This Is Not The Shakespeare Stage Review: Ink Me by Richard Scrimger

2012 marks the return of the This Is Not The Shakespeare Stage! This stage features hourly, genre-based, interactive programming sessions showcasing great Canadian young-adult books, authors, and artists plus the Open Mic Hour. To celebrate, we asked Sofia Licata, our teen read reviewer, to review a selection of books being featured on this stage in 2012! First up is Ink Me by Richard Scrimger, who is presenting on stage at 12 PM with fellow writers Norah McClintock, Shane Peacock and Ted Staunton in the segment titled “The Adventure of Writing Collaboratively – Seven (the series)”.

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Title: Ink Me

Author: Richard Scrimger

Publisher: Orca Books

Published Date: October 2012

Bunny, the protagonist in Ink Me, is totally blind to what happens in the world around him. He unknowingly gets caught-up in a gang fight that innocently lands him in jail.

Award-winning author Richard Scrimger takes you though the mind of a clueless fifteen-year-old boy as he lives out his grandfather’s deathbed wish: to get a tattoo. To all those around him, it may appear as if his world has fallen apart after getting his tattoo, but instead, it awakens him. Bunny matures and begins to understand the world just a little more as he makes friends, finds a place where he belongs, and finds knowledge in his maybe not so unfortunate adventure.

This is a very intelligent book for several reasons. Firstly, Scrimger created a very relatable character. I sympathized with Bunny throughout the novel because he is too naïve to see the reality of his situation. I felt quite connected to him, and his problems and frustrations of not understanding the world that he lives in. He is lonely, and even though he has a brother to relate to, he feels that nobody really understands him. Scrimger takes the reader on a personal journey with themes that are easily relatable such as friendship, belonging, and insecurity. Even if the reader hasn’t been in Bunny’s exact position, he is easy to relate to as a person.

Secondly, the book was fresh because the plot was unique and interesting and the story was well-developed. The mystery of what was going to happen next pulled me through the novel without me even being aware! Just like Bunny.

Lastly, I enjoyed and connected with this book because Bunny was around my own age and lives in a big city, but you don’t have to be like him to be fond of this thrilling book. Overall, it was a great read that I would recommend to any tween or young teen who likes a little bit of mystery, adventure and a thrill in an easy summer read.

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