Red Ink

Book Information
Rating: Cannot Recommend
Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Julie Mayhew
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Year: 2015
ISBN: 9780763677312
Pages: 297

Melon is a fifteen-year-old girl whose mother was recently killed in a bus accident. Left with her mother's boyfriend, Paul, Melon angrily tries to figure out where she belongs. She clings to the story of her mother's past, but Paul eventually tells Melon the other side to her mom's past. Unable to accept the darker, other version of her mom's story, Melon runs away. She finds herself in the wrong place and is drugged and raped. Melon and Paul finally come to terms with the events of their lives and forge a bond. Melon realizes that everyone sees their story as they want to.

Mayhew's characters are realistic and easy to identify with, especially as they pass through so much sorrow. The theme of the book centers on learning to cope with loss and realizing that even if things aren't what you thought they were, you can still be okay. The book moved back and forth in different time frames, making it a little tricky to keep the facts straight. The entire story was given from the viewpoint of Melon, who did mature throughout the book. Although the book has a strong message born from a difficult situation, some readers will be put-off by the severe language. There is also a lot of distracting sexual vulgarity, so readers should be cautioned and aware before reading.

*Contains severe language and sexual content.