Series: The Twist #1
Publication Date: July 30, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 384 (ARC)
Source: BEA 2013
Some things are permanent.
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…
After I saw this beautiful cover for the very first time, I immediately looked up what the unique title actually meant. The dictionary gave me two different definitions that shape the story as a whole, thus picking the perfect title. Indelible is defined as:
1. Not able to be forgotten or removed2. (of ink or a pen) making marks that cannot be removed
To put it simply, this story has made an incredibly indelible impression on me, and I have no doubt that it will do the same to all who pick it up.
What made this story so awesome was the world-building. Metcalf managed to captivate me from page one because, like Joy, I had no clue what was going on the day that her already damaged world truly spun out of control when a mysterious boy with pitch black eyes stabbed her in the eye, marking her as his own. I so desperately want to sit here and explain this complicated and deliciously complex world to you, but I refuse to do so because one of the things that kept me anxious and on my toes was the potential discovery of a new bit of information involving this world. I want you to experience the thrills of learning about this unique world yourself so that you can truly love this book as much as I did. It's just that worth it! Metcalf's world-building was superb, I have no other way to describe it.
And, let me tell you, the characterization was not half bad either. I enjoyed Joy because of her acceptance of the crazy circumstances that is her life. Her best friend, Monica, and her love of sex and innuendo despite being the youth group leader at church brought up a lot of laughs. But what I really loved were the characters found in The Twixt--our monstrous world full of the myths that you never hoped come true.
To begin, Ink and Inq. Indelible Ink and Invisible Inq. Siblings, two completely different personalities, Scribes of The Twixt to mark humans with the signs of their twixt counterparts. One boy, one girl = an awesome twosome of siblings without actually being directly related. See, Ink and Inq were brought to be to serve a purpose, they were not born into this world. Thus, they have to endure this infinite struggle against humanity, observing it and melding themselves to be more human, yet not entirely succeeding because they aren't human. While Inq is mischievous and tends to humanize herself with many good-lucking male slaves, Ink has always been careful not to leave his mark on anyone until Joy came along. Watching Ink's desperation and his journey and yearning to discover himself and to come to terms with his existence was astounding. It makes his discovery of humanity all the more powerful. And it makes the soon to be infamous ear scene all the more delicious and mesmerizing.
Yes, ears. You heard me. Read it and you will totally love ears too! Everything from their onyx eyes to their doll hands lacking knuckles, the absence of belly-buttons, and their little shell ears made me feel for Ink and Inq. They had to shape themselves from shapeless molds to parallel humanity, and after a lengthy existence they're still struggling to understand what it's really like to be human and feel. This part of the novel truly resonated with me and got a girl thinking, you know?
Plus, I have to throw a shout out to Bailiwick in there. My first impression of you, dear humongous toad monster that I now love, is that such a name was not a good name for a breed of monster since it was more fit for a butler. But you and your lovely spats--have I mentioned that I love Metcalf's sense of humor? Because I do!--have earned a special place in my heart as a trusted confidant!
Metcalf's writing shines through not only with her amazing world building, but her attention to detail and easy ability to invoke passionate emotions within her readers. I was holding my breathe while reading about first kisses, my heart beat fast when new, scary monsters introduced themselves. And worse, I feared the destruction of all humanity alongside Joy when the hatred of some Twixt creatures arose as their scheme to rid the world of all humans began to be exposed. She has the ability to make her plot points resonate with us, and I could not let go. Plus, the emotional relationship between Ink and Joy was so amazing. Watching him learn to love and her learn to love in their own ways was astounding. And seeing a girl who realizes the moment she loves someone, but doesn't blurt it out to the world in a fast and annoying case of insta-love was rather amazing, too.
However, with that being said, I have one small issue with this story. As much as I want to connect to a character and I want them to have a back-story, I felt as if Joy's actually took away from the plot. She had a lot of family drama and a mother who I'm not quite a fan of. This nasty family-drama monster chose to rear its head at the most inopportune times and I felt that it often took away from the plot because I was so wrapped up in the Twixt that I nearly began to hate her reality. I wanted to be in the Twixt and not in her reality. While I think this could easily have been intentional on Metcalf's part, it did frustrate me at times.
Dark, gritty, and real, I could not put this book down. Full of passionate emotions, beautiful detail, amazing world-building, unexpected surprises, and absolutely marvelous characterization, Metcalf's amazing writing style truly shines through and leaves you begging for more. Book two, I need you now because book one is sticking with me for quite some time.
INDELIBLE, you are simply indelible.
Warning: this book does have a few crude sexual remarks in it and is rather graphic and detailed during violent
yet completely awesome fight scenes and all-out battles. If any of this bothers you, this may not be a good book for you.