After the Ink Dries

S. & S. Jul. 2021. 416p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781534473690.
Gr 9 Up–In this debut YA novel, two-voice prose merges with graphic elements in telling the story of white 16-year-old Erica Walker, who wakes up half-clothed after a drunken house party. Coming to, she finds derogatory words and the names of the boys’ lacrosse team written in Sharpie across her body. Erica doesn’t remember what happened the night before, but she can’t believe that her new boyfriend, Thomas, would be involved. Thomas wakes up from the party, worried he is late for his audition to music school. He is determined not to ruin his chances, while also not entirely clear about everything that occurred the night before. As Erica and Thomas make their way through the next few days, the truth is revealed. Erica learns that there is also a video circulating at school of her being assaulted while passed out. The narrative unfolds between Erica’s and Thomas’s points of view, with images woven throughout of Erica’s alter ego superhero Erica Strange, the comic she draws. This page-turner tackles issues of assault, relationships, and suicide. The main characters, especially Erica, are dynamic but the multitude of secondary characters sometimes muddles the narrative and takes away from the main focus. Still, the pacing and story will in draw teens.
VERDICT The beautiful graphics and the way this novel tackles assault head-on make it a good addition to a library shelf.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing