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  • Aug 7, 2010

Ink Exchange is the second novel in Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series.  Of course, Marr, being the complex and fascinating writer that she is, chooses not to keep her readers on the edge of their seats by disrupting the sequence of the series.  You shouldn't make the mistake of believing this novel to be the sequel to Wicked Lovely.  This novel, which examines the story of Aislinn's friend Leslie, is a companion to rather than the sequel for Wicked Lovely.  

Although the novel includes the familiar Aislinn, Keenan, Donia, and Seth, Ink Exchange focuses primarily on three previously minor characters, Leslie, Niall, and Irial.  When Irial realizes that his Dark Court is losing power, he initiates an "ink exchange" (physically manifested in the form a tattoo) between himself and Leslie.  This exchange allows him to gain access to a direct stream of negative emotions that he can use to feed his weakening court.  However, Marr complicates the story by allowing Leslie to fall in love with Niall, a former member of the Dark Court and a current member of the Summer King's Court.  And to further extend the intricacies of the novel, Irial decides that he is in love with Leslie.

Marr-like dramas ensue from then on.  Leslie falls under Irial's spell and it is up to Niall to release her from Irial's grip.  Yet, similar to the close of Wicked Lovely, this novel offers an atypical ending for a teen fantasy novel.

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review by . November 13, 2009
Review courtesy of [...]    Wicked lovely was one of my favorite paranormal YA reads in recent years. I immediately connected with Aislinn and Seth, and was completely captivated by the Faerie world that Melissa Marr had created. So I fully expected to be equally enchanted by Ink Exchange. After all, it's the same wonderful world, and some of the same wonderful characters. So why am I left feeling slightly disappointed?      A human girl is singled …
review by . June 29, 2008
I had thought maybe it was just me and my own inability to get into this book. I loved Wicked Lovely and had high hopes for Ink Exchange. Maybe this is the downfall of this book; it just didn't live up to Wicked Lovely. It seems, after reading several reviews here on Amazon, that I'm not alone in my feelings for Ink exchange: It was good, just not as good as I'd hoped it would be.    Leslie, friend of Aislinn from Wicked Lovely, wants to retake control of her life; her mother's …
review by . June 10, 2008
Leslie has led a troubled life ever since her mother walked out on her family. Her father has turned to alcohol and can't be depended on to do anything like paying the bills unless he's in a good mood. Her brotherRen has turned to drugs, and unfortunately, hanging out with than crowd under the influence has caused horrible things to happen to Leslie. But Leslie is so ashamed and tries to hide it. She refuses to tell her friends and works as a waitress so she can pay the bills. She feels trapped …
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Starred Review. Grade 9 Up—This urban fairy tale, a sequel toWicked Lovely(HarperTeen, 2007), is impossible to put down. Leslie lives with a father who has given up on life, a drug-abusing brother who allowed his dealer to rape Leslie in lieu of payment, and a burning desire to banish pain and fear from her life. Unable to confide in her best friend, Aislinn, she devotes herself to working to pay the family bills and to get the tattoo she believes will help her reclaim her body. What she doesn't know is that the art she has selected will bind her to Irial, the king of the Dark Court of Fairy. He removes her emotions like fear, panic, or anger, and uses them to nourish the fairies of his court. What Irial doesn't expect is his growing love for Leslie and her desire to make her own choices. In Leslie, Marr has created a damaged, wounded character who still comes across as being incredibly strong. Irial needs to care for his court, knowing them too weak to win a war, but his feelings for Leslie make him unwilling to do what needs to be done. The lesser characters are also well drawn: Rabbit the tattoo artist, his father, Gabriel, and also Aislinn, Keenan, and Seth fromWicked Lovely. While reading that book first would give more shades to some of the characters, it isn't necessary to appreciate the intricate world that Marr creates.—Lisa Prolman, Greenfield Public Library, MA
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ISBN-10: 006121468X
ISBN-13: 978-0061214684
Author: Melissa Marr
Genre: Teens
Publisher: HarperCollins
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