clearly I gave the author too much credit. 

Melanie:
I mean, I know a couple of my friends would love the romance, maybe because they are Twihards?

Kate:
Ah.  OK.
I knew it. There was something about this guy.  He's not telling you that he's 'waiting for you to be ready' or something, is he? Like he's the one who gets to say when you're ready to give it up so you, the independent woman, can rush to prove him wrong?
Kate:
Hey, do you remember the speech Monica gave Joy about Ink?  The lecture about dudes being passive-aggressive about sex?  How bizarre was that?

Melanie:
Bizarre.  Bat-shit crazy and so, so stupid.

Kate:
Like, I didn't COMPLETELY disagree with it?  Parts of it were great and feminist. But what on Earth...
I also expected Monica's boyfriend to be a part of fairy world.
I guess I just wanted something, anything, to come full circle and/or be a surprise.

Melanie:
Surprise is something that this novel really lacks, unfortunately.

Kate:
Right.  
Monica was a weird mix of characteristics.  I appreciate that she is religious and also has a lot of sex, because yes, that is a thing that happens in high school.  But then she's also really super against drinking?

Melanie:
OMG, she's like a mismatched puzzle.
I'm sick of the rebellious type of best friend.  It's like getting viral in YA lately.

Kate:
Ugh it's in everything.  In a lot of horror movies and like that Liam Neeson movie Taken, the best friend likes to have fun and she has sex and then dies and it's kind of treated like she deserves it.

Melanie:
*snorts* And if you say this is for younger readers of the YA genre, Monica's behavior doesn't really work.

Kate:
Agreed.
Also Inq.
WTF Inq.

Melanie:
BAH, she was really bleh for the most part.  And can I say, the names...

Kate.
Oh.  Yes.  What was Inq's dumb first name?  He's Indelible Ink.  What's her name?

Melanie:
Invisible Inq!

Kate:
That's right.

Melanie:
What are we, learning opposites in pre-school?

Kate:
HAHAHA.
It's pretty unfair that her powers are built in and he has to carry around a chain wallet full of X-Acto knives.

Melanie:
Seemingly kick-ass, but really not.  He's more like a robot with weirdo powers.

Kate:
Yeah.
And the black blood stuff really grossed me out.  He is not sexy.

Melanie:
EWWWWWWWW

Kate:
I also really did not like Ink's boss-guy dude.  The big frog? I kept imagining him as the boss from Monsters, Inc.
Monsters Inc could be Ink and Inq's other sibling.

Melanie:
LOL!
Totally yes.

***The rest of the conversation contains some minor spoilers about the book's ending.***

Kate:
Do you remember the final battle at all?
I...All I really have to say about it is: How boring was that shit?

Melanie:
Yes.  It was not exhilarating.
I was so bored in the end, I legit fell asleep with about twenty pages to go and had to finish in the morning.

Kate:
OK.  What was the thing... OK.  There were shapes.  Of the runes.
And when they caught on fire or something the people marked with those runes would die of... I don't know, being Bad Sick?
But here's what confused me: EVERYONE WITH A RUNE was marked with that bad lady's rune, right? So why not just burn that one?  Get everyone at once?

Melanie:
Plot holes galore!
I was going over that.  It really had not logic.  It was a good idea, just not executed well.

Kate:
It was so confusing.
I was confused when she cut the thing off of her arm, too.  I got confused a lot.  I kept thinking I had skipped a chapter.

Melanie:
What did you think of the overall idea of Indelible?

Kate:
Well, I thought the synopsis sounded cool.  I guess I liked it?  The execution was so unremarkable, though.

Melanie:
Yeah, the synopsis really drew me into wanting to read this.

Kate:
It tricked us.

Melanie:
Major downside there.
I have a grudge against amazing synopses and covers now.  They are not to be trusted.

Kate:
I can't believe there's going to be a sequel.
How is there another book coming?

Melanie:
I won't be reading it, that's for sure.

Kate:
Me.  Neither.

20 comments :

  1. Sadly, I have to agree with all that you said. The characters really fell flat to me and I couldn't stand the family dynamics. I did enjoy some of the Twixt elements but way too little of it. Straddling both worlds did nothing but keep me from really getting immersed in either.

    My Friends Are Fiction

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    1. Yeah. for this book to work, Ink really needed to be dark and mysterious, but instead he came off as a puddle of vanilla blah.

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  2. This sounds terrible O.o wow. The family dynamics is something that would really bother me. I mean I know some families are effed up and all that but this just seems plain weird. Glad to know I should stay away from this one. Great post ladies, love the format!

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    1. My family is crazybananas--I have some of the most insane stories--but we interact with each other like humans. Humans who can empathize.

      Did the format work? I can't tell because it was my conversation.

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  3. I got an ARC of this via NetGalley and I put it down like 3% in. I know that's super early to be DNFing a book but I could tell immediately that I was going to hate it and decided to just not waste my time. What you guys said here pretty much just confirms that I would have been really crazy confused and irritated throughout, so I'm glad I stopped reading and just sent a note to the publishers letting them know it wasn't my cup of tea.

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    1. Yeah, I knew I would hate it right away.

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  4. Well I'm totally not looking forward to reading this one anymore. I got it for review so I'll still give it a shot but my expectations are very low. Thanks for the honesty!

    Katie @ Katie's Book Blog

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    1. Maybe you'll like it--our negative review could lower your expectations to an appropriate level to make it not so bad!

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  5. Okay, the main character here is stuffed up, she can't just control her brother being gay, ugh that's so stupid. While I agree the idea seems pretty intriguing, I am not going to be touching this one anytime soon due to the romance and crap.

    I love your discussion review, Mel and Kate! <33

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    Replies
    1. And yes, I stole your awesome "<33", Mel :D

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    2. There are just too many good books out there to waste your time on this one.

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  6. Oh man. You guys should do these discussions like everyday! I haven't even read this book, but that whole post just cracked me up! Thanks for the laugh, ladies.

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    1. Thank you! It was soooo much fun to do.

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  7. Doesn't surprise me much that the dynamics with the parents is weird. Hard to find a lot of normal ones in YA.

    The reaction towards Stef being gay? Argh. So I obviously haven't read this one, but I am so favor of just cutting out homophobia or sexism in fictional worlds. Unless you're going to make them your main topic to make a point, I don't understand what purpose "being realistic" serves because more often than not, you're not going to be able to cover them in a satisfying way. The mom already loses major points, and I bet she doesn't get to make them up in the story at all. And Joy? That was a narcissistic response. I hate it? What? And he's her brother?

    A dude cut Joy's eyeball. Ahhh, and to think I was like, hmmm, one more comment to leave and then you can go to sleep o.O. I hope I don't have nightmares tonight. Anyway, the crappy rebellious BF? Over that. Please. No more. And a romantic interest who snarls and is meant for twihards: wow, that sounds so appealing.

    I don't even know what Indelible Ink and Invisible Inq means, but I can already tell that I would get confused while reading this. Basically, amazing synopses and covers have conspired against you both.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He cuts her eyeball while trying to REMOVE HER EYES, and when he cuts her he accidentally marks her with a rune that makes her his...well, kind of his fairy prostitute or pet, but without sex (The "but" there referred to "prostitute," not to "pet.").

      I think that maybe in the next book it will turn out that there is more to her mom's absence that we've been told, but I will never find out because I'm done with this author. I have REALLY weird parents--and have had four step-parents--but this particular situation, and the interactions between the characters within it, just rings false.

      And I agree w/ you about cutting out homophobia and sexism. Let's add racism to the list, shall we?

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  8. Great convo/review, Kat and Mel. Wow, this one sounds....hideous. The MC doesn't seem like someone I could ever like, the other characters sounds flat and unappealing. And Joy reacting personally to her brother being gay? Yeah, no. And the other weird things y'all mentioned...eep. I'm gonna have to reconsider reading this one for sure.

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    1. Yeah, it was a real bummer. The cover is so pretty!

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  9. What an interesting way to review the book guys! I thought it was a horrible book too. Just that stuff to do with Inq being really gross and him cutting her eye and her still going for it aggh.

    You're right, the family dynamics were really strange and kind of awkward. I felt sorry for the brother.

    Check out my review on Indelible!

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    Replies
    1. Great review. I loved what you had to say about Ink and his disgustingness as a love interest. He's just the grossest thing in the world.

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    2. Hehe, thanks Kate. I know right, I hated when they started talking about his belly button and his ears (or lack of) *shudders*

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