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Red Ink

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3.5  ·  Rating details ·  272 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
A sharp-witted teenager discovers surprising truths after her mother’s death in a wry and heartrending novel touching on denial, identity, and family lore.


When her mother is knocked down and killed by a London bus, fifteen-year-old Melon Fouraki is left with no family worth mentioning. Her mother, Maria, never did introduce her to a living, breathing father. The indomita
...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 9th 2016 by Candlewick Press (first published February 7th 2013)
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Kirsty
Sep 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Red ink is a brilliant coming of age story which I enjoyed thoroughly

At the start of the book you meet Melon. Melon is 15 and has just lost her mother, the only real family she has, and has found herself alone in the world. The story follows her as she starts to find out more about her past and where she comes from.

One thing I really enjoyed about this book was the way in which the story was told. It flips between present day and then flashes back to different points in Melon's past so you can l
...more
Luna
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The really short explanation of why I liked this book is; I believed Melon. A lot if the time when I read books about people in dealing with death I sympathise with the character, sometimes I’ll shed a tear, but I don’t believe in them.

Melon reminded me so much of myself at times it made uncomfortable reading. People treading on eggshells, Melon feeling guilty for not being upset enough ALL of the time… yeah it put me right back there. Red Ink actually made therapeutic reading in that sense.

Excl
...more
Eimear
Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here's a link to my blog for more reviews !!!

I picked up a copy of Red Ink by Julie Mayhew in the library after it was recommended to me by a friend. This isn’t a very high profile book, it was sent to my friend, who also writes a book blog, by Hot Key books , and she couldn’t give it more praise. And after reading it neither could I. I didn’t know what I was getting into with Red Ink, and I could not expect the effect it would have on me. It is without a doubt the best contemporary YA novel I
...more
LH Johnson
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's a strange sort of poetry in sadness. The poetics of grief, if you will. Think about it. When sadness, darkness, pain hits us, it hits hard. We feel it. It's an almost physical impact, this great black nothing that swings out of nowhere and makes us fall out of the rythm of our daily lives. And when it's fallen, when we're stumbling round in our grief and our hurt, we're lost because our world doesn't make sense any more. Yesterday, it did. Yesterday it was perfect.

But today, it does not.
...more
Susy Goldstone
Jun 26, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't really feel like this book had much direction. I don't know if that makes sense, but there was very little momentum to it, nothing really motivating me to keep reading.

It was also littered with cliches which was very off-putting. Apart from that the writing was ok, but the cliched descriptions just didn't work at all and were a distraction.

I liked that it was centred around a different culture (Greek) but the foreign vocabulary was used in too much excess for me, with very little effort
...more
Lucy Dawson
Nov 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars
An interesting and in some sections, haunting YA novel.
There are some lovely descriptions of Greece and some interesting insights into Greek family culture.
The main character can come across as quite selfish and aggressive in parts, and the way she treats her Mother before she dies is very sad.
I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would but wasn't a fan of the ending. I won't give it away but I felt disappointed for the main character and what had befallen her. It was portrayed as being pos
...more
Helen
There's certainly never a good time to lose your mother, but when you're not yet sixteen and you've never known your father, it can't be one of the best. Melon is a troubled and troubling girl, but a highly engaging and often funny teenager. There's a hopefulness here, and a battling instinct that never gets lost - this is partly a story about a rite of passage, partly one of survival. Julie Mayhew's deftness of touch keeps a dark story moving, stops it from being gloomy. Very highly recommended ...more
Louise
Nov 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
F
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable. I have recently read Julie Mayhew's 'Mother Tongue' which I liked, probably because there are not many books written in English for teenagers which are set in Beslan.
I loved Melon's anger, her fury at the fact that her mother and her family were not 'normal' and the problems this caused her at school. My mother died when I was 10 years old, so the feeling that other people are dancing around the subject, not talking honestly and directly about what has happened was a feeling I r
...more
Ricki
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Picked this up for fifty cents because the first few pages had a nice poetry. The book is well-written and strikes an interesting balance between gritty/real and poetic/idealized. It didn't completely work for me. Halfway through I just skimmed to the the ending, which felt contrived and regrettable. I'm probably going to forget all about this book in a month. To be fair, this sort of thing isn't my genre (I'm more the positive fantasy/SF type), so it didn't have much of a chance.
Anastasia Vârlan
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
An honest novel which I enjoied and believed. Some moments made me feel worried sick due to the clean, warm writing I was admiring from the beginning to the end of the book.
Kay
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really good book enjoyed reading it but the ending was too predictable.
CherryCarrot
Sep 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF. Fifty pages in, I just wasn't feeling anything, and didn't warm to Melon or her voice.
Shannon
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, own, to-re-read
Check out my review over on my blog here!


----

A huge thank you to HKB for sending me this novel in exchange for my honest review.

This was another novel I read back in the summer, but don't take my late posting of this review as a sign that I disliked this novel, quite the opposite. After finishing this novel, it was difficult to compose my thoughts on this novel without just word vomiting about how amazing and wonderful I think it is and how everyone should read it right now!!! So after a few mo
...more
Steve lovell
May 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘Here is an account of a few years in the life of Quoyle, born in Brooklyn and raised in a shuffle of dreary upstate towns. Hive-spangled, gut roaring with gas and cramp, he survived childhood; at the state university, hand clapped over his chin, he camouflaged torment with smiles and silence. Stumbled through his twenties and into his thirties learning to separate his feelings from his life, counting on nothing. He ate prodigiously, liked a ham knuckle, buttered spuds.’
And here commences E Ann
...more
Karen
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend who worked in a bookshop gave me a box of uncorrected proofs from Hot Key Books. I love YA books, so in I dived!!! Red Ink was the first one I got my hands on, and I really enjoyed it. It is both a thoughtful and, at times, emotional read.

There are three threads to this story and the narrative switches well between them.

Firstly, there is Melon’s story as she comes to terms with her mother’s sudden death in a traffic accident.

Melon herself is a great narrator. She is not the most popular
...more
Kulsuma
Dec 23, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The synopsis for Red Ink by Julie Mayhew is great. Fifteen year old Melon’s mother is killed when she is run over by a bus and Melon now has no family to speak of. I picked up this book to see what Melon would find out about herself after her mother’s death, what family she might find and how she would deal with having a name like Melon. The story is told in a non-linear fashion; showing flashbacks to when Melon’s mother was still alive. Also, time and again, we are told ‘The Story’; the story o ...more
Joséphine (Word Revel)
June 14, 2013

Full review is up on Word Revel.
____________

June 13, 2013

Initial thoughts: Melon lost her mother to a London bus that knocked her over and killed her. With no family contact left behind, all Melon has is her mother’s story. She knows that even though she was born and raised in London, her original roots lie in Crete. Her whole identity and existence has depended on that story. It is her knowledge of it that allows her to live day by day after her mother’s death. As she pieces the st
...more
Colleen Scidmore
This book was about a 3.75 star.

Melon is dealing with the grief of her dead mother who was hit by a bus. Melon and her mother lived in London but her mother is originally from Greece. So Melon has no family really in London except for a great aunt who has wanted nothing to do with her mom. Even the family in Greece seem to have wanted nothing to do with her mom. Maybe because her mom got pregnant at 15 with Melon by a neighboring farm boy and broke her dad's heart.? That's always The Story Melon
...more
April
Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
What did you like about the book? A 15 year old second generation Greek girl living in London, Melon hates her name. She hates hearing her mom's "Story" about why she HAS such a strange name. But when her mom gets hit by a bus, she tries to cope with her grief and it leads her on a journey to find out the truth about her mom's "Story". This is a very well written short book in two parts. The first and longest slowly unravels the story of what led up to the events of the day on which Melon's mom ...more
Sinéad O'Hart
Aug 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘Red Ink’ tells the story of a fifteen-year-old girl coming to terms with awful loss, and trying to rebuild her life, and herself. It takes us from London to Crete and back again, describing the differing landscapes with such precise and poetic language that we can feel the streets under our feet, see the sparkling blue sea, hear the passing traffic, smell the warm dust in the air. The writing in this book is a living thing. It is the voice of our narrator; for the duration of the novel, we are ...more
Abby Mzzz
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Red Ink is definitely one of my favorite YA books this year. It had everything a good book needs; a tragedy to the main character and a great storyline. The main character is 15 year old Melon who doesn't have much self confidence in her body, especially hates her name and has a dead Mum. One of the things I liked about Red Ink is the way it was written; the story jumps back and forth between what happened before her Mum's death to the days since, which kept me interested in what was happening ...more
grdel
Mar 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa
Melon hates her name. And she’s pretty angry at her social worker mom for getting hit by a London bus and dying. But she has The Story. She has heard it so many times as she grew up that she uses it as a sort grief therapy writing it down. Her mother was estranged from her family and even though they went home to Crete regularly, so Melon has minimal support. She’s not happy that her Mum’s boyfriend has moved in and it trying to get her to open up. Her best friend abandons her and she has a grie ...more
Becky
When fifteen year old Melon Fouraki's mother is struck down by a London city bus she finds her self lost and alone. Her only guardian is her mother's boyfriend who has agreed to raise her until she of legal age. As Melon begins to learn about her mother's she soon realizes that her family's history may not be what she always believed.

I wanted this book to better than it proved to be. I found the character of Melon uninspiring. She came across a little to whiny and self pitying even for a teen w
...more
Susan
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013books
When her mother is knocked down and killed by a London bus, fifteen-year-old Melon Fouraki is left with no family worth mentioning. Her mother, Maria, never did introduce Melon to a 'living, breathing' father. The indomitable Auntie Aphrodite, meanwhile, is hundreds of miles away on a farm in Crete, and is unlikely to be jumping on a plane and coming to East Finchley anytime soon. But at least Melon has 'The Story'. 'The Story' is the Fourakis family fairytale. A story is something. RED INK is a ...more
Stephanie Tournas
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Melon Fouraki is 15 and she has just lost her mother, run over by a London bus. She has no father, and her mother, Maria, was estranged from her aunts in Britain and her relatives on a melon farm in Crete. Yet all she feels towards her dead mother and her mother's devastated fiance, Paul, is anger. It doesn't help that her best friend Chick abandons her. She manages to begin writing down "The Story" of her mother as a way to satisfy her grief counselor. "The Story" was her mother's tale that exp ...more
Myrthe
Dec 30, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the writing of this book. Julie Mayhew is clearly a talented author and has a great sense of style. The way the past, future and 'The Story' are woven into each other is really well done.

And allthough I loved reading the book and couldn't put it down, it also had some flaws. The fact that Maria starts laughing when Melon tells her she's being bullied, the more or less sadistic reaction of Maria when she's dressed to go out and Melon clearly admires her beauty, the way she never says to M
...more
Josie
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tanja
A quite shocking novel in so many ways, not just because of the tragic death of the main character's mother. The language, just as the story, shocks through its directness, the way Melon lashes out in her grief, in her frustration over the way she is treated by others, including her now dead mother. While I felt so much for Melon, I could also easily relate to the frustrations others felt towards her. I have to admit, there were moments I didn't like her very much myself. All this showed me what ...more
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