Tattoos: A Novel
By Denise Mathew
Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Marilee Mackie has everything going for her, beauty, money and a bright future. But when she’s diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkins Lymphoma her world falls apart, and instead of finishing her senior year she begins the fight of her life.
Nineteen-year-old Jax, an enigmatic hospital orderly, lives on the Strip, the proverbial other side of the tracks. With his edgy attitude, sleeves of tattoos and rocker look, he’s the kind of bad boy that Marilee has always steered clear of.
But when Marilee’s cancer strips away every bit of her identity, leaving her a shadow of the person she once was, all the things that mattered to her before no longer hold any meaning. Determined to make a difference in the world before she dies, Marilee enlists Jax to help her with something she calls the Peace Project, a way to use her college fund money to help the people who need it the most on the Strip.
With Marilee’s money and Jax’s knowledge of the Strip, the teenagers embark on an unforgettable journey. Where two people from completely different worlds find that miracles do exist, and that the darkest cloud of your life may be lined with the brightest rainbow.
Tattoos is a story about love, hope and the preconceived notions and barriers that we put between us for no reason other than the way someone looks or where they live. It’s about letting go of all the things that we thought were important in the quest for our true purpose. And that sometimes the people you never thought you could love, may be exactly who you needed all along.
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Published: October 15, 2013
My Rating: 4.5 stars
A free copy was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I am more acquainted with cutesy-chick lit types of romance, so I wasn't sure how I would like Tattoos. But, as you can see by my rating, I liked it a lot!
Tattoos is the kind of story you get emotionally invested in. I couldn't stop flipping pages; I haven't read many romance novels that actually had me so into the story. The romance was so well written, which can be hard to find in the YA genre. It really felt real. Plus, it's a cancer story, which always makes the book way more emotional for me. SPOILER: I am really glad that none of the characters ended up dying in this book. You have no idea how hard I would be crying if Jax or Marilee had ended up passing away. I know that sometimes it's necessary, but it doesn't make it any less painful.
The characters were another positive aspect of the story. I don't praise characters unless I really mean it, and I definitely do in this one. Jax wasn't the cardboard cut-out bad boy; his character was so fleshed out, and I really ended up loving his POV. And he was such a good boyfriend! I loved him. Marilee was another wonderful character, and I loved her POV just as much as Jax; maybe even a bit better. Her character growth throughout the story is stunning. I am really glad this was a two POV story, because it made Jax and Marilee so much more real. I have to admit, I got really attached to Marilee and Jax.
The end of the book had me really scared for a while, but for the most part, it was a nice happy ending. SPOILER: Though I'm still a little worried, because even though they caught the cancer early and all, at the beginning of the book Jax was talking about how cancer can be so unpredictable, and even if your chances look good, you can still never be certain with it. (Paraphrased) So now I'm all afraid that the author was hinting that maybe Jax doesn't make it!!! I think I'm just overreacting, though. (Please let me be overreacting!)
There was one character I was confused about though, and that was Emma. I am still not sure what exactly the point of her character was. She shows up a couple times, but nothing MAJOR ever happens with her. I suppose I was just expecting more from her.
Now, there are a sprinkling of minor editing errors, and at times they were a bit annoying, but the story was so good that I didn't even care that much.
So, if you like romance, YA, great characters, and great books, (and who doesn't, really?) then this book is for you!