Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Review: Ink by Amanda Sun

Title: Ink
Author: Amanda Sun
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Fantasy/Paranormal
Release date: June 25th, 2013
Pages: 326 (ARC)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Author
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.

Katie has been through a traumatic loss and still feels that leaving her country wasn't the answer, even though it was the only option.  Being submerged in Japanese culture, she feels as though she's drowning.  She keeps forgetting to put her shoes back on after she leaves a building and she can't hold conversations in Japanese.  To top it off, she's seen something she wasn't supposed to, and now one of the popular guys won't leave her alone.  In a way, Katie doesn't want him to, because otherwise she won't be able to find out his deepest secrets, which he proves to have quite a few of.

One of the things I love most about Ink is the fact that it's set in Japan.  The author shows her readers some of the culture and constantly uses Japanese words to make the story feel even more authentic.  Having studied the language in middle school, I found it very refreshing to look back on my education, though there are a few reference pages in the back of the book containing each of the words and their English meanings.  I also felt as though the character development was steady, though the relationships seemed a little rushed, especially between Katie and Tomohiro.

This is my first time reading a story set in this country, but even so, I thought it was beautifully done.  Though the characters could have used more work, the writing and descriptions were beautiful.  It definitely has bumped Japan higher up on my "must-travel-to" list.  Aside from the setting, the most interesting and unique thing about Ink is that it's based around mythological gods called Kami.  The fact that Kami have these incredible powers to make their drawings come to life kept me turning the pages to find out what would happen next.

Ink holds an interesting and unique story of a lost girl and the friendships she makes, the healing of a wound that will never truly go away and a discovery that shocks her.  Maybe to some it will be lumped with all of the typical paranormal romances, but it definitely stood out to me.

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