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Ink Is Thicker Than Water

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  479 ratings  ·  91 reviews
For Kellie Brooks, family has always been a tough word to define. Combine her hippie mom and tattooist stepdad, her adopted overachieving sister, her younger half brother, and her tough-love dad, and average Kellie’s the one stuck in the middle, overlooked and impermanent. When Kellie’s sister finally meets her birth mother and her best friend starts hanging with a cooler ...more
Paperback, 285 pages
Published December 3rd 2013 by Entangled: Teen
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Thank you Entangled Teen for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.

Sure, Ink Is Thicker Than Water was a decent read, but I failed to connect with it in pratically everyway. First glaring reason; I don’t really remember much of the happenings in the book already. Yikes. Talk about an insignificant read.

Kellie has always felt the one in the middle. Lost in the crowd, completely unnoticed and nothing special. Her large,
Amy Spalding gave me exactly what I needed in Ink is thicker than Water. I had become a really fussy reader lately so found myself struggling through some mediocre books. But with the Ink is thicker than Water I found myself completely taken in and over 3/4’s of the way through just in a few hours.

Kellie was an easy person to get behind, she found herself in many difficult situations and with no one person she could talk to. It was like fate was against her and slowly one by one every person she
Trish Doller
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I blurbed this book:

Amy Spalding has a knack for capturing the messiness of family in a way that feels as familiar and comforting as a pair of perfectly worn jeans or favorite pair of flip flops. With Ink Is Thicker than Water, Spalding depicts a blended family with compassion, humor, love, and pitch-perfect authenticity.
Oct 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, ebook
This just wasn't - it. Admittedly, I've been sick since last Wednesday, things have either had an odd spike of badness or gotten worse, and what I was reading kept not being it (until this morning's post).

There's a lot I actually did love here, but it always seemed to be buried somehow in stuff that detracted. Like the theme of adolescence being a time when maybe people want to change, want to reevaluate who they are and want to be. Good theme, right? But by the end I felt it had bludgeoned me
Mar 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Amy Spalding tore down any preconceived notions I may have had about the content of her novels with her debut, The Reece Malcolm List, which stunned me with its honest voice, unexpected depth, and realistic portrayal of family. With Ink is Thicker Than Water, Spalding weaves an even more complex family dynamic with yet another narrator whose voice is spot-on. It isn't nearly as much fun as her debut is, full of its musical cast, but its messages are just as - if not more - important.

Kellie Brook
Nov 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Aw, this is really super. I LOVED the way the family dynamics played out--it was completely realistic and I think that aspect will be really relatable for a lot of readers.

I would have adored Amy's books when I was a teenager. The smarts and humor just work for me, and I wish I'd had that sort of book when I was a teenager a million years ago.
May 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
I received an ARC through NetGalley.

I absolutely adored this author's debut novel earlier this year, which set my expectations quite high for Ink is Thicker Than Water. Unfortunately, it didn't measure up. My rating feels unfairly low, but three stars doesn't feel right either. I didn't think this book was bad, or not for me, or anything like that. In fact, I found it really cute in places and refreshing as a whole, but it bored me like no other! I honestly cannot believe how boring it was. I li
Jennifer  Ricketts (Donnie Darko Girl)
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.

INK IS THICKER THAN WATER was such a pleasure to read! Kellie is the kind of character who not only reminds me of myself when I was in high school but will also stick with me for a long time to come. She has a fresh unique voice and is a master at throwing out witty barbs - nothing that ever hurts anyone but will make them laugh in a feel good kind of way. It's as though she doesn't
I'll write this review when I'm a little more motivated to talk about it, but honestly - I can't right now. And there are reasons for that.
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Ink is Thicker Than Water impressed me with its realism. There are so many details that make the story all the more relatable. I instantly took to the characters and their interactions with one another. This is a novel that gets high school right. Kellie's voice is memorable. Her family is amazing. Her little brother is adorable. The supporting cast are characters in their own right. Most importantly, Kellie's relationships ar
Brandy Painter
Earlier this year I bought The Reece Malcolm List on the excellent recommendation of several people and was thoroughly enamored with Amy Spalding's writing style. I was excited to discover she would have a second book coming out this year, Ink is Thicker Than Water, and when it showed up on NetGalley I couldn't request it fast enough. I am happy to say that it is another truly wonderful read. It is just so lovely to find an author who can write stories that are real, entertaining, and full of he ...more
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc

Ink is Thicker Than Water is a book that embodies everything that I want in a solid YA contemporary novel. Going into the book, I honestly can't say I had much expectations, especially since I had read mixed reviews, but Ink is Thicker Than Water ended up surprising me so much by how good it was and I'm glad I took my chance with it.

The main character in the book, Kellie, was wonderful in every sense of the word. She basically represents every other normal girl out there with her being average a
Ink is Thicker than Water by Amy Spalding is set in Webster Groves, St Louis. Sixteen year old Kellie Brooks is convinced that never being excited about anything is the way to go, that is until she joins the school newspaper and starts seeing Oliver. She feels out-shined by her older and adopted sister, Sara; yet she holds nothing against her, but does feel slighted by her biological father’s reaction. She adores her younger brother Finn and can’t wait to start working at the tattoo shop owned b ...more
Joy (joyous reads)
Dec 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Quick Story:

Mediocre teen Kellie Brooks has no illusions as to where she stands in her lot in life. She's content going through her high school tenure with average grades, using very little effort to apply herself. She leaves the brilliance and overachieving to her older sister.

One upheaval after another disturbs her unassuming existence, however. First, her sister found her biological mother, which led her to realize exactly how she fits (or doesn't) with her adopted family. Then the boy-man sh
Nov 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
First of all, the title is so great. I love it.

Another thing I love: the way there isn't a real rising action-climax-falling action structure to this book. Things happen throughout the course of the book, and Kellie responds to them, and she makes mistakes, and people respond to those. Her mistakes aren't huge ones, though. She has a great family, but not a perfect one, and her parents actually parent. Normal, relatable, messy things happen. Everything is fabulously ordinary. Ink is Thicker Than
Ashley - Book Labyrinth
I adored The Reece Malcolm List, Amy Spalding’s first book, and I am happy to say that I loved Ink is Thicker Than Water just as much.

I found the book to be so lovely, mainly because I loved the main character, Kellie, and related to her. Kellie is at the point in high school where she has to start figuring out her future. She’s been making personal changes in her life, figuring out what she likes and who she wants to be. Throughout the book Kellie has to deal with a new relationship, friendship
Mar 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Amy Spalding is quickly becoming one of my favorite contemporary YA writers. She knows what a teen story is, and she is able to tell it with not just heart, but with a hearty dose of humor. She never talks down to teen readers and the respect she has for teenagers is obvious.

This is a story about what a family looks like, how one fits into a family, what a friendship looks like, how one fits into a friendship, what a romantic relationship looks like, how one fits into a romantic relationship, a
Oct 19, 2013 marked it as dnf
Can't do it. Which drives me crazy because I *love* the way Amy Spalding writes family, both in her debut and here. But a large portion of this book is also the romance, and every single one of the scenes between the MC and LI feels exactly the same to me, with no growth, no forward movement, no chemistry, and no personality. I read 2/3 of the book and it's clearly just not for me.
Yes. Yes! I've waited so long to read this!

This is such a sweet, light book that explores a bunch of wonderful, necessary things. And it does so from a place that is beautifully unique: Kellie, our girl, has divorced parents, a step-parent, an adopted sibling, a half sibling, a lawyer dad, and (more excitingly) a tattoo artist mom. They are an awesome family. They go through a lot here, but the ultimate point is that they're a fantastic one. The family's weird blendedness feels really fresh to m
Jan 17, 2016 rated it liked it

Positives about the story:

1) Several good plot lines.
2) Lots of interpersonal and family drama.
3) I like the "bad guys" to live up to their billing and both Kaitlyn and Sara acted like true mega-bitches towards Kellie.
4) Not every issue had a Disney happy ending.


1) Kellie was a bit of a whiny twit. On one hand she's dating a college guy, but she's also having an emotional meltdown because Kaitlyn doesn't want to be her BFF anymore (mostly becau
Vanya D.
NOTE: I received the eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Amy Spalding is a really talented writer. It was obvious from her first published work I read - The Reece Malcolm List. Her characters were lively, and her writing realistic. It's the same with Ink is Thicker Than Water.

Here we're introduced to Kellie Brooks, a girl of creative mind, who always feels like she's the odd one in her family, even though it's her sister, Sara who's the adopted one. Kellie's Dad is never satisf
Amy at bookgoonie
I walked away from INK IS THICKER THAN WATER utterly refreshed. It felt like I had a window into a family. A family with dysfunction and expectations nipping on the fringes of love they shared. Just a family trying to figure it out all the same.

This is Kellie’s coming of age story. I instantly liked her. She is smart, witty and loves her family. Her story is complex, because each obstacle comes with good and bad. When her BFF wants to start hanging with the “in” crowd, she starts filling her tim
Nov 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, ya, contemporary, 2013, laughs
With her second novel in a year (busy girl!), Amy Spalding delivers on the expectations she set with her debut, The Reece Malcolm List–which, you might recall, I adored.

In Ink is Thicker than Water, Spalding succeeds again in creating teenage characters that feel honest and authentic. They sound like teenagers, they think like teenagers, and their problems are those that real teenagers have to navigate in their daily lives. There’s something infinitely relatable about her character that I find n
Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Realistic and honest, yet hopeful, and heartwarming, too. I love romance as much as the next person, still I also very much appreciate when an author is able to craft a story that has sparks, but offers more as well. Most girls lives (hopefully) don’t just revolve around a cute guy; Ink is Thicker than Water struck an ideal balance of family, romance and friendship, it felt like an actual life.

Our heroine, Kellie, is sixteen, neither super popular, nor nerdy, a little bit cool, a little bit cute
Nikki S
Apr 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, netgalley, on-kindle
I just think this book wasn't for me. DNF at about 20%.

More of my reviews can be found here at my blog: Take Me Away...

Originally when I saw this, I wasn't really enticed to read it. But then when I started seeing reviews for it pop up, and I decided I wanted to read it. But unfortunately, it just didn't work for me. I could only get through the beginning before I couldn't continue.
One problem I had with this was the writing style. For it to be a YA book, it seemed as if it were like a middl

I was a huge fan of The Reese Malcolm List, and I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to check this out. It has so many things I love in books -- eclectic families, school newspapers, and really dynamic sibling relationships.

Two things I enjoyed in particular:

- Growing pains Kellie is experienced with her best friend. Kaitlyn decides she wants to hang out with other people and doesn't know what she and Kellie have in common anymore and this is totally painful and comes out of nowhere
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it

Ink Is Thicker Than Water…. So, Amy Spalding, I think I love you. Too strong? Too desperate? The thing is this second book totally merits this new found devotion of mine. The way things play out in this one: it’s not just about her:

It’s family again,
it’s new connections,
and then it’s choice.
And it’s eventually all sorts of complications that stem from one, or two, or all of those.

First, here we have issues of family: family that one has been born into, as well as family that’s been made g
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
NOTE: An eARC of this title was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.

This book is outstanding. I was craving some snappy dialogue, and Kellie Brooks is a terrific character with a vibrant inner voice. She has a unique family composition, and that makes life challenging - but Kellie loves her family and will fight
Nov 12, 2013 added it
Ink is Thicker Than Water was a totally different book than I imagined it to be. And I loved every second of it. Kellie, our main character, has a lot going on in her life. Her family is going through some drama, her best friend is finding new interests, and an old fling has suddenly resurfaced. That's a lot for one girl to handle!

Something that really caught my attention in this story was the details. I loved the representation of Kellie's family. They're different, they're quirky, but their lo
I'm not sure how I feel about this book.

Most of the time, I did enjoy Kellie's inner monologue, but I was quickly annoyed every time she said she was "fine". I should have counted, but it felt like it happened a million times.

For the most part, I liked the family dynamic [Finn is adorable]. It did seem like there was a lot of build up to what was going on with Oliver, only to have the reveal and then the ending. And don't get me started on the ending....I definitely would have liked a little b
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Amy Spalding grew up in St. Louis, but now lives in the better weather of Los Angeles. She has a B.A. in Advertising & Marketing Communications from Webster University, and an M.A. in Media Studies from The New School. Amy studied longform improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.

By day, she manages the digital media team for an indie film advertising agency. By later day and night, Amy wri

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