I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.INK by Amanda Sun
Series: Paper Gods #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on 6/25/2013
Genres: Paranormal Fiction, Young Adult
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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.\r\n\r\nThen 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.\r\n\r\nKatie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.
Full disclosure: I read this last summer and have not reviewed it because I just didn’t have much to say. But there it sat on my Netgalley dashboard, killing my review stats.\n\nI was really excited to read INK by Amanda Sun. I heard such good things, but ultimately left feeling neither great nor disappointed with the story. This probably has more to do with the fact that it was hyped up so much on blogs, and is not the fault of the author, but it’s always really hard to meet expectations that start so very high. It is well-written. It’s imaginative. It is an interesting premise. It just simply didn’t wow me, nor did I hate it, so it falls into the “meh” category.\n\nThe beginning of the novel begins with Katie Green overhearing Tomohiro breaking up with his girlfriend. Tomo’s reputation around school is legendary: he’s a fighter and heart-breaker. Katie, having just moved to Japan from the Midwest United States, comes off as sort of disgusted by his behavior, and challenges him when no one else will because they are too afraid.\n\nI liked Katie as a protagonist. She came from a bad situation, having lost her mom, and not only has to deal with her death, but also move to a new country and learn its language and social customs. I didn’t envy her.\n\nTomohiro is a troubled teenage Japanese boy who doesn’t want anyone to bother him. Not because he hates people but because he’s afraid for them. He has abilities that could hurt everyone and is afraid to weld them, but the compulsion to do so is too great, so he uses them in secret. Tomo was an interesting character, but he kind of grated my nerves because he had excuses for a lot of things and instead of owning up to them, he ran from his problems. I guess that’s a little expected from a teenage boy, but when he’s being passed off as this strong young man, you kind of want more as the reader.\n\nThe plot was very imaginative. Tomo can draw things to life and certain factions within Japanese society could use this to their advantage. I found the premise captivating and entertaining. It just took a long time to get to that point, and probably my biggest beef is that so much of the book focuses on the romance between Katie and Tomo and not the more interesting aspects of the story, like that he can do all those things!\n\nOverall, I think most people will actually really enjoy this story. It’s different, it’s dramatic. If you can get around the romance, it’s probably for you.\n\n