Series: Paper Gods, #1
Release Date: June 25th, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Rating: 2 stars
Word Rating: Disappointing
Reviewed by: Melanie
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.
'The liquid dropped down the stairs, and after a moment of panic, I realised it was ink, not blood.'
Katie Greene hasn't exactly had it her way for a long time. After her mother's untimely death, she moves in with her aunt Diane who lives in Japan. With the complicated dialect and foreign aspects, Katie's life just got more arduous. Then there's Tomohiro, cryptic one minute, cheerful the next. He's hiding something that could possibly explain the odd happenings to Katie. Like drawings coming to life and ink exploding whenever he is around.
Ink pretty much checks all boxes for a potentially battering breathless debut. From cover to synopsis to storyline to the setting and the cute animations, most of us have drawn an expectation line, that sadly, for the most part was never touched. Per contra, Ink did successfully illusion an atmospheric Japanese setting that captured the essence flawlessly. Amanda Sun's incredible writing skills are something not to be obliterated, as I relished the descriptions which were in fantastic accomplice of the setting. If anything, the framework of Ink brightened up the novel the most.
Katie is a character that astounded me. In a negative way. She's the only white girl at her school and Amanda Sun attempts to create a relatable or even poignant character. While I could observe a minor character development, she still was dauntingly impulsive and easily paranoid. Her rash decisions and out-of-the-blue actions left me off-guarded as they were ludicrously illogical and dumb. Our supporting characters are no better. Underdeveloped and artificial, they are cliché to the point where I had no emotions towards them. Our best friend here is literally like a robot--doesn't have a mind of its own and fails to process thoughts rationally.
But what could be better to have a typical love interest? Tomohiro--dark and mysterious one minute then outgoing and comical the next. Not only is this a trite stereotype that the majority of male antagonists provide, but also makes it complex to fully sympathise or fangirl over. Which is awfully disappointing as Tomohiro was predicted to be gush-worthy. Leading to our romance, which obviously was no gold star wielder, practically dominated the first half of the book. It was a pointless waste as I was no near shipping them due to lack of build-up and realism. Ultimately, this incorporated instant-love. Bleh.
For the last half or third of Ink, I really enjoyed it. Everything was so well paced and the mysteries began to unravel. However this was short lived as I needed more of it. Unsatisfied is the word.
A disheartening novel that contained underdeveloped characters, romance and plot, still ended up to be a bearable read for the beautiful setting and writing which was something not to be missed. By all means, anime fans jump for your chance, as I'm sure you'll enjoy this to a greater extent. Yet if you're like me and you have never seen anime in your life, it'll be of great difficulty for you to appreciate Ink.