Author: Amanda Sun
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release Date: July 5, 2013 (UK) June 25, 2013 (US)
Source: Harlequin (UK) Ltd via NetGalley
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I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.Review by Nara
Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.
A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.
And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.
On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.
Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.
Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.
I have got to say that initially, this book was not really to my taste. It was a bit Twilight-style, to be honest. First, everyone warns the girl to stay away from the guy, saying he's "trouble". Then, the guy himself warns her to stay away, all "I'm dangerous" blah blah blah. Following which, the guy suddenly becomes really friendly and all "If I'm going to Hell I may as well make a thorough job of it". What I also didn't like was that the main character, Katie, was kind of obsessed with Tomohiro (the love interest).
She actively went and followed him after school with the excuse that he was "up to something". Yeah, real. More like stalker alert. The romance was also definitely a bit weird- at least from the point of view of Katie. It probably would have made a lot more sense if we had the point of view of Tomo. But once I got over the fact that it was a hideous instalove, the relationship between Katie and Tomo was actually alright.
The novel has an outstanding premise, but unfortunately, the actual novel lacked in substance somewhat. I was expecting new ideas and amazingness about the paper gods, but although there was enough to be interesting, there wasn't quite enough to make the book truly original. I was really looking forward to Ink because of the fact that it was set somewhere other than the US- and in Japan of all places! It's so rare to see any contemporary young adult novels set in an Asian country. So I was pleasantly surprised by how the Japanese was actually accurate, and had clearly been well researched rather than Google translated.
Although the book was seriously mediocre for the first half or so, as soon as the action began rolling in, the quality of the book significantly improved. So much so that I'm definitely looking forward to the next one! It almost felt as if the first and second halves were different books- there was such a discrepancy in the level of engagement I had with the text. There was more action, more drama, more everything! I look forward to how Sun will further develop her characters in the sequel.