January 9, 2007
Random House Children's Books
List Price: $10.44, $7.99, $7.76
Bailey Morgan isn't the type of girl who shows a lot of skin, but somehow, she ends up in a dressing room at the mall with her friend Delia applying a temporary tattoo to her lower back. Never one to suffer fashion doubt, trendsetter Delia knows exactly where she wants her own tattoo: on her stomach, right where her shirt ends - can you say "midriff"? Annabelle, the quiet one, chooses the back of her neck, and tomboy Zo plasters hers on the top of her foot. The tattoos will last for three days, and Delia's sure that with them, the four friends will absolutely kill at the school dance.
Unfortunately, killing is just what someone has in mind, and Bailey, Delia, Annabelle, and Zo are in for the battle of their lives. Along with her tattoo, each girl receives a gift - a supernatural power to help them in their fight. As Bailey's increasingly frightening dreams reveal the nature of their enemy, it becomes clear to the girls that it's up to them to save the world. And if they can get Delia to stop using her newfound power to turn gum wrappers into Prada pumps, they might actually stand a chance.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes has figured out exactly what this world needs a little more of: Girl Power. I'm not sure I have ever read a book that has made me feel so powerful to be a female! The four main characters in Tattoo, Annabelle, Zo, Delia and Bailey, are all very unique. Annabelle, also known as A-Belle, is kind of my favourite. She is smart and logical, and is kind of like the mother hen. Then we have Zo and Delia who are so different that it is kind of a miracle that they are friends. Zo is a self-proclaimed tomboy whereas Delia is a self-proclaimed girly girl. Although I say they are very different, they do have something in common; they are both pretty fiesty and like a good fight! Finally we have the main character, Bailey, the clumsy and awkward girl who is more beautiful and strong than she gives herself credit for. While all of these girls are fabulous on their own they are better when they are together. Their friendship is what will pull you into Tattoo from the beginning, but the ancient evil that is haunting the girls will keep you there.
The dynamic between the four friends is interesting enough, but when you throw in powerful tattoos you get something better. The pack of tattoos is the catalyst in the book and is what sparks the girls adventure. Soon after applying the tattoos all four of the girls find out that they have some sort of supernatural power. Bailey realizes she has pyrokinesis and can start fires by just using her mind. Zo has premonitions and she also has the ability to find things if she concentrates on them. For Delia her power is transmogrify which gives her the ability to change one thing into another. A-Belle's power is that she is telepathic and can hear her friends thoughts even when they do not want her to. What I enjoyed most about the idea of having the girls develop powers is that they eventually get to be used together. It is through this that we see how the powers relate to the girls' friendship. They are stronger together with or without the powers.
The questions that plague the girls in this book are often about why they have been given these powers, and who are they going to use them against. The answers to these questions are delivered at a steady pace throughout the book and are never held back too long from the reader. What is also evident in this book is the wonderful use of language. This is a YA book, but it is more geared to a pre-teen audience. While reading it though you would have no idea because Barnes does not talk down to her young readers. Language use extends further than the pages though because Barnes brings an element of Linguistics into the story. Some people might find this boring, but as a Linguistics major in university I was quite thrilled. I hope that this theme is brought to light again in the sequal, Fate.
In the end the girls are able to use their powers together and to understand why they were gifted with them in the first place. While the end of the book does not leave a huge cliffhanger it does make you want to read the sequal. Bailey's journey has only just begun and with the help of her friends I am sure that she will be able to get through whatever comes next. I reccommend this book to anyone who just wants to feel all warm and fuzzy. The abundance of girl power and the incredible bond between Bailey and her friends makes Tattoo a wonderful read. I just ordered the sequal Fate and it should be here next week. :)
P.S. Happy reading...in bed. hehehehe