Author: Amanda Sun
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: The Paper Gods Series (Book 1)
Publication Date: June 25, 2013
Format: Paperback, 326 Pages
ISBN-10: 037321071X (Harlequin Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-0373210718 (Harlequin Teen)
Reviewed by: Kayla
Ink is in their blood.
On the heels of a family tragedy, Katie Greene must 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.
When Katie meets aloof but gorgeous Tomohiro, the star of the school’s kendo team, she is intrigued by him…and a little scared. His tough attitude seems meant to keep her at a distance, and when they’re near each other, strange things happen. Pens explode. Ink drips from nowhere. And unless Katie is seeing things, drawings come to life.
Somehow Tomo is connected to the kami, powerful ancient beings who once ruled Japan—and as feelings develop between Katie and Tomo, things begin to spiral out of control. The wrong people are starting to ask questions, and if they discover the truth, no one will be safe.
Quick & Dirty: Still recovering from her mother’s death, Katie is thrown into a foreign world – not just a world of Japanese tea ceremonies and kendo but of mobsters and dragons that leap off the page.
Opening Sentence: I made it halfway across the courtyard before I realized I was still wearing my school slippers.
Katie Greene only has to suffer through a couple months in Japan before she can move in with her grandparents in Canada. After her mother’s death, Katie was shipped to her aunt in Japan until her grandfather was declared in remission from cancer. Until then, she must attend a school in a totally different country, take notes in a totally different language and learn the traditions and customs of a totally different culture. The last thing Katie expected was to actually make friends. Or fall for the jerk of the school. When she accidentally sees a scrap of paper with moving drawings from his notebook, all her friends’ warnings are thrown out the window. She has to figure out why his drawings move. And why, whenever he’s around, her drawings move too. Amanda Sun weaves a tale of a new mythology and a romance that will have readers dying for more.
As much as the setting and new mythology intrigues me, the romance and plot was sort of a let down. Sun incorporates the Japanese culture and environment into the story beautifully, but the plot was very predictable. I could see everything coming 200 pages away. But that doesn’t make this book boring or not worth the read.
Besides the beautiful setting, the characters also make the story a worth while read. Katie is a strong heroine. She’s stubborn, head strong and still mourning her mother’s passing. All she wants is to be back in the North America, where everything is familiar and she knows the language. But until her grandpa is in remission, she’s stuck with her aunt who insists she learn the Japanese language and culture. I love Katie and how she faces her new surroundings with a stubborn determination, but sometimes I want to smack her on the head. I mean, really? Some of her decisions are so naive and unrealistic, I become less engaged in the story. She became predictable, so the story became predictable.
Now Yuu Tomohiro of course is the bad boy who’s actually really broken inside and has a bunch of secrets. As cliche as he is, he’s still a great character. He is the epitome of unpredictability; I never know when he’s going to turn from jerk face to sweet to completely broken and afraid. Tomo and Katie’s relationship has its highs and lows, and I really appreciate Katie being able to see through his jerk facade when he pushes her away. But this is also where Katie’s naivete comes through. She is so totally set on Tomo that she can’t see anything else – and they have only known each other for less two months!
Don’t get me wrong. This is a good book. You should read it. Just be aware that there are boring parts. There are predictable parts. And there are parts where you want to smack some sense into the characters. But overall, I can’t wait to see where Sun takes this new story with likable characters and intriguing mythology.
The corner of my notebook flipped up, lifted by a cool spring wind. Wait, that couldn’t be – we were indoors, and the windows were shut. Then the whole side of the book started to ripple.
The flowers I’d doodled started to bend in the breeze. One of the petals fell to the little bit of ground I’d sketched. A snail tucked himself into his shell.
Is this happening? Is this real?
The ben was hot in my hand and I gripped it tighter, watching the pages of my notebook flutter in the wind, watching the snails leave glittering trails across the page…
Watching as they turned and came toward me, mouth full of sharp jagged teeth I didn’t know snails had, teeth that I hadn’t drawn…
The pen shattered beneath my fingers, drowning the doodles in ink. Shards of plastic flew across the room and scattered on desks and floors. Students shouted in surprise, jumping back from their desks to their feet.
And then I saw Yuu Tomohiro standing in the hallway, his startled eyes watching me, his fingers wrapped around the door frame. He looked almost afraid. Had he seen it, too? Or maybe – maybe he’d caused it.
The Paper Gods Series:
2. Rain (June 24, 2014)
FTC Advisory: Harlequin Teen provided me with a copy of Ink. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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