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Friday, December 2, 2011

Review + GIVEAWAY: inkBLOT

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Title: inkBLOT
Author: Johnson Naigle
Page Count: 821 KB (Kindle format)
Publisher: Crossroads Publishing House
Genre: YA, mystery
Copy for review provided by the authors in anticipation of an honest review

Eighteen-year-old web entrepreneur Ronnie Wright owns the virally popular website, inkBLOT. Determined to sweep local newspaper reporter, Chelsea Pressman, off her feet, he tries to wow her with his internet success.

Chelsea has one goal, making it big as a reporter. Unfortunately the editor isn’t tossing any good stories her way. But her luck changes and she is first in line to cover a string of bizarre crimes. The notoriety she’s gaining from the front-page stories is addictive.

The police finally trace the crimes to a common link – inkBLOT.

Now, Ronnie has to clear his name as the number one suspect in Chelsea’s headline crimes.

A fun fact about inkBLOT is that it's set near my currently locale, Virginia Beach!  I just needed to throw that out there before we get down to business.

I classified inkBLOT as a YA novel, but it probably falls into that New Adult subgenre that's starting to be seen as a distinct entity.  The characters are out of high school for the most part and starting their professional lives, but are still maturing and growing into their own identities and trying to figure out what they want out of life.  With that said, they are each a work in progress; Ronnie is riding high on the success of inkBLOT, his social networking program based on the inkblot personality assessments but just can't seem to get the girl of his dreams to notice him, and Chelsea is happy as a clam to land a full time reporting job at the local newspaper but quickly realizes that it's a long way to the top and that approval from her Dad, which she wants more than anything, may just not be in the cards for her.  That doesn't stop her from making decisions that will dramatically affect loads of other people though.

Against that backdrop of having to finally make do as an adult is the wider story of the connection between the crimes Chelsea is reporting on and inkBLOT.  This is a story about actions and consequences, about wanting things you can't have, and about not seeing (or refusing to see) what's right in front of you the whole time.  This is one of those stories where we see all the pieces to the puzzle and have to observe as the characters figure things out.  The ending is swift and the resolution makes sense in the context of the characters and their desires.

I really enjoyed the social media facets of this story and the impact that online profiling and things like that could potentially have in the wrong hands.  There are a lot of motivations in play, and I also liked that while I didn't agree with why people did things (Chelsea in particular made me want to get my tongue scraped, and her vivid characterization only added to that- kudos to the authors) I did understand why they did those things.

All in all this was an interesting, engaging book about flawed characters trying to find their own pieces of happiness.  If you're in the market for something new, give it a try!

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