Careful–you are holding fresh ink. And not hot-off-the-press, still-drying-in-your-hands ink. Instead, you are holding twelve stories with endings that are still being written–whose next chapters are up to you.
Because these stories are meant to be read. And shared.
Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play. This collection will inspire you to break conventions, bend the rules, and color outside the lines. All you need is fresh ink.
Stories I Was Most Excited For: Eraser Tattoo by Jason Reynolds; Super Human By Nicola Yoon
Favorite stories: Be Cool For Once by Aminah Mae Safi; Why I Learned to Cook by Sara Farizan; Super Human by Nicola Yoon
Least Favorite Stories: A Stranger at the Bochinche by Daniel José Older; Paladin/Samuari by Gene Luen Yang
Fresh Ink is a vibrant collection of diverse stories that share personal truths, hopes, fears, and dreams. Told in short stories, a one act play, and a graphic short these stories give voice to characters whose stories are not often given the space to shine. But these author craft complex characters in dynamic relationships that draw you in.
Eraser Tattoo by Jason Reynolds | ★★★☆☆ (3.5 Stars)
Jason Reynolds can do no wrong in my eyes – Long Way Down is one lf the best books I’ve ever read. I loved the sentiment of the story and the rich history you can feel between childhood best friends Shay and Dante. Shay is giving Date an ‘eraser tattoo’ of an “S” to remember her by because she’s moving. I loved the focus on the importance of their relationship, but the story didn’t pull me in.
Meet Cute by Malinda Lo | ★★★☆☆
This was a fun and cute story about a girl named Nic who is cosplaying at a Denver Con, when the lights are knocked out by a storm, she a fellow cosplayer Tamia go looking for Nic’s brother. I loved seeing Nic and Tamia handle the can gatekeepers who suck the fun out of everything. But I had some personal preference issues that lowered my overall enjoyment of the story. Meta pop culture references always pull me out of stories and the heavy references in the beginning didn’t help. I also think I would have liked the story more if it was written in first person. But again those are personal issues and I still really liked the story overall.
Don’t Pass Me By by Eric Gansworth | ★★★★☆
This story was much more grounded than the first two. We follow “Doobie” a Native student who is going to a white school. We see Doobie discuss passing (because many of the other native kids at school are white passing and not picked on), gentrification, and the dismantling of native culture and white-washing history. This was such a powerful and impactful story and I loved it.
Be Cool For Once by Aminah Mae Safi| ★★★★★
My first five star read and it was so adorably cute I couldn’t handle it. Shirin is a Muslim American teen having the time of her life at a concert for one of her favorite bands and she sees her crush Jeffery show up (and this is the point I got giddy). Shirin is worried about the spotlight and recognition that comes with dating ‘Mr. Popular.’ This was just so cute and fluffy and perfect.
Tags by Walter Dean Morgan | ★★★☆☆
This is a truly unique story told in a one act play about a group of young black boys who’ve died tagging a wall. I loved framing tagging as a way to immortalize themselves and create a lasting legacy, where they’re not forgotten. But I was confused at parts of the story, which is why it got a lower rating.
Why I Learned to Cook by Sara Farizan | ★★★★★
This was one of the cutest things my eyes have ever witnessed. This was such a happy story that put me in the best mood. Yas wants to learn to cook Persian food to share with her girlfriend, Hannah, and gets lessons from her unapologetic grandmother.Yas’ grandmother was amazing. She is such a fierce lady and I aspire to be her. I loved seeing Yas gain an appreciation for her culture and seeing her grandmother love and accept her. It was just great.
A Stranger at the Bochinche by Daniel José Older | ★★☆☆☆
This was probably my least favorite story in the anthology because I was so confused reading it. Set in Brooklyn, this scifi story went over my head. I felt like there wasn’t context for what was happening – we just see this cult-like group that want their god to come down to Earth, and try to steal a design notebook that can help them. And there’s maybe aliens, or demons, I wasn’t sure. Like I said, I was confused.
A Boy’s Duty by Sharon G. Flake | ★★★☆☆
This story follows a young black boy in WWII, who ran away from home and wants to join the Navy. I liked seeing the life he’s built in New Orleans and the vibrant culture present in the city. I really liked seeing his artistic talent displayed and his genuinely good heart. This story really was about following your dreams, but not putting yourself above other.
One Voice by Melissa De La Cruz | ★★★★☆
Jas is a Sanford college student who’s entire college experience shifts when she sees racists graffiti spray painted across campus.Jas lives in fear of her family getting deported and this graffitti starts taking over all of her mind space. It really shows how harmful and deeply painful discrimination and racism is. But I really loved seeing Jas talk with other minority students and finding a power in their shared experieces.
Paladin/Samuari by Gene Luen Yang and Illustrations by Thien Pham | ★★☆☆☆
I’m not really a fan of graphic novels, I just haven’t found one that’s clicked with me yet. It also didn’t help that this was about a faux Dungeon and Dragons campaign game where a guy wants to play as a samurai instead of the traditional Paladin. There was also something about a part at a girl he likes house. The story felt disjointed to me, and I didn’t enjoy it as much as some of the others.
Catch, Pull, Drive by Schuyler Bailar | ★★★★☆
This was an amazing story that featured a trans boys who’s finally come out to his school and is at his first swim practice since coming out. We see the challenges he faces – a new locker room, ignorant comments from teammates – but also see his loving parents, and a friend on the team who supports him as well. This was such an inspirational story that moved me.
Super Human by Nicola Yoon | ★★★★★
I have never been disappointed by a Nicola Yoon short story and Super Human was definitely a standout for me. We follow Syrita as she’s chosen to convince disillusioned superhero “X” to restore his faith in humanity, because she was the first person he saved years ago. But X, a black superhero, has lost his faith no longer thinks that humanity is saving. The reason he’s changed his mind is a punch to the gut, and is best uncovered while reading the story. But this story was just so powerful and a perfect way to conclude this anthology.
Fresh Ink is a can’t miss collection of stories from some of YAs hottest authors that allows these diverse characters to have their truths told, in their own way.
I received a copy og the book from Crown Books for Young Readers via Netgalley in exchange fro an honest review
Follow the Tour
8/1/2018- YA Books Central- Spotlight
8/2/2018- Always Me- Review
8/3/2018- Book-Keeping- Review
8/6/2018- Here's to Happy Endings- Review
8/7/2018- BookHounds YA – Review
8/8/2018- Confessions of a YA Reader- Review
8/9/2018- Wonder Struck- Review
8/10/2018- Life of a Literary Nerd- Review
8/13/2018- Literary Meanderings- Spotlight
8/14/2018- Mama Reads Blog- Review
8/15/2018- Novel Novice- Review
8/16/2018- Savings in Seconds- Review
8/17/2018- Sweet Southern Home- Review
8/20/2018- The Layaway Dragon- Review
8/21/2018- Eli to the nth- Review
8/22/2018- Comfort Books- Review
8/23/2018- Moonlight Rendezvous- Review
8/24/2018- laura’s bookish corner – Review
8/27/2018- Never Too Many To Read- Review
8/28/2018- The Book Nut- Review
8/29/2018- Cindy's Love of Books- Review
8/30/2018- The Pages In-Between- Review
8/31/2018- A Dream Within A Dream- Review
- 3 winners will win a finished copy of FRESH INK US Only.
- US Only.
Make sure you grab your copy of Fresh Ink today. You won’t want to miis this sci-fi read!