Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr
Leslie has a dark secret, a secret so crippling that she's been afraid to live for the past year. In an effort to take back control of her life, Leslie decides to get a tattoo on her back. The ink used for her tattoo, though, contains elements of faerie that make Leslie aware of a world that she didn't know existed, and she isn't sure she wants to know.
Ink Exchange is a dark and somewhat disturbing tale of faeries. Like it's companion book Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange is built on a world where faeries co-exist next to humans, though mortals as they are called cannot see the faeries. Leslie knows nothing of the faery world when she decides to get her tattoo. All she knows is that her brother sold her for his next high and she's afraid it might happen again. Leslie is a broken, damaged girl when we first meet her. When she chooses her new tattoo, Leslie thinks that she is merely choosing to take her life back. Little does she know that she's allowing a dark faerie to control her. Leslie is a fighter with attitude though and she valiantly trys to maintain control, with the help of her friends Aislinn (main character of Wicked Lovely) and Niall (a faery whom Leslie has a crush on). Niall is broken and damaged in his own way and it's interesting to see how the two characters deal with their fates. As with Wicked Lovely, I didn't see the ending coming. The ending I chose was a little neater, more happy, but Melissa Marr's ending was powerful and perfectly right for Leslie. That's why I'm just the reviewer, not the writer.
If you're wondering whether to read Wicked Lovely first, it's not necessary. Ink Exchange is definitely a stand-alone and not a sequel. However, if you're interesting in reading Wicked Lovely, I recommend reading it first because Ink Exchange picks up shortly after Wicked Lovely left off and, thus, gives away the ending of Marr's first book. I also highly recommend these books for fans of Holly Black.
Ink Exchange has been nominated for the 2008 Cybils Awards in the Science Fiction/Fantasy category.