A Notice...

I have decided, after a year of on and off blogging, that it is best if I no longer commit to Blogging any longer.

Ink Scratchers was created by a 17 year old with too much time on her hands and not a whole lot of friends in her life. At that time, reading and sharing my feelings and opinions about those books was a passion. However, I am not 23, I have a very demanding job, a partner, a home to keep and not a whole lot of uncommitted time. Whilst I continue to read, I just can't keep up with the demand and I don't want to keep having myself stress over when I will get around to catching up on reviews.

For everyone that has supported me and read my reviews over the last six year, I can only say a massive thank you.

And to all of the authors and publishers who have kept me busy, keep doing what you do - you made a young adult very happy and fulfilled.

Love,

Jade

Review: How to Keep a Boy From Kissing You by Tara Eglington


How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You
Sweet sixteen and never been kissed—and that’s the way Aurora Skye wants it to be. She’s too busy finding guys for her two best friends, counseling her sensitive New Age dad (the NAD), and dealing with the unexpected return of her long-absent mom.

But always in the background there’s Hayden Paris, the boy next door, the bane of Aurora’s existence. Smart, funny, and always around to see her at her worst, he ‘gets’ her like no-one else... and that’s what makes him so infuriating.

When Aurora and Hayden are coerced into the lead roles in the school production of Much Ado About Nothing, things can only get worse. How is Aurora going to save her first kiss for the secret admirer who wooed her with poetry and a spectacular bunch of flowers on Valentine’s Day if she doesn’t know who he is and she’s obligated to lock lips with Hayden in the play’s final dramatic clinch?

How to Keep a Boy From Kissing You is a rerelease of a book that was initially published in 2013 in Australia, so it had quite a few positive reviews by the time I requested it for reviews. I think that this book was such a cute and fun read that it deserves the positive reviews, but it wasn't so amazing and covered new ground that I could call it fantastic.

Aurora was a cute character to a degree, but I would be lying if I didn't say that she got on my nerves at some point. She was a meddler, akin to Cher in Clueless and very over-reactive, which made the book feel overdramatic. In fact, all of the characters are quite like this, except Hayden.

The chemistry between Hayden and Aurora is there, and I feel like this part of the book were done well, even though the characters individually didn't blow me away the romance was so cute.

Overall, How to Keep a Boy From Kissing You was a fun and cute read, but the overdramatic characters made it a little hard to bear at times. if you want a shallow but cute read, kind of like Clueless, you may want to check this book out. 

Overall Rating: C+

Book released 25th October by St Martins Griffin
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Review: The Romantics by Leah Konen

The Romantics
Perfect for fans of Lauren Myracle and Rainbow Rowell, The Romantics will charm readers of all ages. Gael Brennan is about to have his heart broken when his first big relationship crumbles on the heels of his parents’ painful separation. Love intervenes with the intention of setting things right—but she doesn’t anticipate the intrusion of her dreaded nemesis: the Rebound. Love’s plans for Gael are sidetracked by Cara, Gael’s hot-sauce-wielding “dream girl.” The more Love meddles, the further Gael drifts from the one girl who can help him mend his heart. Soon Love starts breaking all her own rules—and in order to set Gael’s fate back on course, she has to make some tough decisions about what it means to truly care.

Maybe this book is cliche, but this is exactly what Konen was aiming for. She has literally lampshaded so many YA tropes and made it work. She takes a boy (a real Romantic), a Rebound and the Right Girl and plays them  together, having Love narrate it all so we know all the way through this book which way it has to go. On paper this may seem like it wouldn't work, but it was absolutely perfectly executed and I honestly cannot stress how well this was done.

I loved all of the characters in this book - Gael seemed a little weak to start with but by the end of the book he had found direction and knew what was right, so I loved that. Sammy was just absolutely perfect - the college girl babysitter that Gael should be with. Even Cara was well written and then there's Anika, Gael's ex who I despised but in the best possible way.

The best part of this book is the writing though, Leah Konen wrote a brilliant book but the voice that she gave to our narrator was so witty and dry. Sarcasm reigns, and there were some amazing quotes in there - this is sole reason to read this book if nothing else.

Overall, The Romantics was a well written and very entertaining book with clever characters and amazing dialogue.

Overall Rating: A-

Book released 1st November Amulet Books
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Review: Haunt Me by Liz Kessler


Haunt Me
Joe wakes up from a deep sleep to see his family leave in a removals van. Where they've gone, he has no idea. Erin moves house and instantly feels at home in her new room. Even if it appears she isn't the only one living in it. Bit by bit, Erin and Joe discover that they have somehow found a way across the ultimate divide - life and death. Bound by their backgrounds, a love of poetry and their growing feelings for each other, they are determined to find a way to be together.

Joe's brother, Olly, never cared much for poetry. He was always too busy being king of the school - but that all changed when Joe died. And when an encounter in the school corridor brings him face to face with Erin, he realises how different things really are - including the kind of girl he falls for.

Two brothers. Two choices. Will Erin's decision destroy her completely, or can she save herself before she is lost forever?

The Mediator series by Meg Cabot is one of the book series that got me into YA paranormal fiction, so anything about a girl meeting and falling for a ghost is going to be something I'm interested in reading. When I was accepted for Haunt Me, I was so excited - Liz Kessler has written some brilliant books before and this had to be great for that reason.

I have to admit that it just didn't hit the mark for me - it kept my interest and I was definitely absorbed into Erin, Joe and Olly's story, but I'm not sure that this book did everything that it could have done. I was really absorbed into Erin and Joe's romance to start with, but I was not entirely on board with Olly's part even though I know why it was in there. That meant that the way the book went wasn't the best way in my opinion, that the story could have been executed.

What I did enjoy was the way Kessler addressed certain issues - from the way that Joe passed away and the baggage that this carried, to Erin's past and the bullying she has to deal with. Not least, the way that this book is about moving on as well. Not only does Kessler have an amazing writing style but she did deal with these issues very well.

Overall, Haunt Me had a lot of potential but it didn't completely blow me away. That being said, it did have some strong points and I would still recommend it.

Overall Rating: C+

Book released 6th october 2016 by Orion Children's Books
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Review: Interference by Kay Honeyman

Interference
As a Congressman's daughter in Washington, DC, Kate Hamilton is good at getting what she wants -- what some people might call "interfering." But when her family moves to West Texas so her dad can run in a special election, Kate encounters some difficulties that test all her political skills. None of her matchmaking efforts go according to plan. Her father's campaign gets off to a rough start. A pro tip for moving to Texas: Don't slam the star quarterback's hand in a door. And whenever Kate messes up, the irritatingly right (and handsome) Hunter Price is there to witness it. But Kate has determination and a good heart, and with all her political savvy -- and a little clever interference -- she'll figure out what it takes to make Red Dirt home.

All I seem to have been wanting to read recently are cute, fun teen romance contemporary style books.  Don't ask me why, I honestly couldn't tell you. 

Anyway, they say don't judge a book by the cover, but I could tell based on the cover that this was a book that I really wanted to read (that font, those colours!), and the blurb just solidified this for me. This was not going to be a book that I was going to need to force myself to get stuck into. And yes, from the sexond I opened this book (metaphorically - I read it on my kindle) I was hooked. The voice was just so amazing, Honeyman gives this book a really relaxed, fun feel. The story is told in first person from Kate and Honeyman gives us a consistent, snarky and casual narrative voice that really fit with me.

I really loved the political side of things, it gives an intersting twist to what may have been a simple YA love story. Kate knows politics, she knows what she needs to say and what she needs to do to keep her father's campaign on track and this is a great device for showing the relationships both suffer and develop in this book. I really enjoyed reading this side.

However, my favorite bits to read were Kate's interactions with her friends and other people. Ana was one of my favorite characters (it's no coincidence that one of my best friends is called Ana, one 'n'). I loved the way she supported Kate and in return Kate tries to help Ana, though it goes off the rails a little bit. Their friendship was honest and realistic and a brilliant thing to have. Hunter though, solid, lovely Hunter - he will forever be etched on Jade's 'Book boyfriend's list). Maybe I'm getting a littttttle too old for him, but he is just so lovely and charming and his interactions with Kate were the highlight of this book for me. 

Even the 'bad guys' are well written and have some kind of...  understanding towards the end. A tentative start to what may be development on their side, so I think that was an especially great thing to have as well. I think this may stem from the small town kind of setting, this time and understanding I think everybody has for one another. This small town setting was like a character on it's own - as Kate began to grow accustomed and want to call it home, I did as well. I think this was probably Honeyman's aim and she executed it perrrrrfectly!

If I had to dig for negative things to say, I would point out that towards the middle of this book I did began to loose interest the teeniest bit, but that was for a very short period of time. That is really all I could say...

Overall, Interference is one of the best written, most engaging contemporary reads I have read in the last year. The characters are well written, the voice is engaging, the plot os entertaining and well researched and the setting is something special. If I could go on, I would, but I'll wrap up with this: Kay Honeyman is definitely one I will be watching out for.

Overall Rating: A

Book released 27th September 2016 by Arthur A. Levine Books
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Review: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

The Female of the Species

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.

So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.

Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

Oh gosh. This book... 

It was absolutely breathtakingly amazing. I have been putting it off because it's quite dark and I wasn't entirely sure whether it was my bag, especially as Mindy McGinnis hasn't really impressed me much before. I picked it up after reading a brilliant review and it just blew me away.

This book isn't a book that has been written solely to entertain - it's a book that makes you think, that makes you doubt the way you think about killers and vengeance and motives. It was so well written. Alex was such an unbelievably well written character - she was layered, a tough nut with a soft nougat centre, but rather than just being the tough girl in most YA books she takes a completely different form. I loved that.

Jack and Peekay were also brilliant as supporting characters, their reactions are realistic and they are extremely integral to the way the story develops, and their relationships with alex are really important in giving this cold girl some humanity. Also important was the job at the vetinarians that Alex takes. McGinnis really thought through how to develop this plot and this character and whats more, she executed it extremely well as well.

I kept myself guessing all the way through about how this book was going to end. None of the endings I clould make up felt 'right', but the way Mindy McGinnis finished the book just worked perfectly for me. It was just... touching and perfect.

Overall, The Female of the Species was a wonderful, perfectly written book which absolutely blew me away and made me step back and think about a lot of things. Think Dexter, for the YA audience.

Overall Rating: A

Book released September 20th 2016 by Katherine Tegen
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Review: We Know It Was You by Maggie Thrash

We Know It Was You (Strange Truth, #1)



It’s better to know the truth. At least sometimes.

Halfway through Friday night’s football game, beautiful cheerleader Brittany Montague—dressed as the giant Winship Wildcat mascot—hurls herself off a bridge into Atlanta’s surging Chattahoochee River.

Just like that, she’s gone.

Eight days later, Benny Flax and Virginia Leeds will be the only ones who know why.

We Know It Was You could have been a whole lot... more. In fact, I really wanted it to be. This could have been Gone Girl for the teen audience, instead it was like a car crash, a complete wreck of a book that I could make absolutely no sense of.

The start was good, I really could have enjoyed the book if it had kept on that same route - mysterious missing cheerleader, mystery club, Benny and Virginia... it all started so well.

Then the 'twists' started, and this book morphed into something I couldn't quite figure out... there's a male pornography ring that somehow comes into it all, and a woman hypnotising her boyfriend into sleeping with her (sexual assault anyone)? And out main characters and a random german cougar hunter getting themselves involved in some pretty crazy stuff. And nobody even tries to tell a parent.

I just didn't like the way this book dealt with problems - there were some really intriguing storylines pop up, like Virginia's stalker stuff, but they just got left behind and unresolved and the book just felt confusing and incomplete to me.

Overall, We Know It Was You was a read that tried too hard to be shocking and new, as a result it just became pretty unreadable for me. I finished the book hoping it got clearer and better, unfortunately it didn't.

Overall Rating: D-

Book released October 4th 2016 by Simon Pulse
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review