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Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

*Poison Ink* by Christopher Golden- young adult book review  
Poison Ink
by Christopher Golden
Ages 12+ 288 pages Delacorte July 2008 Paperback    

Christopher Golden, author and coauthor of several series for both youth and adults, additionally being the author of several comics and books written as sidelines to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff, Angel, and last but not least a co-creator of the animated drama Ghosts of Albion, does not disappoint his followers with his latest YA tale, Poison Ink. The youth of America will find themselves drawn into this tale that could unfold in their own lives.

But the familiar slows and begins to stop altogether when the five outcast group of friends decide to unite their bond permanently with a tattoo designed by the artist of the group, Caryn. All five are excited by the idea of marking their joy in finally finding one another. The year before they were all afloat, always outside the crowds at Covington High School, rejected from becoming permanent members in any one group of peers. This year they have each other, and to commemorate it they’re going to brand their bodies with a continuous reminder of their pledged loyalty to one another.

Only one girl, Sammi, is hesitant. Sammi has been having a hard time at home lately. Her parents seem to be avoiding each other, and she is terrified of doing anything that might further cause her family to crumble. When Letty, another of the five, finds a tattoo parlor that doesn’t ask for proof of age, Sammi finds herself letting down her best friends. She expects a hurt reaction, but she never imagines the rejection and chaos that follows the night she alone rejects getting inked. Her best friends not only turn against her, they begin behaving in ways that only zonked-out dropouts would. In addition, the snippy and outright violent behavior they engage in has Sammi terrified and unbelievably worried.

What happened to her buddies to make them do the things they all used to disparage? Sammi wonders if she ever knew them in the first place. As things get even more out of control, she catches a glimpse of the lines of ink on one of her former friends expanding up her stomach, tendrils of writhing black. Even though her four former partners of some of life’s roughest years, high school, have abandoned, scorned and taken away her budding interest in a new boy, Sammi still loves them all. She knows where she needs to start looking for what went wrong with them, but does she have the courage - and will they let her help if she finds out how to stop the poisonous ink?

Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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