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Poison Ink    by Christopher Golden Amazon.com order for
Poison Ink
by Christopher Golden
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Sammi Holland, a high school junior, has four good friends. They are so close that they want to do something that will tie them together forever. Someone suggests a tattoo and after a moment all the girls agree. All of them will get the same tattoo one no one else has as proof of their friendship. The tattoo is designed by Caryn, the artistic member of their clique.

Even though she agreed, Sammi doesn't like the idea of a tattoo. If she gets the tattoo she'll be letting down her parents, who would never give her permission. If she doesn't, she'll let her friends down.

They find a tattoo parlor that will ignore that they are under age and take their design there. Immediately things begin to go wrong. The tattoo artist makes his own design for them and they decide to go with his instead of Caryn's. Sammi gets more and more anxious as the others are tattooed and at the last minute she backs out.

Her friends are furious. She regrets her actions and even agrees to go back the next day, but when she shows up at school on Monday, her tattoo is identified as a fake and her friends shun her in front of the entire school cafeteria.

In the days and weeks that follow Sammi watches the group change from the responsible students and citizens who were her friends into people she doesn't know or understand. She should let them go, but she misses the bond they all had.

This fast moving suspense, with a bit of horror, reads like a train about to jump the track. If you're thinking about getting a tattoo you don't want to miss Poison Ink.

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