Author: Amanda Sun
Series: Paper Gods
Book #: 1
Reading Level: YA
Goodreads Rating: 3.62
T.B.Published: June 25th, 2013
I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.
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 am not going to lie, Ink may as well be the one of the best debut titles of 2013, if not the very best. It has everything, EVERYTHING I didn't know I was looking for so badly. Mixing the old with the new, Ink gives us the dangerous heart stopping tale we always crave in a completely new setting that involves paper gods, kendo clubs, and sizzling Japanese style romance.
Katie lost her mother, and soon after her homeland. With her grandfather battling cancer Katie has no choice but to move in with her aunt, Diane, who is an English teacher living in Japan. Now Katie not only has to deal with the crippling pain of losing her mother, but she also has to learn three different alphabets and try not to embarrass herself on a daily basis. From this point forward her life shall never be the same. Then she meets Tomohiro, a kendo star and a secret artist, and her life gets double complicated. Soon after she starts seeing drawings start to move and all hell breaks loose. Is she crazy? Or the more frightening option, what if she is not?
Katie is a likable main character. Right off the bat I liked this girl, she is lost, so totally lost in her new home, but she really tries. Although some times I was a little frustrated with some of her reactions when it came to Tomohiro (girl is slightly obsessed, with a sort of good reason but not even I would have gone after Tomo like that). I like how she embraced the Japanese culture, made friends, and even managed to fall in love, all while never losing sight of her inner pain. Amanda Sun handled the situation beautifully, not making it seem like Katie completely forgot about her mother but still letting her fall hard. Which leads us to...
Tomo, and the sexy ass romance. I have watched this show called Playful Kiss (South Korean romantic-comedy series) so when Tomo at the beginning was all hot and cold and seemed not to make sense I instantly connected him with the main male character from the show Baek Seung Jo. Which is why I wasn't too mad at him I guess? But in all seriousness this guy avoided telling the truth even more than Edward Cullen. It was frustrating, but then again it adds to the intrigue. Tomo is at the end of the day just a sweet sexy guy with an incredible connection to the dark side. I loved him! He is just so... complicated, and kind of a jerk at times true but overall he is a good guy at heart. They can't all be perfect, then again who wants perfect?
And oh gosh the romance!! When even referring to someone by their first name is proof of intimacy you know you have another thing coming! A mere touch is enough to make you swoon. It's so romantic, and everyone is blushing and and...
AHHH!! There is also some very steam worthy scenes so be prepared and brace yourself (see picture above for confirmation).
But, I would have to say one of my favorite parts of the whole book was Japan. The way that Amanda Sun describes day to day Japan just makes you want to be there and experience it. After reading the book I went online to look for a way to learn Japanese, because it is just so intriguing! The food (the food!), the sights, the devious men (would it make me a horrible person if I said specially this? Oh Tomo)... I too want to spend a day watching the Sakura with friends while eating a picnic. I also liked how we get to experience Japan through Katie's eyes (an Amerika-jin) which helps us not only to connect with her in this completely new experience/difficult time but also to be able to dive into the culture little by little thus helping us not get overwhelmed with information.
At the end I had a lot of unanswered questions of course. I wanted some more background story on Katie and her parents (where is her dad? who is her dad?). I also had questions about the Paper Gods and how is Katie exactly connected to them, why? But I am guessing these silly things shall all be answered in the next books so I am not letting myself obsessed about it and just go with the flow. Amanda Sun will take care of it, I know she will.
You guys HAVE to read Ink. It was just too good, and refreshing to pass up! You will stay up hours into the night reading this book, I guarantee it.
ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.